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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mudejan Cuisine by Jenny

Welcome to Elaine's blog.  My name is Violet McCallum, and this handsome man beside me is my husband Matt.  Elaine told our story in her book A New Dream, so we decided to give her the month of December off.  We've done a good job too, haven't we, Matt?

I think so.  Readers, you've stopped by at just the right time.  With Christmas coming, I bet you'd like a new recipe to try, so this entire week we'll be posting recipes supplied by Elaine's author friends. Violet, who's up today?

Today's recipe is supplied by Jenny Twist.  It's a Mudejan recipe, and it sounds good.  Jenny told me that they eat a lot of Moorish cuisine in her part of Spain.  It was ruled by the Moors for hundreds of years, and those who weren't kicked out by the Christians were known as the Mudejans - 'The Ones Who Stayed Behind.'  Here's the recipe.


2-3 Pork fillets (depending on size)

20 Rashers streaky bacon or pancetta

Walnuts, roughly chopped

Dates, pitted and roughly chopped

2 Large tomatoes, skinned and diced

1 Carrot, diced

1 Stick celery, diced

1 Onion, diced

250 ml white wine

500 ml meat stock

Black pepper, salt, sprigs of rosemary and thyme

Serves 6 as a main course

Slit each fillet lengthways almost all the way through. Turn over and beat flat. Turn back again and lay a line of walnut down the centre, then a line of dates. Roll up the fillet and wrap with 4 or 5 rashers of bacon\pancetta.

Bake in a medium oven (180 deg. C) for about 45 min. or in a barbecue with a lid. (If the latter, keep the centre of the BBQ clear of coals and place a drip tray there.)

For the sauce, sweat the diced vegetables in olive oil until soft. Now add a handful each of chopped dates and walnuts, the herbs, salt and pepper, wine, stock and the remaining bacon\pancetta, and simmer for ½ hour. Take out the bacon and any woody bits of herb and blend the rest. Put the puree back in the pan and reduce until the thickness and flavour are to your liking. Sieve for a smoother finish if prefered

When the meat is done let it rest a few minutes and remove the bacon. (You can leave it on if you prefer but it´s given up a lot of its flavour and makes carving more difficult.) Slice the fillets at a slant about 1 -2 cm thick. This dish is good hot or cold.

Wow, Violet, that sounds great.  Maybe we should try this for Christmas.

(Violet frowns.)  You don't want my turkey and stuffing?

Oh, yeah, it's great.  (Aside to readers: But I like pork better.  Shh.  Don't tell her I said so.)  Honey, let's share an excerpt from Jenny's book.

Good idea.  Here goes.

G Rated Excerpt from Domingo's Angel - Jenny Twist
The next day he took his goats to the top of the ridge near the pass and looked down on the smallest casita of Guillermo the mayor. There was a mule tethered outside and a string of washing had been hung between two almond trees. Otherwise there was no sign of life. Halfway down the slope was a large algarrobo tree. He decided it would be an ideal place for lunch.

But although he sat and watched the little house all the time as he ate his bread and cheese and olives and drank his wine, nobody came out and nothing happened. Only the mule moved along the side of the house to keep in the shade as the sun moved round. So he went to sleep.

When he woke up, someone was calling him. “Hola, goatherd!”

He squinted up into the sun and there, standing before him was an angel. It was very tall and thin and there was a fiery halo round its head. “Hello,” it said, "Soy Ángela - I am angel. I am delighted to meet you! Who are you?”

In absolute panic, Domingo shot up into a sitting position and shuffled backwards into the algarrobo tree. His head hit the hard trunk with a resounding crack and he subsided and slumped back down, feeling a little stunned.
The angel came forward into the shadow of the algarrobo tree and he realised that the halo was, in fact, hair - very long hair - falling in waves down beyond her shoulders and almost to her waist. It was exactly the colour of oranges that have dried on the tree. Her skin was so white it was almost blue and her eyes were so pale they had no colour at all. “How could they think she was a dead person?” he thought in a confused fashion. “She is obviously an angel.”
Happy reading
Jenny Twist


Jenny Twist said...

Hi Elaine
Thank you for having me on your blog. Hope all your friends enjoy the recipe. It's one of my favourites.

Criss said...

Hi Elaine & Jenny! I'm always on the hunt for new recipes so thank you for this great one, I'll be sure to try it out. Love the except! Happy Holidays!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks for stopping by, Criss. I'm definitely trying Jenny's recipe. It sounds delicious.

Jenny Twist said...

Thanks, Criss. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. My husband's pièce de résistance!