Monday, 7 November 2011

Remember, remember...

Pleased to report that the 17th century supper was a success. It was very definitely historically inspired rather than accurate though, as Tooting Sainsbury's is not well known for stocking usefully obscure products. 

(They do sell jellied eels though. Just FYI.)

All my recipe inspiration ended up coming from the same website, the marvellously named Seat of Mars, except for the dessert which I made up a bit. Links below to the original recipes along with anything I changed.

This should have been mutton, but I wanted to do lamb for the next course so went with pork instead. The flavour was amazing... we all thought it reminded us of something but couldn't figure out what. Still haven't.

Red Coleslaw

You can get tinned oysters. Did you know? Very useful here. And artichokes in jars, too. The recipe for the spinach fritters misses off the amount of spinach and eggs, but a full bag of spinach and two eggs seemed about right. Oh, and use dried breadcrumbs, not fresh.

The red coleslaw I made up as I thought we needed something a little bit fresher and lighter. I figured 17th century people probably would have had red cabbage, purple carrots and beetroot. If not mayonnaise...

Cider Syllabub

I felt that cider was more authentic than sherry, so went with that. It was supposed to have been served with gingerbread  but that... was not a success. So I grated some ginger Green and Blacks on top instead. Cocoa had just about made it to Europe, right? 

Cider Syllabub

300ml double cream
rind and juice from half a lemon
50g caster sugar
125ml cider
15ml sherry

Mix everything except the cream together in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms stiff peaks then slowly fold in the liquid. Divide into four bowls and refrigerate until ready (a couple of hours, at least).

I think the most revelatory thing about this meal was that everything tasted amazing! I'm not usually a fan (at all) of fruit in savoury dishes, and would never have dreamed of cooking with oysters, but everything got eaten and enjoyed. It was a really good experience in stepping outside my comfort zone, both in terms of ingredients and style of cooking.

Playing Trivial Pursuit later, however, taught us a different lesson:

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