Cream of Almond Soup, Medieval Cooking Part 2

Cream of Almond Soup was a traditional recipe often prepared in Medieval times. Ground or powdered nuts were used to thicken broth and stewed in milk with a spices or herbs.

Before we explore this unusual Cream of Almond Soup, or Crème Almaundys, here is a quick refresher on what is considered Medieval times. The Middle Ages covers roughly the 5th to the 15th century. It is called the Middle Ages because it is the middle period of the three main divisions of history, at least the Western one: first is Antiquity which ends with the collapse of the Roman Empire, second is the Medieval period, and third we have the Modern period which started with the Renaissance.

Almond Soup

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Ro-be-yann nashif (Shrimp Fried with Spices)

Ro-be-yann nashif is a magical dish from the United Arab Emirates where plump shrimps cook slowly with loads of exotic spices, bezar, loomi and curry leaves.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose two savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. This month we are off to United Arab Emirates where we will savor Ro-be-yann nashif, or Shrimp Fried with Spices.

Ro-be-yann nashif

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Gobi Pakora, an Indian Cauliflower Fritter

Aromatic spiced bouquets of cauliflowers are drenched in batter and lightly fried. The result is a classic Indian snack called Gobi Pakora.

I still remember very clearly the first time I went to an Indian restaurant. I was probably 16 and my friend, Helen 23, had suggested it. This lunch was probably the first defining exotic meal I had, one of the first bricks of a path I built that lead me down this blog adventure. So thank you Helen! I remember I played it safe and ordered Chicken Tandoori. But I fell in love. I am not sure what else I had that time but the following Indian meals often included today’s recipe, a staple snack or vegetable side dish, Cauliflower fritters known as Gobi Pakora.

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Great book gift ideas

Still looking for a few great gift ideas for the chef or foodie in your life? I have a few excellent suggestions for you today. This is a very varied mix of books touching on recipes, travel, health and treasures to be found in the pantry.

I have been enjoying every moment spent leafing through these books, testing their theories, trying out recipe and planning a few future seasoning purchases. I am including the main description of the books and a “my-2-cents” paragraph for each. Enjoy!

Yunnan_Cookbook

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Halloween Squid Ink Pasta with Pumpkin & Cured Epidermis

The makings of a grown up halloween dish: seasonal squash, homemade squid Ink Pasta and “cured epideris”.

Well this year Halloween was not going to get away with just once post apparently. When I was hunting for black food coloring I came close to using squid ink in a sweet out of desperation to get my black color. My pastry chef friend Karyn saved that day … but now I really wanted to use the squid ink to. Fresh made Squid Ink Pasta to the rescue. Throw in some pumpkin for color and atmosphere, and a little bit of suspicious meat: Squid Ink Pasta with Pumpkin and Cured Epidermis.

Happy Halloween buaaahahahaha!

Squid Ink Pasta with Pumpkin and proscuitto

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Bahraini Chicken Machboos

I have again a new monthly challenge group to introduce. This one is called MENA, or Middle Eastern & North African Cooking Group, which could not fall any closer to my blog’s topic interests. The goal is to learn more about the selected country, its food traditions and how to prepare the selected recipe. The host will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country, you pick which one to make. For my first time participating we were assigned Bahrain and I chose to go with the Bahraini Chicken Machboos. Definitely a first for me.

Bahraini Chicken Machboos

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The Liver Experiment Week 9: Beef and Liver Chili

Can you believe we are already at the 9th installment of The Liver Experiment where I will try to acquire a taste for liver? Over a 10 week period I will cook, consume and post my experience once a week about trying to appreciate my food nemesis. I hope my experiment will inspire you to try the same with your own personal food nemesis. And even if you are determined to hate liver for life I hope you will follow along throughout the whole series.

I had leftover beef liver from the Austrian Liver Dumplings on week 3. If you have been reading the series you will know that the dumplings were a disaster as beef liver is very strong in taste and I just could not eat them. But surely a Beef and Liver Chili would be a great way to use what I have left by smothering it in spices and tomatoes, right?

Beef and Liver Chili

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