nothavanas: (shortcake)

Smoking Bishop Recipe

This recipe will make enough for about 10 small glasses, double the ingredients to make a large punch bowl to serve around 20 people. It can also be re-corked in the wine bottles once cool and be re-heated and drunk in small batches over a few days.

You can use just oranges (older, bitter varieties) or just a few lemons (making it an Oxford University ‘Bishop’) although this recipe gives the right balance and authentic taste using 6 modern variety oranges and two lemons, which is then sweetened to taste with sugar.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 6 large oranges

  • 2 large lemons

  • 120g of brown sugar (demerara)

  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine

  • 1 bottle (750ml) ruby port

  • 8 cloves

  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice

  • 1/4 tsp ground mace

To serve:

  • 1 or 2 lemons, cut into wedges to serve

  • 1 or 2 oranges, cut into wedges to serve

  • a grating of nutmeg over the top

The day before: bake the large oranges and lemons in the oven on a shallow baking tray (with a lip to contain any leaking juice) on a low heat at 120°C until they are pale brown (after about an hour and a half). If any liquid leaks from the fruit when baking pour this from the tray into the bowl with the fruit and wine. After the fruit has baked in the oven stud the oranges and lemons with one of the cloves pricked into each, place into a large bowl, add the ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and mace. Add the sugar and pour in the wine – but not the port or the cinnamon sticks. Stir gently for a few minutes. Cover and leave in a warm place overnight or for 24 hours.

The next day: cut the baked oranges and lemons in half and squeeze all the juice into the spiced wine in the bowl. Do not worry about adding in the pulp and pips, this will be strained through a sieve next. Pour this wine, fruit and spice mix through a sieve into a large saucepan, use the back of a spoon to press out the juice from the pulp in the sieve. Then add the cinnamon sticks. Heat the wine to a high simmer for 5 minutes, then turn down the heat under the saucepan and add the port and heat for 20 minutes very gently (so as not to boil away the alcohol). In the last two minutes turn up the heat to a medium simmer and get the Bishop ‘smoking’ hot with vapors rising.

Following the advice given in 1836, “sweeten it to your taste, and serve it up with the lemon and spice floating in it” – taste the Bishop and add in a little more sugar if it is needed.

When the Bishop is hot through and ‘smoking’ pour into a heat-proof punch bowl or serving jug (including the cinnamon sticks) with fresh cut wedges of lemon and orange, and serve in goblets, or heat-proof glasses, and drink warm – optional, take the advice from Eliza Acton in 1845, either grate a little nutmeg on top of the Bishop in the serving jug or bowl, or as I do, grate it individually on top of the Bishop in the glasses if people request it.

I heated for 20 minutes, then transferred back to the wine/port bottles and stored overnight at room temp. An excellent drink; I described it as mulled sangria.

nothavanas: (shortcake)
I am conducting an Experiment in literary baking.

Here's the best, most faithful lembas recipe I found:

And here's what I've done.
1 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups of white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
scant 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 cup ground sliced almonds (ground with an electric spice grinder)
8 Tablespoons cold butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
4-5 oz milk
1/4 cup apple juice or apple cider

Place dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix. Add small chunks of butter in three portions and mix well. Transfer to large mixing bowl. Add sugar and honey [I used local raw meadowsweet], and mix with a wooden spoon. Add milk [whole, in this case] and cider [spiced]. Start with 4 oz (1/2 cup) milk and add a bit more if needed. Mix until a soft, sticky dough forms. Flour a worksurface and roll out the dough until a generous 1/2 inch thick. Cut into ~3" squares, using my wooden-handled metal spatula as a guide. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet, leaving a little space. Cut criss-crosses into each square with a knife. Bake at 440 °F for 14 minutes, until just browned. 
My batch made 1.5 sheets worth, so I put them in the oven together and rotated the sheets halfway through.

End result: good texture, a little more breadlike than a scone, but similar. The cardamom is a nice taste. The other flavors aren't distinct, but the whole ensemble is delicious. These would be really good with orange marmalade.

I might try kneading a bit more to develop some gluten, but not by much. I might try adding a hint of clove, maybe, or a bit less cardamom.
nothavanas: (Default)


1/2 cup dry buttermilk (can use regular powdered milk, but I'm not sure how that would affect taste/texture)
1 T. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. instant minced onions
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt 
1/4 tsp. pepper

Throw ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until it's finely 'powdered'.    

(For 1 batch of Oyster Crackers, start with 3 tbls powdered buttermilk, and scale everything to about 0.38)

For Seasoned Crackers:
Dump 16 oz oyster crackers into a gallon ziplock bag, along with 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Close bag and toss to coat. Dump in dressing mix, to which you may add a little more pepper, garlic salt, or dill as desired. Seal and toss to coat. Spread on ungreased baking sheet and bake 23 minutes at 250 °F.


Nov. 8th, 2012 05:20 pm
nothavanas: (Default)
Cape Fear Punch, Good Eats: Feeling Punchy

750 mL Bulleit Rye Whiskey
750 mL water
0.5 cup demerara sugar (or turbinado, brown, and white sugars mixed)
3 bags green tea, steeped about 4 minutes in sugar water
375 mL Courvoisier cognac
375 mL Myers rum, original dark
zest of 5 small lemons

mix and store in fridge.

mix with 2 bottles champagne and 1 L sparkling water. Ice it.
nothavanas: (Default)
So back on the 22nd I threw a party for 50 people.

Beverages were 8 2-liters and 2 6-packs of cola, plus 3 6-packs of beers and 4 bottles of wine. All the cans and most of the soda disappeared and we had about 2 full bottles worth of wine leftover, plus 3 bottles of beer.
I made a pitcher of chai from Savory Spice Shop's mix and didn't get any of it, so I don't know how that tasted. It smelled good while it was cooking, though.

I had two kinds of salsa from TJ's, with leftovers. There were tortilla chips and vegetable chips (those all got eaten) and a variety of meats and cheeses, plus Triscuits and wheat thins.

I snagged some oyster crackers at the last minute and got my mom's recipe for seasoning them. As I didn't have ranch dressing mix, I improvised like whoa with some powdered buttermilk and miscellaneous spices. They turned out very tasty.

I finally used up a gift to become tuna spread with Italian tuna packed in olive oil, butter, and some seasonings.

Larger projects:
Pot stickers with pork filling. I made those early, froze them, and cooked up as many as would fit in Vixy's giant skillet. The rest are still in our freezer, waiting.
Cheese-filo appetizers with gouda and green olives: again made in advance.
Zucchini pancakes with basil sour cream: these were amazingly delicious and very easy. I've done them again since.
Grilled Corn and Poblano Chile Chowder: which I made vegetarian by replacing bacon with olive oil and bacon salt, and chicken stock with vegetable stock. This is delicious and thick. You could eat it with a fork, if you liked. I was talked out of grilling the chiles in the gas flame; I used the broiler instead.
"Sacrilicious" bread, which is a Vixy recipe for very small loaves of whole wheat bread.

Seanan made salsa with heirloom tomatoes, nectarines, and cilantro.

Dessertwise, there were espresso chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies with real vanilla that Vixy painstakingly hand-decorated, and an impromptu blackberry pie from berries three blocks south of our house.

Dave brought onion dip, because he does that, and someone else brought different blackberries and fresh whipped cream, and someone else again brought inari sushi.
nothavanas: (Default)
I threw a birthday party for one of my roommates, which turned out to be dinner and cake for 13 people. No pressure for my first dinner party! :D
Monday I baked the cake, using White Cake II from the '97 Joy of Cooking. I added an awful lot of food coloring and made a green and yellow checkerboard cake with three layers.
Tuesday I did the rest of the prep. I filled the cake with raspberry preserves (heated and strained directly onto the layers), frosted it with Butter Frosting (from Better Homes and Gardens Baking Book) tinted a lovely shade of purple, and decorated it. Sooj added some lovely flowers, lavender and sweet pea. Then I baked Olive Oil Bread, using 1.5 cups white flour and 1 cup white whole wheat. I keep trying to use a pizza stone and it keeps coming out thin and crispy, and oddly shaped. I need to reduce baking time a lot, and maybe try a better improvised peel. I set up the standard tomato-and-garlic pasta sauce, using 4 15-oz cans of tomatoes and scaling up appropriately. I measured out the oil, which ended up being a little too much. Next time I just eyeball it, as usual. After the sauce was simmering, with some Yellowtail Shiraz added, I prepped 5 ears of corn, cutting the tips and ends off and cutting each ear in half. That was a little harder than I expected, but I stuck them in a dish in the microwave, with some water added and saran wrap over them, and just let them wait. They eventually got microwaved for 4 minutes on high, and came out excellent.
The salad consisted of lots of different lettuces and also arugula, all from Boistfort Valley Farm, and I put the birthday girl in charge of other vegetables (carrots, red bell peppers, and celery).
I brought my food processor to a standstill making pasta with seven egg whites and five cups of flour (three white, two whole wheat). I ended up turning it out onto the counter to mix and add more water and oil to, and then back into the processor to finish. The dough came out just fine despite that.
That much pasta just barely fit into the pot, and it did boil over once or twice. I served the salad and the corn while waiting for the noodles to finish cooking, and then brought the pot and the skillet to the table.
Everyone loved all of it, which made me very happy. The sauce was exquisite, the noodles were tasty, and the cake was rich and buttery and very very colorful!
Pictures of the cake, the food, and the party to follow.


nothavanas: (Default)

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