Egardusye–Sweet and Sour Fish


It’s Medieval Day in the kitchen again. Today we’re going to be making Egardusye, which is a kind of fish stew. Actually, the term egardusye, or egerdouce, comes from two french words aigre-doux, which means “sour-sweet”, but have had various spellings over the years. It originated as a sort of sauce to put over meat, but this version, which comes from The Form Of Cury from the late 14th century, actually mentions fish as part of the ingredients. Below is the original recipe:

For to make egardusye: Tak Lucys or Tenches and hack them small in gobbets and fry them in oil de olive and seeth nym vinegar and the third part of sugar and minced onions small and boil altogether and cast therein cloves, maces, & quibibs and serve it forth.

Here is my version, redacted for the modern kitchen:

1 1/2 pounds firm fish, such as cod

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. mace

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Cut the fish into smallish pieces–I usually make them about 1 x 2 inches. Put your flour into a flat pan, and toss the fish to coat. heat the oil in a frying pan, and brown the fish on both sides over medium high heat. Remove to a paper towel after browning. You may need to add additional oil as you fry, because of the flour.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, and spices to  boil. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the raisins and the fish, and cook for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the fish is cooked.

Serve it forth!

I have actually combined two recipes here. The egerdouce recipes that are just sauces mention the addition of dried fruits. You will notice that the above recipe mentions the fish, but not the fruit. So I combined them both!  I also chose to use balsamic vinegar as part of the the mix because in part it adds a richness of taste and color, and in period the vinegar used would likely have been made from sour wine. You can either served this dish over rice, or on its own. The original recipe also does not mention the use of flour, but flour is a great way to develop a crust on the fish and get the sauce to adhere. This dish, like the other fish dish I have listed, is also a great way to get kids to eat fish.

I’m sure you have noticed by now the gargoyles that have cropped up in my pictures. I have a collection, and when they found out I was doing a blog, they insisted they be part of the process. More about gargoyles in a future posting.

And now for the nature part of our day.  I posted a few weeks back about the birds nest that appeared on our front porch. Well, the three eggs grew to four, and the baby birds have hatched! Below, you will see the progress of my little adopted bird family. The momma bird is a house wren, a type of starling, and has tolerated my visits to her family. The hatchlings have now started to develop their adult feathers, and have their eyes open. Not often though, as they sleep quite a lot (as all babies do). So i have a difficult time getting pics of them awake.

Chicks about 1 day old!

Chicks about 1 week old

Chicks about 3 weeks old







See you next time!

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