Salmon Pastries

Another nice recipe from the Mondseer Kochbuch:

Atlantic salmon, courtesy of wikimedia commons

17 How to fry salmon

Take a salmon and scrape off its scales. Split it and cut it to pieces. Chop parsley and sage, take pounded ginger, pepper, and anise. Salt it in measure. Prepare a coarse dough (derben taig) according to the size of the pieces and throw the seasoning (das kraut) onto the pieces and wrap them in (bewirff sey mit) the dough. If you can stamp them in a mould, do that. You can also prepare pike and trout this way. And fry each one separately in the dough. But if it is a meat day, you can prepare chickens, partridges, pigeons and pheasants this way if you have the moulds. And fry them in fat or boil them in their moulds. Take chicken breasts or other good meat, thus the art will be all the better. Do not oversalt it, and serve it.

As a combination, it sounds quite attractive: Salmon slices en croute with parsley and sage seasoned with ginger, pepper, and anise. Salmon hot pockets, almost. The treatment of the fish is quite modern, too; Instead of either mashing it or leaving it whole, neither of which appeals to most contemporary Europeans, it is cut into portion-sized pieces. If you are trying to get your friends or family to try historical European food, this is not the worst place to start.

Another interesting point is that the fish pastries are moulded. That is presumably the meaning behind a derben taig. The dough is not made from coarse meal or otherwise rough, it is firm and holds its shape. The qualifier “if you have those moulds” with the poultry suggests that the mould meant here is fish-shaped. Whether we are talking about flat pastries with a fish stamped on them or somethionmg a lot more three-dimensional is unclear, but there certainly were quite elaborate moulds for making faux dishes and boiling in them, as described here, is a familiar technique. I might just get myself one of those odd fish-shaped pudding moulds at a flea market and try it out.

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