Recipe of the Week., Feb 23, 2012
- Finishing up with a month of grain dishes. at long last we get to
Frumenty, often sited as a quintessential Medieval dish. Most often we
see this served along side game and other hearty dishes, but here’s a
frumenty with chicken from the Tuscano along with a dish of farro.
Frumenty with chicken.
 Take good calvellino grain, or another good kind, cleaned and
ground in a mortar, well washed. And in the evening put it to boil; and
when it has begun to burst put a fat hen or a good piece of mutton
breast, hot, in the pot: cover it well and keep it like this until
morning. In the morning take out the chicken or the meat, and put it on
a trencher and serve it. Put the grain to cook with goat's or sheep's
milk, adding fried lard or fat: then take said meat and shred it from
the bones and make a soup; and put fried lard on top. This is a good
dish, and if you don't have milk make it with eggs and cheese.
 Take cracked spelt, picked over, and boil it a little; and with
the water thrown away wash said spelt very well and put it back to cook
with goat's or sheep's milk, or almond milk instead, until it is well
cooked. Mince fresh cheese and mix it with egg whites and put it in said
farro as it boils, and boil it a little. And then put in hen or chicken
meat, like a blancmange; and put pork fat on top of it; and if you want
to make it yellow, color it with saffron and egg yolks, and add sugar.
Janet Hinson’s translation of the Menangier de Paris contributes this
FRUMENTY. First, you must hull your wheat the same as you would for
hulled barley, and remember that for ten bowls you need a pound of
hulled wheat, which you can sometimes find at the spice-shop already
hulled for one blanc per pound. Clean it and cook it in water in the
evening, and leave it overnight covered by the fire in lukewarm water,
then take it out and wash it. Then boil milk in a skillet and do not
stir it, for it would turn: and without waiting, put it all at once into
a clean pot; and when it is cold, take the cream off the top so that
this cream does not cause the frumenty to turn, and then boil the milk
again with a little wheat, but very little wheat; then take egg yolks
and pour them in, that for each sixth of milk a hundred eggs, then take
the boiling milk, and beat the eggs with the milk, then move the pot
back and throw in the eggs, and move it back (away); and if you see that
it is trying to turn, put the pot in a full pail of water. On fish days,
use milk: on meat days, use meat juices; and you can add saffron if the
eggs aren't yellow enough; item, half a piece of ginger.
And from the Fourme of Curye we have a lenten version served with porpoise.
Cxiiij. Frumente with porpays.
Tak clene whete & bete hyt smale in a morter & fanne out
clene the doust, & thanne waysch hit clene & boyle hit tyl hit
be tendur & broken, & thanne tak the secunde mylke of al-
maundes & do therto, boyle hem to gyder tyl hit be stondyng
& tak the furst mylke and alye hit up with a penne, tak
up the porpays out of the furmente & lesch hem in a
dische with hote water and do safroun to the furmente, & yf
the porpays be salt, seeth hit by hym serlf and serve hit forth.
Next month we move on to greener pastures.