Friday, June 15, 2007

Bloomsday Breakfast Recipes (2)

Tomorrow, the 16th of June is Bloomsday, an Irish holiday to celebrate the life of the writer James Joyce. All of the 'action' of James' novel Ulysses takes place on June 16th 1904, and the chief protagonist is Mr Leopold Bloom.

"Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine."

Last year I gave you a recipe for one of Bloom's favourite dishes - fried kidney ( and I have repeated it below for the sake of completeness), so today I give you recipes for some of his other favourite dishes, so you can have yourself a Bloomsday breakfast or dinner.

Heart, Calf’s [Roast]
Wash the heart very clean, soak it in vinegar and water, fill it with a forcemeat made of four ounces of crumb of bread, two ounces of butter, two table-spoonfuls of chopped parsley, half a tea-spoonful of finely-minced lemon rind, and a little salt and cayenne. Fasten the heart securely and roast before a clear fire for an hour and a half to two hours. Serve it with goodmelted butter mixed with a table-spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar. A calf’s head is improved by partially boiling it before it is roasted.

[Cassell’s “Dictionary of Cookery” (1870’s)]

Liver, Fried.
Cut one pound of liver into slices, a quarter of an inch in thickness, and dredge some flour over them. Take an equal number of slices of bacon, fat and lean together. Fry the bacon first, and when it is done enough, draw the rashers from the fat, and place them on a hot dish. Fry the slices of liver in the same fat, and when lightly browned on both sides, dish bacon and liver in a circle, a slice of each alternately. Pour the fat from the pan, and dredge a little flour into it. Add a quarter of a pint of broth, a little salt and pepper, and a table-spoonful of mushroom ketchup. Stir smoothly together until the sauce boils, and pour it into the dish with the liver. Garnish with sliced lemon. If liked, a table-spoonful of finely-minced gherkins or pickled walnuts may be added to the sauce.
[Cassell’s “Dictionary of Cookery” (1870’s)]

Giblet Soup.
Stew the giblets (i.e head, neck, feet, gizzard, liver, heart, &c., “all the parts of a goose that are left behind when it goes to the spit to be roasted”), in 3 pints of water, and cook until the gizzard is tender, by which time all the other parts are sure to be well done; a little thyme should be used to flavour, and salt and pepper to season; strain the liquor, and when it is cold remove all fat and grease. Cut up the cold giblets into small pieces ready to add to the soup when required.
Beef stock must be added to the giblet stock, in quantitu according to the number of diners; the beef stock to be of course flavoured with vegetables, onion, &c. Add the minced giblets to the combined stocks. Heat well, and serve as hot as possible.
Have ready some light and delicate suet and flour dumplings, the size of a large walnut, well boiled and tender, to be served in the soup; allow 2 or more for each person.
Add the freshly made dumplings to the soup when it is in the tureen.

[The Cookery Book of Lady Clarke of Tillipronie; 1909]

Kidney Fritters.
Make a batter with four well-beaten eggs, mixed with half a pint of new milk, and flavoured with a little pepper, salt, and pounded mace. Stir into this a teaspoonful each of finely shredded chives, parsley and mushrooms, and a table-spoonful of the remains of a cold veal kidney finely minced, and mixed with half its weight of fat. Beat together for two or three minutes, then melt an ounce of butter in the frying pan, pour in the mixture, and stir it until it is set. When it is browned on one side, turn it on a hot dish, hold a salamander or red-hot shovel over it for a minute or two to colour it on the other, and serve immediately.

[Cassell’s “Dictionary of Cookery” (1870’s)]

Of course, any potato dish would be suitable for an Irish day; there are plenty to chose from in the Fun with Potatoes archive.

I am on the hunt now for an appropriate recipe for cod roe ....


Lapinbizarre said...

Could have done without the fried liver! Yesterday evening a misguided and more than a slightly intoxicated friend brought me a treat of fried liver and onions from the neighbourhood "greasy spoon". Had not realized that fried liver can achieve the thinness and texture of roofing tile. Even the dogs were unenthusiastic.

Query - totally different topic - was Elizabeth David well-regarded in Australia in the '50's and early '60's? I ask because I have now acquired nice copies of two quite difficult early David "firsts" (one, the uncorrected proof of Fr. Provincial Cooking, spectacularly difficult)from dealers down-under.

Just wondered. Roger

Lapinbizarre said...

ps. Made one of Lady Clark's potted salmon recipes yesterday. Would not particularly recommend it (maybe "processing" the fish, rather than pounding in a mortar affects affects the end result), tho' should you try it do not be tempted to go easy on the spices during in the cooking stage.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Roger; I've never made a potted fish of any kind - potted beef, yes, but not fish. I always fancied potted shrimps though - must do that soon.

Anonymous said...

Shrimps are a good idea. Don't stint the mace, and SMALL shrimp (a US friend, unfamiliar with UK potted shrimp, attempted it with pretty large-count "sea bugs" and the result was not ideal). Mrs. Grigson, who knew a thing or two, says that they were better in the "old days", when the catch was boiled at sea, in salt water, and shelled and potted later the same day. Nowadays they're flash frozen as soon as they're caught, and sit forever. Good info & recipe, pp's 138-9 of her "British Cookery".

Regarding Lady C's salmon - two things I would correct in improbable event that I made it again:

a. More spice. Mace & allspice can easily overpower and I was cautious. Should not have been.

b. The finished paste is too dry. There was excellent "gravy" in the crock in which I cooked the salmon. Lady C makes no mention of this, post-cooking and cooling, so my dogs' gain was my loss, but a measure of this added to the fish would almost certainly have improved matters. Also the hour for which Lady Clark recommended cooking was definitely on the long side and undoubtedly contributed to the dryness of the salmon. Roger (LB)

Anonymous said...

dear Foodie. what is the.. explanation.. for the British/French/Euro consumption of kidneys, if they really do smell like urine while cooking and once in the dish? how long has this been going on, and were kidneys as popular as they seem to have been? this is something with which i have little familiarity, i simply cannot understand it and do not have any context to place it in. it puzzles me greatly! do people still regularly eat kidneys? how on Earth could something piss-tasting appeal to so many people?

Lapinbizarre said...

(g)astronomer - You didn't recognize the flavor last time you ate a hot dog?

The Old Foodie said...

Hello (G)Astronomer. Once upon a time, once a beast was killed, it was eaten nose to tail in a shortish time, depending on the weather. Nothing was wasted and people were not as squeamish as we are now - I guess they had to get down and dirty to source all their food, no supermarket plastic-wrapped and sanitised niceties. There are recipes specifying kidney in 14th c cookbooks. Steak-and-kidney pie seems to have been a nineteenth century phenomenon - probably the kidney was used to replace the oyster, which was a common ingredient in "meat" dishes.
As for the urine-tang: well, urine is a sterile chemical solution (in a healthy animal) so there is nothing germy about it - although I appreciate that it is unaeshetic for some. But then some people find the smell of some cheeses offensive.
Roger - you have hit the nail on the head - I didnt recognise it before, but the smell of kidney IS more "chemical" than uriniferous.
Personally, I love kidney.

Lapinbizarre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lapinbizarre said...

Just posted incomplete piece in error. Try again

Cod roe - basic standard method (Wn. European, at any rate) seems to be poaching, cooling, slicing & frying).

Used to eat kidneys quite frequently - preferred method sliced, seasoned & floured, lightly fried, french mustard & sherry added in final stage. Seldom see them, even Down South, nowadays - sheep's kidneys, never. Roger

Anonymous said...

James Joyce is my favorite for the food recipes, I find reading them interesting. I have never tried any of them.