Where the Yule logs come from ?
Well, I did miss you!
Time to come back with some news.
As you know every Saturday we propose a ‘’gourmet night’’ and once a month a themed night. This past month we did a Spanish night and it was a really big success; unfortunately we even had to refuse some reservations as there was no enough space!
The gourmet night is always a very important moment for me. I really enjoy the event because it is an opportunity for me to show the variety of my international cuisine knowledge.
In Istanbul however it is not always easy to find all the produce we need and it can therefore sometimes become a real headache to create an original menu.
I was in luck this week as I discovered a new fishmonger who happens to be a fisherman too!…. so it was a big positive surprise for I could find all I needed to make my paella; well it was a bit more expensive than the other shops I know but well worth it as it turned out to be the best quality I have ever found so far for fish. I was so happy to add this address in my notebook.
This week will also be another big moment as we are preparing everything for the New Years and Christmas festivities. It is so exiting to write the menu which will have to be very creative to be successful.
This year we will propose an ‘a la carte menu’’, a ‘’fixed menu’’ and of course the traditional ‘Yule logs’!
By the way do you know where the ‘Yule logs’ come from?
The history of the Yule log cake stretches all the way back to Europe’s Iron Age, before the medieval era. Back then, Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would gather to welcome the winter solstice at the end of December. People would feast to celebrate the days finally becoming longer, signalling the end of the winter season. To cleanse the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring, families would burn logs decorated with holly, pinecones or ivy. Wine and salt were also often used to anoint the logs. Once burned, the log’s ashes were valuable treasures said to have medicinal benefits and to guard against evil.
With the advent of Christianity, the Yule log tradition continued, albeit on a smaller scale. Families may have burned a log on Christmas Eve, but smaller hearths became the norm so huge logs were impractical. Those small hearths, however, were perfect for baking cakes. We don’t know who exactly made the first Yule log cake, but judging from the individual ingredients it could have been as early as
The 1600s. Marzipan and meringue decorations, two of the most popular choices for Yule logs, appeared on many a medieval table. Sponge cake, which often constitutes the base of the log, is one of the oldest cakes still made today. It dates back to at least 1615, when the first known recipe appeared in Gervaise Markham’s tome “The English Houswife.” The French popularized the cake in the 19th century, and different
bakeries became known for their more elaborate decorations. Nowadays, few people make Yule logs at home. Enjoy your bûche de Noël, and think of the hundreds of years of history behind it.
We will be glad to serve our delicious ‘’Buche de Noël’‘ this year. Do not hesitate to check soon online our Menu for the Holidays season!
Well Yes didn’t I promise something last time?…..What? A recipe of course! There you are:
The pastilles ( Special from Morocco)
Recipe for 4 to 5 persons.
1 kg onions, 1 small bowl of coriander with added minced parsley (it is also possible to two thirds parsley and one third coriander if needed) 250 gr almonds
1 large chicken, filo pastry, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, a bit of salt black pepper, grounded juniper berries. Saffron, 4 eggs, 3 large spoons sugar, groundnut oil.
1. Throw the almonds in boiling water to peel them. Stir them in hot oil, be careful it turns golden very fast! Lay them on kitchen towel paper to absorb the oil, ground them grind coarsely and put aside.
2. Cut the chicken in 6 to 8 pieces, cook it well in a mix of oil and water with salt and pepper.
.Once they are cooked clean them, remove the skin and all bones, keep the flesh only and cut them in big cubes. Put them aside.
In another pan put some oil, cook the onions and add all the herbs, let it simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Then add the pieces of chicken, and all the spices, very little salt and pepper and let simmer for another 15 minutes still on low heat.
Then add the eggs one by one while stirring so that they don’t set. Then add the sugar and after 4 to 5 minutes remove from heat and adjust the seasoning.
For the pastilla oil a round baking plate. Lay the filo pastry at the bottom of the plate covering the sides as well, each filo sheet must be oiled separately. You must put at least 3 or 4 sheets at the bottom to make sure the mixture doesn’t run. Apply alternative layers of filo sheets and chicken mixture and finish with a sheet.
Last, Cook in the oven at medium heat for about 20 minutes until it is golden and before you serve it decorate the top with cinnamon and icing sugar in crossing lines.