Here is a bit of culinary archeology. An Illinois Wesleyan University Professor has a project to prepare and sample recipes in a cookbook from the 1600s. WGLT's Charlie Schlenker has more.
On All Types of Roasts
Singe a turkey over a grill after cleaning it very well and skewering it with two reed skewers or another type of wood that doesn't give off a bitter flavor. Then, place on a spit in a roaster and wrap it in paper, placing fine strips of fat back under the paper. Salt it and you can close up the breasts with nails but some do not find it necessary. For the sauce for this turkey, take two ounces of ground almond that have been toasted in a pan and ground. Roast with two hen livers or liver from the turkey that have been dried out and grind everything together. Add two ounces of sugar and when everything is ground together, thin with stock, that has no fat, and pour it all into a pot and bring to a boil two or three times, always stirring it with a big spoon. Then strain the mixture through a sieve or a cloth. Add a little ground cinnamon and a little lemon juice. This sauce should be served cold. A capon is roasted in the same way, except that it is not singed or wrapped in paper or closed up with nails. The basic sauce served with capons is pomegranate sauce. It is made in this way: take two sour pomegranates for each capon and deseed them. Place the seeds in a cloth or sieve and squeeze them with a spoon until all the juice and sourness are released. Then add two ounces of sugar, a little red wine, some slivers of cinnamon stick, and three whole cloves and boil until the flavor is perfect. Serve cold on its plate or in its bowl. This sauce can be served with a roasted capon, which can be cut up and roasted on the grill and placed on top of slices of toasted bread. Then make the pomegranate sauce (as explained above) adding more pomegranate and sugar and pour on top and serve warm.
Another way of preparing Green Mutton Stew
Get to work preparing the mutton as is stated, by cutting the mutton into walnut-sized pieces, and bring it to a boil with water, salt, a piece of fat back, and a whole onion. When the onion and fat back are done, take them out and put them on a cutting board and add a good amount of vegetables, parsley, mint and cilantro, and chop it all up while still warm. After it is well chopped, and the mutton well cooked, add the vegetable and the minced fat back to the pot: if you see that there is too much stock, take a little out before adding the vegetables, and season with all spices, and add a little verjuice if there is time, and boil two or three times: then beat three or four egg yolks mixed with a little vinegar, and you will take the whole thing out along with the vegetables and set them with the egg yolks and serve it on a bed of sliced bread. Then put the whole thing on top: and if you were making a lot of dishes at once, do not set them with the eggs but rather with some good lard, and heat it up well, and mix in a little flour and fry it up so that it does not burn, only until it forms little white bubbles, and pour it into the stew and add a little saffron, and a little verjuice, and it is going to be delicious: and when you serve it, garnish it with a flower on top.
This recipe is similar to today's espinacas a la catalana (Catalan-style spinach) but also has garbanzos.
The most common way to make spinach is to cook it as a sweet dish, sprinkled with raisins and pine nuts. First, cook the spinach, chop it up and squeeze out the extra water. Pour a lot of olive oil over the dish, add onion and season with spices, and salt and a little verjuice, and then add honey as a sweetener, or sugar, and its raisins, pine nuts, and sometimes garbanzos. And this spinach dish should have no stock, because the other ingredients should be lightly added.
Support Your Public Radio Station