Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Was It A Good Weekend?

Is what everyone keeps asking me.....and on reflection.....yes I think it was.

Saturday went really well and Sunday was really busy too, if a little hot and humid.....although we did have a slight problem with somebody altering the space time continuum!! Robin, Jorge, Marc H and I had been talking for Britain for what seemed like hours....the cookery was going O.K. but I was sure that we were getting to the stage when it wouldn't be worthwhile starting a new dish as we'd have to stop using the burners soon to give them a chance to cool down so that we could put them away......just had to check the time to confirm it then work out what to do for the hour or so that was left in the day............or so I thought! A check of the time found out that it was in fact only just coming up to 1.00 and there was still 5 working hours left....I can tell you that came as quite a shock to us all, but did mean plenty of time to carry on talking and cooking for the crowds of people to see.

What did we cook? Well Marc tried the second variant of the pynade that he'd done the day before.....without the chicken in it. I'd like to say it was a terrific success but I think he'd agree with me that it didn't turn out too well....a touch overcooked and somewhat sticky (it took 2 of them to pull it off of the pewter bowl it had cooled in) but you could certainly see the potential in it (it's certainly not a dish for those of us with dodgy dental work....crowns and fillings watch out!)
Strawberye, applade ryalle and cawdelle ferry also made it into bowls for the public to see, but not I'm afraid all you lovely people as I failed to take any pictures on Sunday at all.....and you've seen the only good ones from Saturday. Even though it was hot and humid the light for most of Sunday was appalling in the kitchens and I couldn't get any decent pictures....maybe next time eh? The strawberye and applade ryalle were really pretty good and as we hardly touched them they went into the freezer ready to make an appearance on the Saturday dinner of the Bank Holiday weekend towards the end of the month....the cawdelle wasn't bad either (but won't stand freezing) taking Harold McGee's advice in his book 'On Cooking' we tried to get an end result like a zabaglione.....not easy with no whisk and direct heat, but it was still much better than the curdled egg gloop we've had with past attempts at caudles.

That's all for the moment as there's a huge storm brewing and it's time to disconnect the PC from the mains....can't have it getting popped by a power surge. I'll be posting more pictures from July as the week goes on, so stay tuned for the next moderately interesting episode.


gorge said...

Like the July weekend, I really enjoyed it, mainly because my education in 'The Nobyll arte of the coffin, makyng thereof, writ by master robin', or in other words how to make decent pork pie Mark 2.

As ever, his eminence is patient and willing to impart his art to me.

Two pies in two days, personally preferred the second one, I agree with one of the Barrys that the pounded meat becomes too rubbery, so we went for a minced version on Sunday.

The strawberry was fruit sex.

The steamed chicken was fowl sex.

So sexy were they that only this weekend I have impressed my in-laws with my take on the pie:

basically the minced (by hand) pork version of the tartes of flessc, but added smoked bacon, used long and black peppers and grains, salt.
Butter paste.

Lovely if a little dry, but it reminded me of game pie in its dry and meaty texture, inlaws loved it.

Strawberry, but as the local pick your own only had raspberries, no prizes for guessing what we used instead.

I soaked the raspberries (about a pound or so) in red wine, strained them through a sieve, added a stick of cinnamon and cooked the juice, reduced and added sugar as it was a tad sharp.
I had ground some rice with a view to make a set pudding, but refrained and basically used it as a pouring sauce for ice cream......more sex on the old tongue. The cinnamon added a dash of seasonality about it.

Steamed chicken:
white wine, rosemary, marjoram and lemon balm, big bunch, half went inside the chicken, the rest in the wine.

Set in steamer for 1 1/2 hours or so.

I forgot to do the bird breast side down, had I the meat would have taken on the herby goodness the underneath bits got.

I served this with braised red cabbage, carrots in butter and honey, new spuds and runner beand in the pod.

The liquor was reduced and thickened a bit then poured over the meat.

Happy in-laws.

Apologies to TC for the innumerable texts re my cooking this weekend, I thought he would appreciate them ;-).

Wife also pleased re the food, I have the green light to do more steamed chicken, although I will pop the bird in an oven to crisp up the skin a bit.

cathy said...

As ever a brilliant tudor cookery w/e.Well done,you all work so hard.Thanks to Gorge for taking the time to chat to me for some time on what was a very busy day,and Dave who suggested i see the now completed,WORKING wine fountain on this web site.Brilliant!

Helen said...

I first made Strawberye a couple of years ago, and have yet to see you guys doing so.

Having seen the blog and then Gorge's post, I was back in action.

Cooked strawberries in red wine (2:1 strawberries:wine) - didn't strain to take out pips, will do so another time.

Made some relatively thick almond milk (yummy in itself), added a small quantity of rice flour plus pepper, galingale,ginger, saffron along with currants and some sugar (considerably more than with my earlier versions).

Cooked it thoroughly and added a scant tbsp cider vinegarl then let it cool a while. Didn't bother with the pomegranate seeds (and forget the "grease" - I'd planned a knob of butter!)

We then pigged out on warm strawberye and at the rest cold the following.

Very good indeed warm or cold. I might try grinding the ground almonds more finely so as to lessen the slightly granular texture.

I like the idea of a raspberry alternative and shall have to give that a go.

See you guys at the weekend.