mercoledì 24 agosto 2011

Sauce épicurienne (to avoid a platonic dinner)

On a Deptford Market stall last Saturday I found for only two pound an amazing used book, The Ideal Cookery Book. Published few years after the II World War, the book contains 3,156 recipes, most of them with french names.

Not yet experimented, I post hereby my (so far) favourite one. At least the best among the sauces.
Such a book needs almost a whole life to go through, but the following recipe captured me not only for the name.
I love Epicurus enough to be delighted just by imagining the flavour. Maybe my friend Daniela could taste it on my behalf. (By the way, Daniela, you would love the book...)

132 Sauce épicurienne

1 cucumber; 1 gill* mayonnaise sauce; 1/2 gill* cream; a little anchovy essence; 1 tablespoon aspic jelly; 1 tablespoon of vinegar; 2 tablespoon chopped gherkins; salt; pepper

Peel the cucumber, cut in quarters and take out the seeds, divide into small pieces, put into a saucepan, cover with sufficient water to cook them**, add some salt and boil until tender; strain and rub through a hair sieve***.
As soon as this purée is cold, stir it into the mayonnaise sauce; add the aspic jelly, anchovy essence****, and cream; add the chopped gherkins, pepper, and salt. Serve with asparagus or artichokes.

Average cost, 1s. 3d. Time required, 40 min. In season from April to September.

*A gill is not just a respiratorial organ of fish, but a British imperial capacity unit equal to 5 fluid ounces or 142.066 cubic centimeters (!)
**I have never cooked a cucumber in my life (niether Epicurus did, maybe Plato, in search of a second nature of the cucumber).
*** '50 style-blender
****Anchovy N°5, by Chanel.

2 commenti:

  1. Ma eccomi, mostro che sono. E neppure l'avevo vista!! Eccome se la provo, già tumorov a una cena, guarda.
    Ci metto vicino uno spread di aringa affumicata, così fan due puccette e via che si va. E il libro, già dal titolo, mi pare che mi possa piacere un bel pò.

  2. Allora, ligiamente ho sperimentato con:
    1 gill(ahahah)light mayonnaise sauce
    5-6 pickled gherkins, cut in rounds
    few drops of my favourite anchovy essence: colatura di alici di cetara
    un cucchiaio di panna liquida (ma si può evitare)
    e basta. Passato al mixer, no aceto needed, no sale, no agar agar. No nothing.
    Forse, volendo, un pò di pepe.
    Lasciar raffreddare in frigo fino al momento di servire. Noi, ieri su baguette leggermente tostata, come parte di una spread-frenzy con crema di aringa affumicata, cipolla e ricotta, e un'idea di panna ad ammorbidire.