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from the thunder-the-counter dept.
As I promised, here're the recipes for the Banquet of Jupiter. Mind you, these were all expanded greatly so as to feed 50. (apologies in advance to those of you living in metric system countries ...) (oh, and "t" is teaspoon, "T" is tablespoon):
Epityrum (serves 4) (I brought some of this to Mars, too)
1/2 lb mixed olives (I bought the pitted "Greek mix" at Berkeley Bowl's olive bar...)
Process the olives lightly in a food processor, or roughly chop them up by hand. Pour on the oil and vinegar, mix in the herbs. Pot, and pour more olive oil over. I served the relish in lidded ceramic teacups, with feta cheese and pita wedges ...
Moretum (serves 6 -- or 4 if one of them is me ;)
2 heads garlic
Peel and roughly chop the garlic, grate the cheese, roughly chop the herbs. If you're using a mortar, the way Martial describes, you need to make it as though it were allioli, ie, start with the garlic and salt and pound it to a pulp, then add the cheese and herbs, then the liquids and mix them well. If you're using a food processor, add all the solid ingredients and process til smooth, then add the liquids. Either way, gather it up into a ball and chill it. Serve it with crusty bread.
I just used canned ones from Greece ... I'm obsessive, but not THAT obsessive. ;)
Roasted quail with Apicius' pigeon sauce (serves 4)
4 quail (roast @ 350F until done)
Process the dates lightly, add the rest of the stuff and process everything until just before it gets too pasty. ;)
TASTE OF ANCIENT ROME says serve it cold, but I heated it gently and found it much improved.
1 suckling pig (~30 lb)
Rub salt over the whole pig, spit it and roast for ~8 hours (something like 1/2 hr plus an additional 15 mins per pound).
Mix all the sauce ingredients together and heat gently before pouring over the roast pig.
Lenticulae (serves 6)
1/2 lb green French lentils
Soak lentils overnight in water to cover. Next day, drain, rinse, and add fresh water to them just to cover, bring them to a boil, then simmer gently. Chop the leeks and cilantro and add them to the lentils. Combine the herbs and 1 t of the pepper and add them along with the liquids, cook until the lentils are tender. Strew olive oil and the rest of the pepper over the dish just before serving.
Steam enough asparagus, then saute it with olive oil and salt, and serve with the pan juices. You get to decide how much asparagus is enough. ;)
Cook chickpeas how you like to. I buy dried, let them soak, then boil them until tender, but I imagine canned could work too. Add a good big pinch of saffron halfway thru the cooking time.
Granum triticum (serves 4)
3/4 lb cracked wheat
Bring the water to a boil, add the cracked wheat and cook for ~25 minutes. The water will be mostly absorbed by this point; add the milk slowly and cook for another half hour.
Placenta (serves 6)
1/3 c semolina
Soak the semolina in just enough water to cover for 1 hour, then strain it and squeeze out as much of the water as possible (I used a double layer of cheesecloth). Meanwhile put 1 c of the flour into a bowl and make a dough of it with about 2 T cold water, knead thoroughly and let it rest. Once the semolina is dried, knead the rest of the flour into it and then let the dough rest.
Beat the cheese together with the 3 T of honey and set it aside.
Now here comes the elaborate part. Make one big circle out of the all-flour dough, first by rolling it, then by stretching it like a pizza; it should be about 18" in diameter. Divide the semolina dough into 6 equal pieces and roll out each one into a circle about 8" across and lay them on a floured table to rest.
Grease a large baking tray with olive oil, then spread the bay leaves on it and dress them with a smidge more oil. Carefully lift the big dough circle onto the tray. Lay one of the semolina circles in the center of it; put a generous tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the center of that and spread it out to cover the whole circle.Repeat the process like a lasagna, ending with a semolina circle. Next, fold the big flour circle up like a six-sided envelope over the filling; warm the rest of the honey and brush it liberally all over the cake. Bake at 425F for 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve it up in a large dish with a lip; pour the rest of the warm honey over it before serving.
3/4 c each poppy seeds, ground walnuts, ground hazelnuts, ground almonds
Roast the nuts under the broiler for 5 minutes, turning often. Puree the dates and figs, then add the nut mixture. Boil the honey, add 1/4 c to the puree and the rest to the sesame seeds.
Flour your hands. Divide the sesame stuff into two parts and roll each part out into a square about 1/8" thick. Cover the one square with the puree, lay the other square on top. Let set 1 hour, then carve it into little sandwiches.
For drinks, I served a muscat and a sweet white zinfandel (both of them in bottles custom labelled "FALERNIUM OPIMIANUM ANNUM CENTUM"), a home-brewed pyment (mead with grape juice) I called "Bromios" (for which I'll provide the recipe if people really want it), and for non-alcohol drinkers, a hydromel that consists of 1 part apple juice, 2 parts honey and 3 parts water simmered gently for half an hour and then refrigerated.
It was a fabulous success. I only wish there'd been pictures. We brought the pig in with the pilleus on its head and did the whole Trimalchio thang. I had a blast.
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