Sunday, April 5, 2015

Historical Food Fortnightly #22

The Challenge:Make It Do or Do Without

The Recipe: (where did you find it, link to it if possible) This is something I've made many times before.

Kidney Beans. Cook the kidney beans in pure water or in good broth; when they are cooked, get finely sliced onions and fry them in a pan with good oil and put these fried onions on top [of the beans] along with pepper, cinnamon and saffron; then let this sit a while on the hot coals; dish it up with good spices on top.

The Date/Year and Region: 15th Century, Italian

How Did You Make It: (a brief synopsis of the process of creation) This is really simple to make - which is why I make it so much. I just open a can of kidney beans, drain em, and fry them in some oil with onions, cinnamon, pepper, saffron, and salt. I put this on top of a bed of rice - this time I made the rice with salt, water, and saffron. It's become something of a comfort food during Lent.

Time to Complete: about 20 minutes because of how long the rice takes to cook.

Total Cost: I always have rice on hand. And saffron. And pepper. And salt. And cinnamon. Kidney beans were only $1.29 a can and the onions were $2.50 a bag. I only used half of one onion. Basically, this is a very cheap dinner.

How Successful Was It?: (How did it taste? How did it look? Did it turn out like you thought it would?) It's really quite good. It's just basic comfort food really.

How Accurate Is It?: (fess up to your modifications and make-dos here) I cooked it on an oven but other than that, there probably isn't much difference.

The reason I chose this one for this challenge (I made this again on Thursday) was for a couple of reasons. It's a Lenten recipe- Lent is all about not having meat, eggs, dairy, or really any animal products except fish. You had to ration what you had and both rice and beans keep well for a long time.

I also wanted to use it because I should have cooked the rice in either almond milk (too sweet for this recipe) or veggie broth (which I didn't have) so I went with plain old water with a bit of salt. They clearly had both in the middle ages so I'm not worried about how accurate the recipe is.


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