Another Lesson in Culinary History. You may find an interesting recipe from the past, but that doesn't mean it's good. Case in point: this aspic from 1957. Disgusting.
Just thinking about it made me want to gag. But I made it. With Velveeta, which I've never used before. Ate a little and then gagged. (The onion sounds horrid, but you can't really taste it.)
But it occured to me that the idea was actually sound. Imagine a lime flavored cocktail nibbling on cheese and good olives. Now, if you weren't using lime flavored jello. And of course I added vodka. And real lime juice, just a touch of sugar to balance the acid. And then good cheese, a St. Andre Triple Cream. And now I totally get it. Garnished as directed. Delicious. And indeed, a salad. My guess is that the 7-Up people and Jell-O people took a perfectly fine recipe and tried to make it with their propriety ingredients and totally messed it up. There must be an original somewhere. Lesson learned: don't be afraid to make a terrible sounding recipe good - at least after you've followed the directions once.
Oh, directions: Squeeze the juice of a lime and a half or 1/4 cup. Add 1 1/2 packets unflavored gelatin. Heat 3/4 cup of vodka to boiling. Add that to gelatin. Pour into small molds (I used four very small ones) and drop in the celery, olives, cheese cubes. Then garnish with tomato and more cheese on a lettuce leaf. You could actually even add some salad dressing if you liked.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Thursday, June 20, 2019
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
How about I actually follow the directions and don't assume I know what I'm doing? So the bread MUST be stale. You must wet it and thoroughly wring out the water. Then you must rub it. It doesn't completely obliterate the bread but leaves some texture and as you can see bits of the crust. This is what glues everything together. Formed with two spoons like quenelles. Simmered 5 minutes in chicken stock. Beautiful and delicious.
Lesson learned. Don't assume you know better. Follow the recipe! Next time I'll use parsley too, which she offers as an option.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
A Lesson in Culinary History
Lately I have been playing obsessively with alcohol laden aspics. Think of these as sophisticated jello shots. I was overjoyed to find one such in Messisbugo's Banchetti published in Ferrara in 1549. It's basically a Capon in Gelatin. Made with a bottle of wine and a riot of spices. Here's the recipe translated by me.
Take a capon and the feet of four capons, and place them to boil in sweet white wine, until it is cooked, and when it's cooked, take the flesh, the wings, and whatever you want to cover, and let the rest boil together, and let it cook well, then place in a little spoon of vinegar, half a pound of sugar, or honey, an ounce and a half of cinnamon, a sixth of pepper, and a quarter of ginger, a sixth of mace, a little saffron, then pass this decoction through a sieve, and have your little plates with the reserved capon at the bottom and bay leaves, and pour it over, let it cook and it will be good.
Happily for the video itself I followed the directions exactly. RULE #1 of all culinary history. FOLLOW THE DAMNED RECIPE. No short cuts, no second guesses, no substitutions. If you can't get the ingredients, don't make it. For this I used a rooster, head feet and all, plus the extra 8 feet. All found at the SF Asian Market here in Stockton. And I used the Renaissance half pound of sugar - which is 12 ounces x 1/2 or 6 ounces or about 12 tablespoons. Sounds excessive? Absolutely not. The second one is remarkably delicious. Not too sweet at all, but beautifully perfumed, delicate and almost evanescent in its lightness. I can almost hear the Este Dukes gasp in wonder at the first mouthful.
So lesson learned. Follow the recipe and if it means sacrificing that instagrammable image, trust me, you will be happier in having made something edible. The author always knows best.
Grazie Maestro Messisbugo!