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Fresh lamprey With Hot Sauce


This is an excerpt from Le Viandier de Taillevent
(France, ca. 1380 - James Prescott, trans.)
The original source can be found at James Prescott's website

Fresh lamprey with Hot Sauce. Bleed it through the mouth (insert a spit to make it bleed better) and remove its tongue. Keep the blood well, for it is the fat. Scald it like eel, and roast it on a very thin spit onto which it is threaded crosswise to form one or two [loops]. Grind ginger, cassia, cloves, grains_of_paradise, nutmeg and a bit of grilled bread soaked in the blood and vinegar, and (if you wish) a bit of wine; steep everything together and boil for an instant. Then add your lamprey whole. The sauce should not be too black if it is clear; but when it is so thick that it is called mud, it should be black.

It is not necessary to boil the lamprey with the sauce. In this case, carry the lamprey completely dry before the table. Put the clear sauce or the mud on the lamprey, or in bowls. Cut the lamprey lengthwise into pieces and send it on plates to the table. However, some epicures wish to have it quite dry, on the plate it was brought on, with the sauce of its drippings in the pan, and with fine salt.

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