My wife and I recently picked up two pounds of very tasty frozen perch fillets. Naturally, I started thinking of medieval recipes...
From: Renaissance Recipes by Gillian Riley
Modified by: Dagonell
- 1 lb perch fillets
- 1 lemon
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste.
Peel the lemon and grate the peel. I find it's much easier to grate citrus peel that's been frozen. It's not period, but it makes cleaning the grater so much easier as well. Remove as much of the pith and skin off the lemon slices as you can. Finely chop the lemon, garlic, and parsley. Add generous pinches of salt and pepper along with the grated lemon peel.
The original recipe called for stuffing the fish, but since I was working with fillets I laid the fish out in a baking dish, and spread the mixture across them. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes so the flavors can blend. Bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes.
I thought the fish was okay. Not great, not horrible, simply okay. Would I eat it again?, yes. Am I in a hurry to re-create this recipe?, not especially. Its primary virtue is that it's relatively easy to prepare.
From: A Boke of Cookrye by A.W. (1584)
Reprinted in: To the Queen's Taste by Lorna Sass
A Pudding in a Tench Take your tench and drawe it very clene and cut it not over lowe. Then take beets boyled, or Spinage, and chop it with yolks of hard Eggs, Corance, grated Bread, Salt, Pepper, Sugar and Sinamon, and yolks of rawe Egges, and mingle it togither, and put it in the Tenches belly. Then put it in a platter with faire water and sweet butter and turn it in the Platter and set it in the Oven, and when it is inough: serve it with sippets and poure the licour that it was boiled in upon it.
Translation: Tench is a member of the Carp family. It generally yields about 4-5 pounds of meat. 'Serve it with sippets' means serve over toast. Everything else is pretty much straightforward. If you don't recognize a term, say it out loud, so Sinamon is cinnamon.
- 1 lb perch fillets
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon.
- 1 cup cooking sherry
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 slices of bread
Boil one egg in about two cups of water. When the egg is cooked, take the egg out and boil the spinach until done. Melt the butter. Drain the spinach and add the hard-boiled egg yolk, currants, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, sugar, cinnamon, and raw egg yolk. Blend well. Lay the fillets in a baking dish and baste with melted butter. Again, the original recipe called for stuffing the fish, but I was working with fillets, so I spread the mixture across them. Pour the cooking sherry over the fish and sauce. Bake uncovered at 400 for 1 hour. Serve over toast.
This recipe was absolutely heavenly. I will be making it again, and soon!