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Feast Recipes

Here are the recipes used for a Students' Feast. All of the recipes used have been adapted from "period" sources:

Rice Cooked in Almond Milk

Throw the rice into boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain. In a food processor, blend almonds and hot water. Strain the resulting milk into a saucepan. Add three tablespoons sugar and drained rice, slowly bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, until rise is soft and tender and mixture is fairly thick; it will look like a lumpy puree, but should still have a little unabsorbed liquid on the surface. (Arborio rice will take a little longer to cook than ordinary short-grain rice, and may need additional water.) Taste while cooking; if desired, add the additional table spoon of sugar. Cool slightly and turn into a serving dish, or into a bowl lined with plastic wrap if you want to un-mold it. Serve slightly chilled, sprinkled with sugar, or sugar and cinnamon.

Grilled Mushrooms with Pancetta and Garlic

Choose flat mushrooms with largish caps. Wipe mushrooms clean, trim stems. Chop pancetta and garlic and mix the two. Continue chopping to make a fairly homogenous mixture. Distribute this mixture evenly in mushroom caps, season with pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Grill under preheated grill for about 5 minutes, or until pancetta has melted into mushrooms. Serve hot.

Herbed Stuffed Chicks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel eggs and rub through a sieve. Toss parsley and sage with spice powder and stir into egg mixture. Stir in melted butter. Stuff chicks with mixture. Truss or sew up cavity and place in roasting pan in oven, or skewer and roast on barbecue, for about 45 minutes or until cooked. Transfer to serving dish, garnish with parsley.

Spice Powder

Mix all ingredients together. Store in a covered container.

NOTES: If not available, you can substitute ground cardamom for the grains of paradise. I used raw sugar to keep the color as brown as possible.

Pears In Syrup

In a small sauce pan, soak fennel seeds in red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until wine is absorbed or evaporated. Set seeds aside on a tray to dry. Cut pears into quarters and core. Bring water to a boil, add pears, cover, reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender but not soft (about 10-15 minutes). Add honey and cook 10 minutes more. Strain pears and put in serving dish. Return sauce to heat and reduce to desired consistency. Pour over pears. Garnish with fennel seeds and serve.

Roman Noodles

Blend meal which has been separated from chaff with water in the best way. When it has been blended, spread it out on a board and roll it with a rounded and oblong piece of wood such as bakers are accustomed to use in such a trade. Then when it has been drawn out to the width of a finger, cut it. It is so long you would call it a fillet. It ought to be cooked in rich and continually boiling broth, but if, at the time, it must be cooked in water, put in butter and salt. When it is cooked, it aught to be put in a pan with cheese, butter, sugar, and sweet spices.

My redaction:

In a large pot, boil the noodles until al dente. Drain. Put noodles into a baking dish approximately 9x14. Grate the Mozzarella cheese. Cover the noodles with the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan. Place into a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted to a nice golden brown.

NOTE: You may, if you wish, sprinkle some powder forte on the noodles and cheese then bake it.

Paduan Boiled Meats

A traditional Paduan dish-bollito-appropriate for large numbers must have been developed early in the city's history. For then, as now, hordes of pilgrims to the cathedral of Saint Anthony, tourists, and students at University needed to be fed. This version of the rich bollito contains beef and chicken.

Put the piece of beef in a pot large enough to hold it and the capon comfortably. Cover with cold water and bring gently to the boil. Simmer slowly for two hours. Add the chicken, vegetables, and aromatics and top up with water if necessary. Cook for another two hours, or until the chicken is tender. Meanwhile, simmer the tongue for two hours in a separate pot of water. Take it out and cook in a fresh lot of water for another two hours. Cook the split calf's head in the tongue's first cooking water until tender. Carve the beef and the peeled tongue into slices, the chicken into joints, and the calf's cheek into chunks. Arrange on a large serving platter. Moisten with the beef cooking liquid. Serve hot. Serves 8 to 12.

NOTE: May be served with Red Sauce or Agliata.

Isabel Garcia's Chickpeas and Honey with Cilantro

In a large pan, sauté the onions and bay leaf, if you're using it, in the olive oil over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is golden. Add the drained chickpeas, thyme, and cardamom. Cook over medium low heat only until heated through (about 6 minutes). Remove the bay leaf, if you used it. Stir in the honey and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve at once. Serves 4.

NOTES: The frozen pearl onions afford a nicer texture than the fresh onions, but they do not brown as readily. This dish may be served hot or cold.

Pedro Abella's Sugar Wafer Cookies

Cream the sugar and butter until smooth. Mix in, one at a time, the wine, hot water and orange extract. Add the sifted flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Mix until smooth. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drop the batter by teaspoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Six to eight will fit on a sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the edges turn brown. Remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet before placing them on a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Store the cookies tightly covered. Makes 24 cookies.

NOTE: The cookies spread out while cooking to make a thin wafer. Be careful not to over bake.