[Sca-cooks] more lentils, think we have a keeper

Cat . tgrcat2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 9 09:39:34 PST 2011

Thank you!

My apologies for the long tail on this message but I want to address all three 
comments and being on digest makes it hard to reply to individuals separately. 

Angharad, thank you, I like this one, no eggs, no butter, no 'funny' stuff, and 
it sounds tasty when reading it.  

Brighid or Juana Isabella, do you have the original?  Can you tell what spices 
maybe missing?  I can find it on world cat, but  I do not speak Spanish at all.

Margaret, which spices do you use when you make this as a soup?

I will keep watching this list for replies, but I think this is my keeper for 
the event Saturday (Yea I know, nothing like lots of advance planning :-)  I 
will post the 2 lunches in 2 weeks write up after this one is put to bed too.

Gwen Cat

This is one from late 16th century Spain that I discovered when digging
around online for 16th century Spanish recipes last year. I picked the
translation off someone's blog - apologies for the lack of credit if it was
yours! It was the first period lentil recipe I have come across so I am
intrigued to see all the others.

Caldo de Lentejas
After the lentils are cleaned & sorted, cast them to cook, & after they cook
a little, fry a little onion, chopped garlic, & cast them to the lentils; &
take grated bread, & cast it so that they thicken with 4 or 6 maravedis of
ground spices, parsley & mint; & when you cast it in the bowls, cast a
little vinegar: it is a good broth, except that is melancholic, as Galen
says in chapter 5. From Libro del Arte de Cozina, by Domingo Hernandez de
Maceras, translated by Antoine de Bayonne (mka Dan Gillespie) 

1 cup green/brown lentils
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp each parsley and mint
2 tbsp vinegar

Pick over the lentils removing any stray bits of skin or extraneous grains
(for some reason you often get bits of wheat or other things in with
lentils). Soak the lentils in hot water for about 20 mins. Drain and place
in a saucepan with enough fresh water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer
until the lentils are soft but not disintegrating, about 20-30 mins. Drain.
Meanwhile finely chop the onion and garlic. Fry in a little olive oil until
soft. Add to the lentils. Chop the herbs finely and add to the lentils. Add
the vinegar and mix well. You could add some salt and pepper if you like, or
other spices, to your taste.  This serves 10 people.

Note that 'caldo' means hot, so it was probably intended to be served hot
(perhaps even as a soup - it suggests thickening with bread but not where
the liquid is to come from - the lentil cooking liquid perhaps), but it does
very nicely served cold as a kind of lentil salad. 



Message: 3
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 11:25:16 -0500
From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcarrollmann at gmail.com>
A little googling shows that the blog in question belongs to Duchess
Juana Isabella, who is a member of this list.  The recipe, as she
indicated, was translated by Dan Gillespie (SCA: Antoine de Bayonne).

'Caldo' means 'broth' in Spanish, but it and the word for 'hot'
('caliente') both come from the same Latin root.

I think that this is definitely a lentil soup, meant to be served hot.
The verb 'cocer' means 'to cook', but it also has the more specific
meaning of cooking in liquid.  If I saw a period Spanish recipe for a
food that can be cooked in multiple ways -- chicken or rggplant, for
example -- and it said 'cocer', I would be reaching for a pot and
filling it with water.

I have one question about your redaction: are you deliberately
omitting spices?  The recipe says to add ground spices, mint, and
parsley.  Mint and parsley are herbs.  Ground spices ('especias
molidas') might include such things as black pepper, cinnamon, cloves,
etc.  Antoine's redaction of this recipe is in the Florilegium file
for lentils, and he includes pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander (seed, I
assume), cloves, and salt.

Does anyone know what's happened to Antoine?  Does he still play in
the SCA and is he still working on his translation?

Brighid ni Chiarain


Message: 4
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2011 11:31:28 -0500
From: Gretchen Beck <grm at andrew.cmu.edu>

Hah!  Antoine's recipe is the one I was looking for (I had the recipe on 
file, but had neglected to note the source). I've used it (served it for 
lunch), and as a lentil soup lover, it is quite tasty!  (The mint, spices, 
and vinegar really balance nicely).

toodles, margaret


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