Lost Days and Nights

2010.Oct.19 Tuesday · 1 comment

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

“The Gregorian calendar used by most of the world today is not very old. In 1472, Pope Sixtus IV asked an astronomer to reform the Julian calendar, which had been used since 46 B.C., and was 11 minutes and 15 seconds too long every year. By the fifteenth century the true vernal equinox was nine days before March 21.

But the astronomer died and it was not until 1582 that Pope Gregory XIII promulgated a new calendar. By 1582 the discrepancy between the vernal equinox and the Julian calendar had increased to 10 days, so Pope Gregory ordered them dropped – October 5 became October 15.”

– The Speaker’s Quote Book

What better for a Casa S theme than 10 missing days a half a millennium ago caused by a calendar change? And it gave great flexibility to the planning of the menu – I took the first four countries to make the switch, Poland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, and the last, Great Britain (170 years later in 1752). So, off I went…

Beet & Cucumber Salad

We started off in Poland, with a roasted beet salad, sliced cucumbers, and a yogurt and horseradish dressing, along with a drizzle of the roasted beet juices.

Ajoblanco

And on into a warm ajoblanco, a toasted garlic and bread soup from Spain that is one of our favorites here.

Morcilla stuffed Chicken Breast

Then on to Portugal and a chicken breast stuffed with cured ham and morcilla sausage, served over an herbed hummus.

Spicy Pork Chop

And then a segue to Italy and a spicy pork chop over creamy polenta – this time using pickled ají amarillo in place of cherry peppers, and finishing the polenta with fontina cheese.

Brandied Trifle

And, finally, skipping into Great Britain, a re-worked Trifle – layers of ladyfingers, dried apricots simmered in brandy and sugar syrup, homemade mascarpone with a bit of lemon added, whipped cream, and topped off with little florentinos – a hard caramel with nuts and dried fruits over a base of chocolate (recent pastry school addition to my repertoire).

Those are my kind of lost days and nights!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steven E. Warren October 19, 2010 at 16:31

Just brilliant, Dan. As always. And here I am, sitting up on the Group W bench, eating Swiss cheese and quaffing a bottle of Atteca Old Vines ’08 on a balmy afternoon in the Hudson Valley. I want me some of that food!

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