Thick Vegetable Soup.
One quart of the sediment which is left from the clear stock, one quart of water, one-fourth of a cupful of pearl barley, one good-sized white turnip, one carrot, half a head of celery, two onions, about two pounds of cabbage, three potatoes, salt and pepper. Wash the barley and put it on in the quart of water, and simmer gently for two hours. Then add all the vegetables (except the potatoes), cut very fine, and the quart of stock. Boil gently for one hour and a half, then add the potatoes and the salt and pepper. Cook thirty minutes longer. When there is no stock, take two pounds of beef and two quarts of water. Cook beef, barley and water two hours, and add the vegetables as before. The meat can be served with the soup or as a separate dish.
One chicken or fowl weighing three pounds, three pounds of veal, two large onions, two large slices of carrot, four stalks of celery, three large table-spoonfuls of butter, one table-spoonful of curry powder, four of flour, salt, pepper, five quarts of water. Take two table- spoonfuls of the fat from the opening in the chicken and put in the soup pot As soon as melted, put in the vegetables, which have been cut very fine. Let all cook together for twenty minutes, stirring frequently, that it may not burn; then add the veal, cut into small pieces. Cook fifteen minutes longer; then add the whole chicken and the water. Cover, and let it come to a boil. Skim, and set back where it will simmer for four hours (in the mean time taking out the chicken when it is tender). Now put the butter into a small frying-pan, and when hot, add the dry flour. Stir until a rich brown; then take from the fire and add the curry powder. Stir this mixture into the soup, and let it cook half an hour longer; then strain through a sieve, rinse out the soup pot and return the strained soup to it. Add salt and pepper and the chicken (which has been freed from the bones and skin and cut into small pieces); simmer very gently thirty minutes. Skim off any fat that may rise to the top, and serve. This soup is served with plain boiled rice in a separate dish or with small squares of fried or toasted bread. The rice can be served in the soup if you choose.
Mulligatawny Soup, No. 2.
Chicken or turkey left from a former dinner, bones and scraps from roast veal, lamb or mutton, four quarts of water, four stalks of celery, four table-spoonfuls of butter, four of flour, one of curry, two onions, two slices of carrot, salt, pepper, half a small cupful of barley. Put on the bones of the poultry and meat with the water. Have the vegetables cut very fine, and cook gently twenty minutes in the butter; then skim them into the soup pot, being careful to press out all the butter. Into the butter remaining in the pan put the flour, and when that is brown, add the curry powder, and stir all into the soup. Cook gently four hours; then season with salt and pepper, and strain. Return to the pot and add bits of chicken or turkey, as the case may be, and the barley, which has been simmering two hours and a half in clear water to cover. Simmer half an hour and serve.
Green Turtle Soup.
One can of green turtle, such as is put up by the "Merriam Packing Co." Separate the green fat from the other contents of the can, cut into dice and set aside. Put one quart of water with the remainder of the turtle; add twelve pepper-corns, six whole cloves, two small sprigs each of parsley, summer savory, sweet marjoram and thyme, two bay leaves, two leaves of sage. Have the herbs tied together. Put one large onion, one slice of carrot, one of turnip, and a stalk of celery, cut fine, into a pan, with two large table-spoonfuls of butter. Fry fifteen minutes, being careful not to burn. Skim carefully from the butter and put into the soup. Now, into the butter in which the vegetables were fried, put two table-spoonfuls of dry flour, and cook until brown. Stir into the soup; season with salt and pepper and let simmer very gently one hour. Strain, skim off all the fat and serve with thin slices of lemon, egg or force-meat balls, and the green fat. The lemon should have a very thin rind; should be put into the tureen and the soup poured over it Cooking the lemon in this or any other soup often gives it a bitter taste. If the soup is wished quite thick, add a table-spoonful of butter to that in which the vegetables were cooked, and use three table-spoonfuls of flour instead of two. Many people use wine in this soup, but it is delicious without. In case you do use wine there should not be more than four table-spoonfuls to this quantity. If you desire the soup extremely rich, use a quart of rich soup stock. The green turtles are so very large that it is only in great establishments that they are available, and for this reason a rule for preparing the live turtle is not given. Few housekeepers would ever see one. The cans contain not what is commonly called turtle soup, but the meat of the turtle, boiled, and the proper proportions of lean meat, yellow and green fat put together. They cost fifty cents each, and a single can will make soup enough for six persons.
Black Bean Soup.
A pint of black beans, soaked over night in three quarts of water. In the morning pour off this water, and add three quarts of fresh. Boil gently six hours. When done, there should be one quart. Add a quart of stock, six whole cloves, six whole allspice, a small piece of mace, a small piece of cinnamon, stalk of celery, a bouquet of sweet herbs, also one good-sized onion and one small slice each of turnip and carrot, all cut fine and fried in three table-spoonfuls of butter. Into the butter remaining in the pan put a spoonful of flour, and cook until brown. Add to soup, and simmer all together one hour. Season with salt and pepper, and rub through a fine sieve. Serve with slices of lemon and egg balls, the lemon to be put in the tureen with the soup.
Two pounds of the scraggy part of a neck of mutton. Cut the meat from the bones, and cut off all the fat. Then cut meat into small pieces and put into soup pot with one large slice of turnip, two of carrot, one onion and a stalk of celery, all cut fine, half a cup of barley and three pints of cold water. Simmer gently two hours. On to the bones put one pint of water; simmer two hours, and strain upon the soup. Cook a table-spoonful of flour and one of butter together until perfectly smooth; stir into soup, and add a teaspoonful of chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Meg Merrilies' Soup.
One hare, one grouse, four onions, one small carrot, four slices of turnip, a bouquet of sweet herbs, three table-spoonfuls of rice flour, four table-spoonfuls of butter, half a cupful of stale bread, half a cupful of milk, one egg, six quarts of water. Wash the grouse and hare and put to boil in the six quarts of cold water. When this comes to a boil, skim, and set back where it will simmer for one hour. Then take out the hare and grouse and cut all the meat from the bones. Return the bones to the soup and simmer two hours longer. Cut the meat into handsome pieces, roll in flour, and fry in the butter till a rich brown. Set aside for the present. Slice the onions, and fry in the butter in which the meat was fried; when brown, add to the soup. Make force-meat balls of the livers of the hare and grouse (which have been boiled one hour in the stock), the egg, bread and milk. Boil the bread and milk together until a smooth paste. Mash the livers with a strong spoon, then add bread and milk and the egg, unbeaten. Season well with pepper and salt and, if you like, with a little lemon juice. Shape into small balls and fry in either chicken fat or butter. Put these into the soup twenty minutes before dishing. Have the turnip and carrot cut into small pieces and cooked one hour in clear water. When the bones and the onions have simmered two hours, strain and return to the soup pot. Add the fried meat and vegetables. Mix the rice flour with a cupful of cold water; add to the soup, season with salt and pepper, simmer ten minutes. Add force-meat balls and simmer twenty minutes longer.
One cold roast chicken, two quarts of stock (any kind), one of water, quarter of a pound of salt pork, one quart of green okra, an onion, salt, pepper, three table-spoonfuls of flour. Cut the okra pods into small pieces. Slice the pork and onion. Fry the pork, and then add the onion and okra. Cover closely, and fry half an hour. Cut all the meat from the chicken. Put the bones on with the water. Add the okra and onion, first being careful to press out all the pork fat possible. Into the fat remaining put the flour, and stir until it becomes a rich brown; add this to the other ingredients. Cover the pot, and simmer three hours; then rub through a sieve, and add the stock, salt and pepper and the meat of the chicken, cut into small pieces. Simmer gently twenty minutes. Serve with a dish of boiled rice.
Okra Soup, No. 2.
One pint of green okra, one of green peas, one of green com, cut from the cob, half a pint of shell beans, two onions, four stalks of celery, two ripe tomatoes, one slice of carrot, one of turnip, two pounds of veal, quarter of a pound of fat ham or bacon, two table- spoonfuls of flour, four quarts of water, salt, pepper. Fry the ham or bacon, being careful not to bum. Cut the veal into dice; roll these in the flour and fry brown in the ham fat; then put them in the soup pot. Fry the onion, carrot and turnip in the remaining fat. Add these to the veal, and then add the okra, cut into small pieces, the shell beans, celery and water. Simmer two hours, and then add the tomatoes, corn, peas and salt and pepper. Simmer half an hour longer and serve without straining. If dried okra be used for either soup, half the quantity given in the recipes is sufficient Okra is often called gumbo. The same kind of a soup is meant under both names.
The bones of two roasted grouse and the breast of one, a quart of any kind of stock, or pieces and bones of cold roasts; three quarts of cold water, two slices of turnip, two of carrot, two large onions, two cloves, two stalks of celery, a bouquet of sweet herbs, three table- spoonfuls of butter, three of flour. Cook the grouse bones in three quarts of water four hours. The last hour add the vegetables and the cloves; then strain, and return to the lire with the quart of stock. Cook the butter and the flour together until a rich brown, and then turn into the stock. Cut the breast of the grouse into very small pieces and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently half an hour. If there is any fat on the soup, skim it off. Serve with fried bread. When bones and meat are used instead of the stock, use one more quart of water, and cook them with the grouse bones.
Half a pint of green peas, half a pint of cauliflower, one pint of turnip, carrot, celery and string beans (all the four vegetables being included in the pint), half a cupful of tomato, half a pint of asparagus heads, two quarts of soup stock—any kind will do; three table-spoonfuls of butter, three table-spoonfuls of flour, and salt and pepper. Cook all the vegetables, except the peas and tomato, in water to cover one hour. Cook butter and dry flour together until smooth, but not brown; stir into the stock, which has been heated to the boiling point. Now add the tomato and simmer gently fifteen minutes; then strain. Add the peas and cooked vegetables to the strained soup, and simmer again for thirty minutes. Serve small slices of toasted bread in a separate dish.
Spring and Summer Soup Without Stock.
Quarter of a pound of salt pork, or three large table-spoonfuls of butter; three large young onions, half a small head of cabbage, three potatoes, half a small carrot, half a small white turnip, three table- spoonfuls of flour, two quarts of water, six large slices of toasted bread, salt, pepper, one small parsnip. Cut the pork into thin slices; place these in the soup pot and let them fry out slowly. Have the vegetables (except the potatoes), cut quite fine, and when the pork is cooked, put the vegetables into the pot with it. Cover tightly, and let cook very gently, on the back of the stove, one hour. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Add the water, which should be boiling. Let simmer gently for one hour, and then add the potatoes, cut into slices, and the flour, which has been mixed with a little cold water. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer gently an hour longer. Have the toasted bread in the tureen. Turn the soup on it and serve. A pint of green peas, cooked in the soup the last half, is a great addition. When the butter is used, let it melt in the soup pot before adding the vegetables.
The giblets from two or three fowl or chickens, any kind of stock, or if there are remains of the roast chickens, use these; one large onion, two slices of carrot, one of turnip, two stalks of celery, two quarts of water, one of stock, two large table-spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, salt, pepper. Put the giblets on to boil in the two quarts of water, and boil gently until reduced to one quart (it will take about two hours); then take out the giblets. Cut all the hard, tough parts from the gizzards, and put hearts, livers and gizzards together and chop rather coarse. Return them to the liquor in which they were boiled, and add the quart of stock. Have the vegetables cut fine, and fry them in the butter until they are very tender (about fifteen minutes), but be careful they do not burn; then add the dry flour to them and stir until the flour browns. Turn this mixture into the soup, and season with pepper and salt. Cook gently half an hour and serve with toasted bread. If the chicken bones are used, put them on to boil in three quarts of water, and boil the giblets with them. When you take out the giblets, strain the stock through a sieve and return to the pot; then proceed as before.
Potage a la Reine,
Boil a large fowl in three quarts of water until tender (the water should never more than bubble). Skim off the fat, and add a teacupful of rice, and, also, a slice of carrot, one of turnip, a small piece of celery and an onion, which have been cooked slowly for fifteen minutes in two large table-spoonfuls of butter. Skim this butter carefully from the vegetables, and into the pan in which it is, stir a table- spoonful of flour. Cook until smooth, but not brown. Add this, as well as a small piece of cinnamon and of mace, and four whole cloves. Cook all together slowly for two hours. Chop and pound the breast of the fowl very fine. Rub the soup through a fine sieve; add the pounded breast and again rub the whole through the sieve. Put back on the fire and add one and a half table-spoonfuls of salt, a fourth of a teaspoonful of pepper and a pint of cream, which has come just to a boil. Boil up once and serve. This is a delicious soup.
One quart can of tomato, two heaping table-spoonfuls of flour, one of butter, one teaspoonful of salt, one of sugar, a pint of hot water. Let tomato and water come to a boil Rub flour, butter and a table- spoonful of tomato together. Stir into boiling mixture, add seasoning, boil all together fifteen minutes, rub through a sieve, and serve with toasted bread. This bread should first be cut in thin slices; should be buttered, cut into little squares, placed in a pan, buttered side up, and browned in a quick oven.
Mock Bisque Soup.
A quart can of tomato, three pints of milk, a large table-spoonful of flour, butter the size of an egg, pepper and salt to taste, a scant teaspoonful of soda. Put the tomato on to stew, and the milk in a double kettle to boil, reserving however, half a cupful to mix with flour. Mix the flour smoothly with this cold milk, stir into the boiling milk, and cook ten minutes. To the tomato add the soda; stir well, and rub through a strainer that is fine enough to keep back the seeds. Add butter, salt and pepper to the milk, and then the tomato. Serve immediately. If half the rule is made, stir the tomato well in the can before dividing, as the liquid portion is the more acid.
One quart of milk, six large onions, yolks of four eggs, three table- spoonfuls of butter, a large one of flour, one cupful of cream, salt, pepper. Put the butter in a frying-pan. Cut the onions into thin slices and drop in the butter. Stir until they begin to cook; then cover tight and set back where they will simmer, but not burn, for half an hour. Now put the milk on to boil, and then add the dry flour to the onions, and stir constantly for three minutes over the fire. Then turn the mixture into the milk and cook fifteen minutes. Rub the soup through a strainer, return to the fire, season with salt and pepper. Beat the yokes of the eggs well; add the cream to them and stir into the soup. Cook three minutes, stirring constantly. If you have no cream, use milk, in which case add a table-spoonful of butter at the same time.
A quart of milk, six large potatoes, one stalk of celery, an onion and a table-spoonful of butter. Put milk to boil with onion and celery. Pare potatoes and boil thirty minutes. Turn off the water, and mash fine and light. Add boiling milk and the butter, and pepper and salt to taste. Rub through a strainer and serve immediately. A cupful of whipped cream, added when in the tureen, is a great improvement. This soup must not be allowed to stand, not even if kept hot. Served as soon as ready, it is excellent.
Two bundles of asparagus, one quart of white stock or water, one pint of milk, and one of cream, if stock is used, but if water, use all cream; three table-spoonfuls of butter, three of flour, one onion, salt and pepper. Cut the tops from one bunch of the asparagus and cook them twenty minutes in salted water to cover. The remainder of the asparagus cook twenty minutes in the quart of stock or water. Cut the onion into thin slices and fry in the butter ten minutes, being careful not to burn; then add the asparagus that has been boiled in the stock. Cook five minutes, stirring constantly; then add flour, and cook five minutes longer. Turn this mixture into the boiling stock and boil gently twenty minutes. Rub through a sieve, add the milk and cream, which has just come to a boil, and also the asparagus heads. Season with salt and pepper, and serve. Dropped eggs can be served with it if you choose, but they are rattier heavy for such a delicate soup.
Green Pea Soup.
Cover a quart of green peas with hot water, and boil, with an onion, until they will mash easily. (The time will depend on the age of the peas, but will be from twenty to thirty minutes.) Mash, and add a pint of stock or water. Cook together two table-spoonfuls of butter and one of flour until smooth, but not brown. Add to the peas, and then add a cupful of cream and one of milk. Season with salt and pepper, and let boil up once. Strain and serve. A cupful of whipped cream added the last moment is an improvement.
Two pounds of pumpkin. Take out seeds and pare off the rind. Cut into small pieces, and put into a stew-pan with half a pint of water. Simmer slowly an hour and a half, then rub through a sieve and put back on the fire with one and a half pints of boiling milk, butter the size of an egg, one tea-spoonful of sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and three slices of stale bread, cut into small squares. Stir occasionally; and when it boils, serve.
Cream of Celery Soup.
A pint of milk, a table-spoonful of flour, one of butter, a head of celery, a large slice of onion and small piece of mace. Boil celery in a pint of water from thirty to forty-five minutes; boil mace, onion and milk together. Mix flour with two table-spoonfuls of cold milk, and add to boiling milk. Cook ten minutes. Mash celery in the water in which it has been cooked, and stir into boiling milk. Add butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain and serve immediately. The flavor is improved by adding a cupful of whipped cream when the soup is in the tureen.
Tapioca Cream Soup.
One quart of white stock, one pint of cream or milk, one onion, two stalks of celery, one-third of a cupful of tapioca, two cupfuls of cold water, one table-spoonful of butter, a small piece of mace, salt, pepper. Wash the tapioca, and soak over night in cold water. Cook it and the stock together, very gently, for one hour. Cut the onion and celery into small pieces, and put on to cook for twenty minutes with the milk and mace. Strain on the tapioca and stock. Season with salt and pepper, add butter, and serve.
Cream of Rice Soup.
Two quarts of chicken stock (the water in which fowl have been boiled will answer), one tea-cupful of rice, a quart of cream or milk, a small onion, a stalk of celery and salt and pepper to taste. Wash rice carefully, and add to chicken stock, onion and celery. Cook slowly two hours (it should hardly bubble). Put through a sieve; add seasoning and the milk or cream, which has been allowed to come just to a boil. If milk, use also a table-spoonful of butter.
Cream of Barley Soup.
A tea-cupful of barley, well washed; three pints of chicken stock, an onion and a small piece each of mace and cinnamon. Cook slowly together five hours; then rub through a sieve, and add one and a half pints of boiling cream or milk. If milk, add also two table-spoonfuls of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. The yolks of four eggs, beaten with four table-spoonfuls of milk, and cooked a minute in the boiling milk or cream, makes the soup very much richer.
One quart of milk, two large onions, three eggs, two table-spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, salt, pepper, two table-spoonfuls of grated cheese. Put milk on to boil. Fry the butter and onions together for eight minutes; then add dry flour, and cook two minutes longer, being careful not to burn. Stir into the milk, and cook ten minutes. Rub through a strainer, and return to the fire. Now add the cheese. Beat the eggs, with a speck of pepper and half a teaspoonful of salt. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Hold the colander over the soup and pour the eggs through, upon the butter, and set back for three minutes where it will not boll. Then serve. The cheese may be omitted if it is not liked.
Yacht Oyster Soup.
A quart of milk, one of oysters, a head of celery, a small onion, half a cupful of butter, half a cupful of powdered cracker, one teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, a speck of cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Chop onion and celery fine. Put on to boil with milk for twenty minutes. Then strain, and add the butter, cracker, oyster liquor, (which has been boiled and skimmed), and finally the seasoning and oysters. Cook three minutes longer, and serve.
Lobster Soup with Milk.
Meat of a small lobster, chopped fine; three crackers, rolled fine, butter—size of an egg, salt and pepper to taste and a speck of cayenne. Mix all in the same pan, and add, gradually, a pint of boiling milk, stirring all the while. Boil up once, and serve.
Lobster Soup with Stock.
One small lobster, three pints of water or stock, three large table- spoonfuls of butter and three of flour, a speck of cayenne, white pepper and salt to taste. Break up the body of the lobster, and cut off the scraggy parts of the meat. Pour over these and the body the water or stock. If there is "coral" in the lobster, pound it and use also. Boil twenty minutes. Cook the butter and flour until smooth, but not brown. Stir into the cooking mixture and add the seasoning. Boil two minutes, and strain into a saucepan. Have the remainder of the lobster meat—that found in the tail and claws—cut up very fine, and add it to the soup. Boil up once, and serve.
Philadelphia Clam Soup.
Twenty-five small clams, one quart of milk, half a cupful of butter, one table-spoonful of chopped parsley, three potatoes, two large table-spoonfuls of flour, salt, pepper. The clams should be chopped fine end put into a colander to drain. Pare the potatoes, and chop rather fine. Put them on to boil with the milk, in a double kettle. Rub the butter and flour together until perfectly creamy, and when the milk and potatoes have been boiling fifteen minutes, stir this in, and cook eight minutes more. Add the parsley, pepper and salt, and cook three minutes longer. Now add the clams. Cook one minute longer, and serve. This gives a very delicate soup, as the liquor from the clams is not used.
Five pounds of any kind of fish, (the light salt-water fish is the best), half a pound of pork, two large onions, one quart of sliced potatoes, one quart of water, one pint of milk, two table-spoonfuls of flour, six crackers, salt, pepper. Skin the fish, and cut all the flesh from the bones. Put the bones onto cook in the quart of water, and simmer gently ten minutes. Fry the pork; then add the onions, cut into slices. Cover, and cook five minutes; then add the flour, and cook eight minutes longer, stirring often. Strain on this the water in which the fish bones were cooked and boil gently for five minutes; then strain all on the potatoes and fish. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer fifteen minutes. Add the milk and the crackers, which were first soaked for three minutes, in the milk. Let it boil up once, and serve. The milk maybe omitted, and a pint of tomatoes used, if you like.
Cut enough green corn from the cob to make a quart; pare and slice one quart of potatoes; pare and slice two onions. Cut half a pound of pork in slices, and fry until brown then take up, and fry the onions in the fat. Put the potatoes and corn into the kettle in layers, sprinkling each layer with salt, pepper and flour. Use half a teaspoonful of pepper, one and a half table-spoonfuls of salt and three of flour. Place the gravy strainer on the vegetables, and turn the onions and pork fat into it, and with a spoon press the juice through; then slowly pour one and one-fourth quarts of boiling water through the strainer, rubbing as much onion through as possible. Take out the strainer, cover the kettle, and boil gently for twenty minutes. Mix three table-spoonfuls of flour with a little milk, and when perfectly smooth, add a pint and a half of rich milk. Stir this into the boiling chowder. Taste to see if seasoned enough, and if it is not, add more pepper and salt. Then add six crackers, split, and dipped for a minute in cold water. Put on the cover, boil up once, and serve.
One pint of grated green com, one quart of milk, one pint of hot water, one heaping table-spoonful of flour, two table-spoonfuls of butter, one slice of onion, salt and pepper to taste. Cook the corn in the water thirty minutes. Let the milk and onion come to a boil. Have the flour and butter mixed together, and add a few table-spoonfuls of the boiling milk. When perfectly smooth stir into the milk; and cook eight minutes. Take out the onion and add the corn. Season to taste, and serve.
Boil four quarts of consomme rapidly until reduced to one quart. Turn into small jars, and cool quickly. This will keep for a month in a cool, dry place. It is used for soups and sauces and for glazing meats.
French Paste for Soups.
A preparation for flavoring and coloring soups and sauces comes in small tin boxes. In each box there are twelve little squares, which look very much like chocolate caramels. One of these will give two quarts of soup the most delicious flavor and a rich color. The paste should not be cooked with the soup, but put into the tureen, and the soup poured over it; and as the soup is served, stir with the ladle. If you let it boil with the clear soup the flavor will not be as fine and the soup not as clear. It may be used with any dark or clear soup, even when already seasoned. It is for sale in Boston by S.S. Pierce and McDewell & Adams; New York: Park, Tilford & Co., retail, E.C. Hayward & Co., 192-4 Chamber street, wholesale; Philadelphia: Githens & Rexsame's; Chicago: Rockwood Bros., 102 North Clark street; St. Louis: David Nicholson. The paste costs only twenty-five cents per box.
Boil four eggs ten minutes. Drop into cold water, and when cool remove the yolks. Pound these in a mortar until reduced to a paste, and then beat them with a teaspoonful of salt, a speck of pepper and the white of one raw egg. Form in balls about the size of a walnut. Roll in flour, and fry brown in butter or chicken fat, being careful not to burn.
Fried Bread for Soups.
Cut stale bread into dice, and fry in boiling fat until brown. It will take about half a minute. The fat must be smoking in the centre when the bread is put into it.
A General Chapter on Fish.
It may seem as if a small number of recipes has been given, but the aim has been to present under the heads of Baking, Boiling, Broiling, Frying and Stewing such general directions that one cannot be at a loss as to how to prepare any kind of fish. Once having mastered the five primary methods, and learned also how to make sauces, the variety of dishes within the cook's power is great All that is required is confidence in the rules, which are perfectly reliable, and will always bring about a satisfactory result if followed carefully. Fish, to be eatable, should be perfectly fresh. Nothing else in the line of food deteriorates so rapidly, especially the white fish-those that are nearly free of oil, like cod, cusk, etc. Most of the oil in this class centres in the liver. Salmon, mackerel, etc., have it distributed throughout the body, which gives a higher and richer flavor, and at the same time tends to preserve the fish. People who do not live near the seashore do not get that delicious flavor which fish just caught have. If the fish is kept on ice until used, it will retain much of its freshness; let it once get heated and nothing will bring back the delicate flavor. Fresh fish will be firm, and the skin and scales bright. When fish looks dim and limp, do not buy it. Fish should be washed quickly in only one (cold) water, and should not be allowed to stand in it. If it is cut up before cooking, wash while whole, else much of the flavor will be lost. For frying, the fat should be deep enough to cover the article, and yet have it float from the bottom. Unless one cooks great quantities of fish in this way it is not necessary to have a separate pot of fat for this kind of frying. The same pot, with proper care, will answer for chops, cutlets, muffins, potatoes, croquettes, etc. All the cold fish left from any mode of cooking can be utilized in making delicious salads, croquettes, and escallops.
A general role for boiling fish, which will hold good for all kinds, and thus save a great deal of time and space, is this: Any fresh fish weighing between four and six pounds should be first washed in cold water and then put into boiling water enough to cover it, and containing one table-spoonful of salt. Simmer gently thirty minutes; then take up. A fish kettle is a great convenience, and it can be used also for boiling hams. When you do not have a fish kettle, keep a piece of strong white cotton cloth in which pin the fish before putting into the boiling water. This will hold it in shape. Hard boiling will break the fish, and, of course, there will be great waste, besides the dish's not looking so handsome and appetizing. There should be a gentle bubbling of the water, and nothing more, all the time the fish is in it, A fish weighing more than six pounds should cook five minutes longer for every additional two pounds. Boiled fish can be served with a great variety of sauces. After you have learned to make them (which is a simple matter), if you cannot get a variety of fish you will not miss it particularly, the sauce and mode of serving doing much to change the whole character of the dish. Many people put a table-spoonful of vinegar in the water in which the fish is boiled. The fish flakes a little more readily for it. Small fish, like trout, require from four to eight minutes to cook. They are, however, much better baked, broiled or fried.
This preparation gives boiled fish a better flavor than cooking in clear water does. Many cooks use wine in it, but there is no necessity for it. Four quarts of water, one onion, one slice of carrot, two cloves, two table-spoonfuls of salt, one teaspoonful of pepper, one table-spoonful of vinegar, the juice of half a lemon and a bouquet of sweet herbs are used. Tie the onion, carrot, cloves and herbs in a piece of muslin, and put in the water with the other ingredients. Cover, and boil slowly for one hour. Then put in the fish and cook as directed for plain boiling.
Boiled Cod with Lobster Sauce.
Boil the fish, as directed [see boiled fish], and, when done, carefully remove the skin from one side; then turn the fish over on to the dish on which it is to be served, skin side up. Remove the skin from this side. Wipe the dish with a damp cloth. Pour a few spoonfuls of the sauce over the fish, and the remainder around it; garnish with parsley, and serve. This is a handsome dish.
Boiled Haddock with Lobster Sauce.
The same as cod. In fact, all kinds of fish can be served in the same manner; but the lighter are the better, as the sauce is so rich that it is not really the thing for salmon and blue fish. Many of the best cooks and caterers, however, use the lobster sauce with salmon, but salmon has too rich and delicate a flavor to be mixed with the lobster.
Cold Boiled Fish, a la Vinaigrette.
If the fish is whole, take off the head and skin, and then place it in the centre of a dish. Have two cold hard-boiled eggs, and cut fine with a silver knife or spoon, (steel turns the egg black). Sprinkle the fish with this, and garnish either with small lettuce leaves, water-cresses, or cold boiled potatoes and beets, cut in slices. Place tastefully around the dish, with here and there a sprig of parsley. Serve the vinaigrette sauce in a separate dish. Help to the garnish when the fish is served, and pour a spoonful of the sauce over the fish as you serve it. This makes a nice dish for tea in summer, and takes the place of a salad, as it is, in fact, a kind of salad.
If the fish is left from the dinner, and is broken, pick free from skin and bones, heap it lightly in the centre of the dish, sprinkle the sauce over it, and set away in a cool place until tea time. Then add the garnish, and serve as before. Many people prefer the latter method, as the fish is seasoned better and more easily served. The cold fish remaining from a bake or broil can be served in the same manner. This same dish can be served with a sauce piquante or Tartare sauce, for a change.
As for the boiled fish, a general rule, that will cover all kinds of baked fish, is herewith given: A fish weighing about five pounds; three large, or five small, crackers, quarter of a pound of salt pork, two table-spoonfuls of salt, quarter of a teaspoonful of pepper, half a table-spoonful of chopped parsley, two table-spoonfuls of flour.
If the fish has not already been scraped free of scales, scrape, and wash clean; then rub into it one table-spoonful of the salt. Roll the crackers very fine, and add to them the parsley, one table-spoonful of chopped pork, half the pepper, half a table-spoonful of salt, and cold water to moisten well. Put this into the body of the fish, and fasten together with a skewer. Butter a tin sheet and put it into a baking pan. Cut gashes across the fish, about half an inch deep and two inches long. Cut the remainder of the pork into strips, and put these into the gashes. Now put the fish into the baking pan, and dredge well with salt, pepper and flour. Cover the bottom of the pan with hot water, and put into a rather hot oven. Bake one hour, basting often with the gravy in the pan, and dredging each time with salt, pepper and flour. The water in the pan must often be renewed, as the bottom is simply to be covered with it each time. The fish should be basted every fifteen minutes. When it is cooked, lift from the pan on to the tin sheet, and slide it carefully into the centre of the dish on which it is to be served. Pour around it Hollandaise sauce, tomato sauce, or any kind you like. Garnish with parsley.
Bluefish, young cod, mackerel, salmon, large trout, and all other fish, when they weigh between half a pound and four pounds, are nice for broiling. When smaller or larger they are not so good. Always use a double broiler, which, before putting the fish into it, rub with either butter or a piece of salt pork. This prevents sticking. The thickness of the fish will have to be the guide in broiling. A bluefish weighing four pounds will take from twenty minutes to half an hour to cook. Many cooks brown the fish handsomely over the coals and then put it into the oven to finish broiling. Where the fish is very thick, this is a good plan. If the fish is taken from the broiler to be put into the oven, it should be slipped on to a tin sheet, that it may slide easily into the platter at serving time; for nothing so mars a dish of fish as to have it come to the table broken. In broiling, the inside should be exposed to the fire first, and then the skin. Great care must be taken that the skin does not burn. Mackerel will broil in from twelve to twenty minutes, young cod (also called scrod) in from twenty to thirty minutes, bluefish in from twenty to thirty minutes, salmon, in from twelve to twenty minutes, and whitefish, bass, mullet, etc., in about eighteen minutes. All kinds of broiled fish can be served with a seasoning of salt, pepper and butter, or with any of the following sauces: bearer noir, maitre d' hotel, Tartare, sharp, tomato and curry. Always, when possible, garnish with parsley or something else green.
Season the slices with salt and pepper, and lay them in melted butter for half an hour, having them well covered on both sides. Roll in flour, and broil for twelve minutes over a clear fire. Serve on a hot dish, garnishing with parsley and slices of lemon. The slices of halibut should be about an inch thick, and for every pound there should be three table-spoonfuls of butter.
Broiled Halibut, with Maitre d' Hotel Butter.
Butter both sides of the broiler. Season the slices of halibut with salt and pepper, place them in the broiler and cook over clear coals for twelve minutes, turning frequently. Place on a hot dish, and spread on them the sauce, using one spoonful to each pound. Garnish with parsley.
Six pounds of any kind of fish, large or small; three large pints of water, quarter of a pound of pork, or, half a cupful of butter; two large onions, three table-spoonfuls of flour, salt and pepper to taste. Cut the heads from the fish, and cut out all the bones. Put the heads and bones on to boil in the three pints of water. Cook gently half an hour. In the meanwhile cut the pork in slices, and fry brown. Cut the onions in slices, and fry in the pork fat. Stir the dry flour into the onion and fat, and cook three minutes, stirring all the time. Now pour over this the water in which the bones have been cooking, and simmer ten minutes. Have the fish cut in pieces about three inches square. Season well with salt and pepper, and place in the stew-pan. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and strain on the fish. Cover tight, and simmer twenty minutes. A bouquet of sweet herbs, simmered with the bones, is an improvement. Taste to see if the sauce is seasoned enough, and dish on a large platter. Garnish with potato balls and parsley. The potato balls are cut from the raw potatoes with a vegetable scoop, and boiled ten minutes in salted water. Put them in little heaps around the dish.
All small fish, like brook trout, smelts, perch, etc., are best fried. They are often called pan-fish for this reason. They should be cleaned, washed and drained, then well salted, and rolled in flour and Indian meal (half of each), which has been thoroughly mixed and salted. For every four pounds of fish have half a pound of salt pork, cut in thin slices, and fried a crisp brown. Take the pork from the pan and put the fish in, having only enough to cover the bottom. Fry brown on one side; turn, and fry the other side. Serve on a hot dish, with the salt pork as a garnish. Great care must be taken that the pork or fat does not burn, and yet to have it hot enough to brown quickly. Cod, haddock, cusk and halibut are all cut in handsome slices and fried in this manner; or, the slices can be well seasoned with salt and pepper, dipped in beaten egg, rolled in bread or cracker crumbs and fried in boiling fat enough to cover. This method gives the handsomer dish, but the first the more savory. Where Indian meal is not liked, all flour can be used. Serve very hot Any kind of fried fish can be served with beurre noir, but this is particularly nice for that which is fried without pork. When the cooked fish is placed in the dish, pour the butter over it, garnish with parsley, and serve.
To Cook Salt Codfish.
The fish should be thoroughly washed, and soaked in cold water over night. In the morning change the water, and put on to cook. As soon as the water comes to the boiling point set back where it will keep hot, but will not boil. From four to six hours will cook a very dry, hard fish, and there are kinds which will cook in half an hour. The boneless codfish, put up at the Isles of Shoals, by Brown & Seavey, will cook in from half an hour to an hour. Where a family uses only a small quantity of salt fish at a time, this is a convenient and economical way to buy it, as there is no waste with bone or skin. It comes in five pound boxes, and costs sixty cents.
Dropped Fish Balls.
One pint bowlful of raw fish, two heaping bowlfuls of pared potatoes, (let the potatoes be under medium size), two eggs, butter, the size of an egg, and a little pepper. Pick the fish very fine, and measure it lightly in the bowl. Put the potatoes into the boiler, and the fish on top of them; then cover with boiling water, and boil half an hour. Drain off all the water, and mash fish and potatoes together until fine and light. Then add the butter and pepper, and the egg, well beaten. Have a deep kettle of boiling fat. Dip a table-spoon in it, and then take up a spoonful of the mixture, having care to get it into as good shape as possible. Drop into the boiling fat, and cook until brown, which should be in two minutes. Be careful not to crowd the balls, and, also, that the fat is hot enough. The spoon should be dipped in the fat every time you take a spoonful of the mixture. These balls are delicious.
Common Fish Balls.
One pint of finely-chopped cooked salt fish, six medium-sized potatoes, one egg, one heaping table-spoonful of butter, pepper, two table-spoonfuls of cream, or four of milk. Pare the potatoes, and put on in boiling water. Boil half an hour. Drain off all the water, turn the potatoes into the tray with the fish, and mash light and fine with a vegetable masher. Add the butter, pepper, milk and eggs, and mix all very thoroughly. Taste to see if salt enough. Shape into smooth balls, the size of an egg, and fry brown in boiling fat enough to float them. They will cook in three minutes. If the potatoes are very mealy it will take more milk or cream to moisten them, about two spoonfuls more. If the fat is smoking in the centre, and the balls are made very smooth, they will not soak fat; but if the fat is not hot enough, they certainly will. Putting too many balls into the fat at one time cools it. Put in say four or five. Let the fat regain its first temperature, then add more.
Salt Fish with Dropped Eggs.
One pint of cooked salt fish, one pint of milk or cream, two table- spoonfuls of flour, one of butter, six eggs, pepper. Put milk on to boil, keeping half a cupful of it to mix the flour. When it boils, stir in the flour, which has been mixed smooth with the milk; then add the fish, which has been flaked. Season, and cook ten minutes. Have six slices of toasted bread on a platter. Drop six eggs into boiling water, being careful to keep the shape. Turn the fish and cream on to the toast. Lift the eggs carefully from the water, as soon as the whites are set, and place very gently on the fish. Garnish the dish with points of toast and parsley.
Salt Codfish, in Puree of Potatoes.
Six large potatoes, one pint and one cupful of milk, two table- spoonfuls of butter, a small slice of onion (about the size of a silver quarter), one pint of cooked salt codfish, salt, pepper, one large table-spoonful of flour. Pare the potatoes and boil half an hour; then drain off the water, and mash them light and fine. Add the salt, pepper, one table-spoonful of butter, and the cupful of milk, which has been allowed to come to a boil. Beat very thoroughly, and spread a thin layer of the potatoes on the centre of a hot platter. Heap the remainder around the edge, making a wall to keep in the cream and fish, which should then be poured in. Garnish the border with parsley, and serve.
To prepare the fish: Put the pint of milk on to boil with the onion. Mix flour and butter together, and when well mixed, add two table- spoonfuls of the hot milk. Stir all into the boiling milk, skim out the onion, add the fish, and cook ten minutes. Season with pepper, and if not salty enough, with salt. This is a nice dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Salt Fish Souffle.
One pint of finely-chopped cooked salt fish, eight good-sized potatoes, three-fourths of a cupful of milk or cream, four eggs, salt, pepper, two generous table-spoonfuls of butter. Pare the potatoes and boil thirty minutes. Drain the water from them, and mash very fine; then mix thoroughly with the fish. Add butter, seasoning and the hot milk. Have two of the eggs well beaten, which stir into the mixture, and heap this in the dish in which it is to be served. Place in the oven for ten minutes. Beat the whites of the two remaining eggs to a stiff froth, and add a quarter of a teaspoonful of salt; then add yolks. Spread this over the dish of fish; return to the oven to brown, and serve.
Cusk, a la Creme.
A cusk, cod or haddock, weighing five or six pounds; one quart of milk, two table-spoonfuls of flour, one of butter, one small slice of onion, two sprigs of parsley, salt, pepper. Put the fish on in boiling water enough to cover, and which contains one table-spoonful of salt. Cook gently twenty minutes; then lift out of the water, but let it remain on the tray. Now carefully remove all the skin and the head; then turn the fish over into the dish in which it is to be served (it should be stone china), and scrape off the skin from the other side. Pick out all the small bones. You will find them the whole length of the back, and a few in the lower part of the fish, near the tail. They are in rows like pins in a paper, and if you start all right it will take but a few minutes to remove them. Then take out the back-bone, starting at the head and working gently down toward the tail. Great care must be taken, that the fish may keep its shape. Cover with the cream, and bake about ten minutes, just to brown it a little. Garnish with parsley or little puff-paste cakes; or, you can cover it with the whites of three eggs, beaten to a stiff froth, and then slightly brown.
To prepare the cream: Put the milk, parsley and onion on to boil, reserving half a cupful of milk to mix with the flour. When it boils, stir in the flour, which has been mixed smoothly with the cold milk. Cook eight minutes. Season highly with salt and pepper, add the butter, strain on the fish, and proceed as directed.
One pint of milk, one pint of cream, four table-spoonfuls of flour, one cupful of bread crumbs and between four and five pounds of any kind of white fish—cusk, cod, haddock, etc., boiled twenty minutes in water to cover and two table-spoonfuls of salt. Put fish on to boil, then the cream and milk. Mix the flour with half a cupful of cold milk, and stir into boiling cream and milk. Cook eight minutes and season highly with salt and pepper. Remove skin and bones from fish, and break it into flakes. Put a layer of sauce in a deep escalop dish, and then a layer of fish, which dredge well with salt (a table- spoonful) and pepper; then another layer of sauce, again fish, and then sauce. Cover with the bread crumbs, and bake half an hour. This quantity requires a dish holding a little over two quarts, or, two smaller dishes will answer. If for the only solid dish for dinner, this will answer for six persons; but if it is in a course for a dinner party, it will serve twelve. Cold boiled fish can be used when you have it. Great care must be taken to remove every bone when fish is prepared with a sauce, (as when it is served a la creme, escaloped, &c.), because one cannot look for bones then as when the sauce is served separately.
Turbot a la Creme.
Boil five or six pounds of haddock. Take out all bones, and shred the fish very fine. Let a quart of milk, a quarter of an onion and a piece of parsley come to a boil; then stir in a scant cupful of flour, which has been mixed with a cupful of cold milk, and the yolks of two eggs. Season with half a teaspoonful of white pepper, the same quantity of thyme, half a cupful of butter, and well with salt. Butter a pan, and put in first a layer of sauce, then one of fish. Finish with sauce, and over it sprinkle cracker crumbs and a light grating of cheese. Bake for an hour in a moderate oven.
Matelote of Codfish.
Cut off the head of a codfish weighing five pounds. Remove bones from the fish, and fill it with a dressing made of half a pint of oysters, a scant pint of bread crumbs, a fourth of a teaspoonful of pepper, two teaspoonfuls of salt, two table-spoonfuls of butter, half an onion, an egg and half a table-spoonful of chopped parsley. Place five slices of pork both under and over the fish. Boil the bones in a pint of water, and pour this around the fish. Bake an hour, and baste often with gravy and butter. Have a bouquet in the corner of the baking pan. Make a gravy, and pour around the fish. Then garnish with fried smelts.
Smelts a la Tartare.
Clean the smelts by drawing them between the finger and thumb, beginning at the tail. This will press out the insides at the opening at the gills. Wash them, and drain in the colander; salt well, and dip in beaten egg and bread or cracker crumbs (one egg and one cupful of crumbs to twelve smelts, unless these are very large). Dip first in the egg, and then roll in the crumbs. Fry in boiling fat deep enough to float them. They should be a handsome brown in two minutes and a half. Take them up, and place on a sheet of brown paper for a few moments, to drain; then place on a hot dish. Garnish with parsley and a few slices of lemon, and serve with Tartare sauce in a separate dish; or, they may be served without the sauce.
Smelts as a Garnish,
Smelts are often fried, as for a la Tartare; or, rolled in meal or flour, and then fried, they are used to garnish other kinds of fish. With baked fish they are arranged around the dish in any form that the taste of the cook may dictate; but in garnishing fish, or any other dish, the arrangement should always be simple, so as not to make the matter of serving any harder than if the dish were not garnished. Smelts are also seasoned well with salt and pepper, dipped in butter and afterwards in flour, and placed in a very hot oven for eight or ten minutes to get a handsome brown. They are then served as a garnish or on slices of buttered toast. When smelts are used as a garnish, serve one on each plate with the other fish. If you wish to have the smelts in rings, for a garnish, fasten the tails in the opening at the gills, with little wooden tooth picks; then dip them in the beaten egg and in the crumbs, place in the frying basket and plunge into the boiling fat. When they are cooked take out the skewers, and they will retain their shape.
Fish au Gratin.
Any kind of light fish—that is, cod, cusk, flounder, etc. Skin the fish by starting at the head and drawing down towards the tail; then take out the bones. Cut the fish into pieces about three inches square, and salt and pepper well. Butter such a dish, as you would use for escolloped oysters. Put in one layer of fish, then moisten well with sauce; add more fish and sauce, and finally cover with fine bread crumbs. Bake half an hour. The dish should be rather shallow, allowing only two layers of fish.
Sauce for au gratin: One pint of stock, three table-spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, juice of half a lemon, half a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a slice of onion, the size of half a dollar, and about as thick—chopped very fine, (one table-spoonful of onion juice is better); one table-spoonful of vinegar, salt, pepper. Heat the butter in a small frying-pan, and when hot, add the dry flour. Stir constantly until a rich brown; then add, gradually, the cold stock, stirring all the time. As soon as it boils, season well with salt and pepper, and then add the other seasoning. This quantity is enough for three pounds of fish, weighed after being skinned and boned, and will serve six persons if it is the only solid dish for dinner, or ten if served in a course.
Another way to serve fish au gratin, is to skin it, cut off the head, and take out the back-bone; and there are then two large pieces of fish. Season the fish, and prepare the sauce as before. Butter a tin sheet that will fit loosely into a large baking-pan. Lay the fish on this, and moisten well with the sauce. Cover thickly with bread crumbs, and cook twenty-five minutes in a rather quick oven. Then slip on a hot dish, and serve with tomato, Tartare or Hollandaise sauce poured around the fish.
Eels a la Tartare.
Cut the eels into pieces about four inches long. Cover them with boiling water, in which let them stand five minutes, and then drain them. Now dip in beaten egg, which has been well salted and peppered, then in bread or cracker crumbs. Fry in boiling fat for five minutes. Have Tartare sauce spread in the centre of a cold dish. Place the fried eels in a circle on this, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Cut two eels in pieces about four inches long. Put three large table- spoonfuls of butter into the stew-pan with half a small onion. As soon as the onion begins to turn yellow stir in two table-spoonfuls of flour, and stir until brown. Add one pint of stock, if you have it; if not, use water. Season well with pepper and salt; then put in the eels and two bay leaves. Cover, and simmer gently three-quarters of an hour. Heap the eels in the centre of a hot dish, strain the sauce over them and garnish with toasted bread and parsley. If you wish, add a table-spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice to the stew.
On the Half Shell.
Not until just before serving should they be opened. Marketmen often furnish some one to do this. Six large oysters are usually allowed each person. Left in half the shell, they are placed on a dinner plate, with a thin slice of lemon in the centre of the dish.
On a Block of Ice.
Having a perfectly clear and solid block of ice, weighing ten or fifteen pounds, a cavity is to be made in the top of it in either of two ways. The first is to carefully chip with an ice pick; the other, to melt with heated bricks. If the latter be chosen the ice must be put into a tub or large pan, and one of the bricks held upon the centre of it until there is a slight depression, yet sufficient for the brick to rest in. When the first brick is cold remove it, tip the block on one side, to let off the water, and then use another brick. Continue the operation till the cavity will hold as many oysters as are to be served. These should be kept an hour previous in a cool place; should be drained in a colander, and seasoned with salt, pepper and vinegar. After laying two folded napkins on a large platter, to prevent the block from slipping, cover the dish with parsley, so that only the ice is visible. Stick a number of pinks, or of any small, bright flowers that do not wilt rapidly, into the parsley. Pour oysters into the space in the top of the ice, and garnish with thin slices of lemon. This gives an elegant dish, and does away with the unsightly shells in which raw oysters are usually served. It is not expensive, for the common oysters do as well as those of good size. Indeed, as many ladies dislike the large ones, here is an excellent substitute for serving in the shell, particularly as the oysters require no seasoning when once on the table. A quart is enough for a party of ten; but a block of the size given will hold two quarts.
Roasted Oysters on Toast.
Eighteen large oysters, or thirty small ones, one teaspoonful of flour, one table-spoonful of butter, salt, pepper, three slices of toast. Have the toast buttered and on a hot dish. Put the butter in a small sauce-pan, and when hot, add the dry flour. Stir until smooth, but not brown; then add the cream, and let it boil up once. Put the oysters (in their own liquor) into a hot oven, for three minutes; then add them to the cream. Season, and pour over the toast. Garnish the dish with thin slices of lemon, and serve very hot. It is nice for lunch or tea.
Oysters Panned in their Own Liquor.
Eighteen large, or thirty small, oysters, one table-spoonful of butter, one of cracker crumbs, salt and pepper to taste, one teaspoonful of lemon juice, a speck of cayenne. Put the oysters on in their own liquor, and when they boil up, add seasoning, butter and crumbs. Cook one minute, and serve on toast.
Oysters Panned in the Shell.
Wash the shells and wipe dry. Place them in a pan with the round shell down. Set in a hot oven for three minutes; then take out, and remove the upper shell. Put two or three oysters into one of the round shells, season with pepper and salt, add butter, the size of two peas, and cover with cracker or bread crumbs. Return to the oven and brown.
Two dozen large, or three dozen small, oysters, two table-spoonfuls of butter, four of fine cracker crumbs, salt, pepper. Let the oysters drain in the colander. Then season with salt and pepper and roll in the crumbs. Have the butter very hot in a frying-pan, and put in enough of the oysters to cover the bottom of the pan. Fry crisp and brown, being careful not to burn. Serve on hot, crisp toast.
Oysters Roasted in the Shell.
Wash the shells clean, and wipe dry. Place in a baking pan, and put in a hot oven for about twenty minutes. Serve on hot dishes the moment they are taken from the oven. Though this is not an elegant dish, many people enjoy it, as the first and best flavor of the oysters is retained in this manner of cooking. The oysters can, instead, be opened into a hot dish and seasoned with butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice. They should be served immediately.
Little Pigs in Blankets.
Season large oysters with salt and pepper. Cut fat English bacon in very thin slices, wrap an oyster in each slice, and fasten with a little wooden skewer (toothpicks are the best things). Heat a frying- pan and put in the "little pigs." Cook just long enough to crisp the bacon—about two minutes. Place on slices of toast that have been cut into small pieces, and serve immediately. Do not remove the skewers. This is a nice relish for lunch or tea; and, garnished with parsley, is a pretty one. The pan must be very hot before the "pigs" are put in, and then great care must be taken that they do not burn.
One hundred oysters (about two quarts), four large tablespoonfuls of butter, one teaspoonful of chopped parsley, one table-spoonful of flour, a speck of cayenne, salt, yolks of three eggs. Brown two table- spoonfuls of the butter, and add to it the parsley, cayenne and salt and the oysters, well drained. Mix together the flour and the remainder of the butter and stir into the oysters when they begin to curl. Then add yolks, well beaten, and take immediately from the fire. Serve on a hot dish with a garnish of fried bread and parsley.
A pint of cream, one quart of oysters, a small piece of onion, a very small piece of mace, a table-spoonful of flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Let the cream, with the onion and mace, come to a boil. Mix flour with a little cold milk or cream, and stir into the boiling cream. Let the oysters come to a boil in their own liquor, and skim carefully. Drain off all the liquor, and turn the oysters into the cream. Skim out the mace and onions, and serve.
Croustade of Oysters.
Have a loaf of bread baked in a round two-quart basin. When two or three days old, with a sharp knife cut out the heart of the bread, being careful not to break the crust. Break up the crumbs very fine, and dry them slowly in an oven; then quickly fry three cupfuls of them in two table-spoonfuls of butter. As soon as they begin to look golden and are crisp, they are done. It takes about two minutes over a hot fire, stirring all the time. Put one quart of cream to boil, and when it boils, stir in three table-spoonfuls of flour, which has been mixed with half a cupful of cold milk. Cook eight minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Put a layer of the sauce into the croustade then a layer of oysters, which dredge well with salt and pepper; then another layer of sauce and one of fried crumbs. Continue this until the croustade is nearly full, having the last layer a thick one of crumbs. It takes three pints of oysters for this dish, and about three teaspoonfuls of salt and half a teaspoonful of pepper. Bake slowly half an hour. Serve with a garnish of parsley around the dish,
Two quarts of oysters, half a cupful of butter, half a cupful of cream or milk, four teaspoonfuls of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper, two quarts of stale bread crumbs, and spice, if you choose. Butter the escalop dishes, and put in a layer of crumbs and then one of oysters. Dredge with the salt and pepper, and put small pieces of butter here and there in the dish. Now have another layer of oysters, seasoning as before; then add the milk, and, finally, a thick layer of crumbs, which dot with butter. Bake twenty minutes in a rather quick oven. The crumbs must be light and flakey. The quantity given above is enough to fill two dishes.
Escaloped Oysters, No. 2.
Put a layer of rolled crackers in an oval dish, and then a layer of oysters, and lay on small pieces of butter. Dredge with salt and pepper, and moisten well with milk (or equal parts of milk and water). Add another layer of cracker and of oysters, and butter, dredge and moisten as before. Continue these alternate layers until the dish is nearly full; then cover with a thin layer of cracker and pieces of butter. If the dish be a large one, holding about two quarts, it will require an hour and a half or two hours to bake.
Oysters Served in Escalop Shells.
The shells may be tin, granite-ware, or silver-plated, or, the natural oyster or scollop shells. The ingredients are: one quart of oysters, half a pint of cream or milk, one pint of bread crumbs, one table- spoonful of butter, if cream is used, or three, if milk; salt and pepper, a grating of nutmeg and two table-spoonfuls of flour. Drain all the liquor from the oysters into a stew-pan. Let it come to a boil, and skim; then add the cream or milk, with which the flour should first be mixed. Let this boil two minutes, and add the butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and then the oysters. Take from the fire immediately. Taste to see if seasoned enough. Have the shells buttered, and sprinkled lightly with crumbs. Nearly fill them with the prepared oysters; then cover thickly with crumbs. Put the shells in a baking-pan, and bake fifteen minutes. Serve very hot, on a large platter, which garnish with parsley. The quantity given above will fill twelve common-sized shells.
One quart of oysters, one pint of cream, one small slice of onion, half a cupful of milk, whites of four eggs, two table-spoonfuls of butter, salt, pepper, two table-spoonfuls of flour, one cupful of fine, dry bread crumbs, six potatoes. Pare and boil the potatoes. Mash fine and light, and add the milk, salt, pepper, one spoonful of butter, and then the whites of the eggs, beaten to a stiff froth. Have a two-quart charlotte russe mould well buttered, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with the bread crumbs (there must be butter enough to hold the crumbs). Line the mould with the potato, and let stand for a few minutes. Put the cream and onion on to boil. Mix the flour with a little cold milk or cream—about one-fourth of a cupful—and stir into the boiling cream. Season well with salt and pepper, and cook eight minutes. Let the oysters come to a boil in their own liquor. Skim them, and drain of all the juice. Take the piece of onion from the sauce, and add the oysters. Taste to see if seasoned enough, and turn gently into the mould. Cover with the remainder of the potato, being careful not to put on too much at once, as in that case the sauce would be forced to the top. When covered, bake half an hour in a hot oven. Take from the oven ten minutes before dishing time, and let it stand on the table. Place a large platter over the mould and turn both dish and mould at the same time. Remove the mould very gently. Garnish the dish with parsley, and serve. A word of caution: Every part of the mould must have a thick coating of the mashed potato, and when the covering of potato is put on no opening must be left for sauce to escape.
To Pickle Oysters
Two hundred large oysters, half a pint of vinegar, half a pint of white wine, four spoonfuls of salt, six spoonfuls of whole black pepper and a little mace. Strain the liquor, and add the above-named ingredients. Let boil up once, and pour, while boiling hot, over the oysters. After these have stood ten minutes pour off the liquor, which, as well as the oysters, should then be allowed to get cold. Put into a jar and cover tight. The oysters will keep some time.
Lobster, to be eatable, should be perfectly fresh. One of the tests of freshness is to draw back the tail, for if it springs into position again, it is safe to think the fish good. The time of boiling varies with the size of the lobster and in different localities. In Boston, Rockport and other places on the Massachusetts coast the time is fifteen or twenty minutes for large lobsters and ten for small. The usual way is to plunge them into boiling water enough to cover, and to continue boiling them until they are done. Some people advocate putting the lobsters into cold water, and letting this come to a boil gradually. They claim that the lobsters do not suffer so much. This may be so, but it seems as if death must instantly follow the plunge into boiling water. Cooking a lobster too long makes it tough and dry. When, on opening a lobster, you find the meat clinging to the shell, and very much shrunken, you may be sure the time of boiling was too long. There are very few modes of cooking lobster in which it should be more than thoroughly heated, as much cooking toughens it and destroys the fine, delicate flavor of the meat.
To open a lobster.
Separate the tail from the body, and shake out the tom-ally, and, also, the "coral," if there is any, upon a plate. Then by drawing the body from the shell with the thumb, and pressing the part near the head against the shell with the first and second finger, you will free it from the stomach or "lady." Now split the lobster through the centre and, with a fork, pick the meat from the joints. Cut the under side of the tail shell open and take out the meat without breaking. On the upper part of that end of this meat which joined the body is a small piece of flesh, which should be lifted; and a strip of meat attached to it should be turned back to the extreme end of the tail. This will uncover a little vein, running the entire length, which must be removed. Sometimes this vein is dark, and sometimes as light as the meat itself. It and the stomach are the only parts not eatable. The piece that covered the vein should be turned again into place. Hold the claws on edge on a thick board, and strike hard with a hammer until the shell cracks. Draw apart, and take out the meat. If you have the claws lying flat on the board when you strike, you not only break the shell, but mash the meat, and thus spoil a fine dish. Remember that the stomach of the lobster is found near the head, and is a small, hard sack containing poisonous matter; and that the intestinal vein is found in the tail. These should always be carefully removed. When lobster is opened in the manner explained it may be arranged handsomely on a dish, and each person can season it at the table to suit himself.
Lobster Broiled in the Shell.
Divide the tail into two parts, cutting lengthwise. Break the large claws in two parts, and free the body from the small claws and stomach. Replace the body in the shell. Put the meat from the claws in half of the shells it came from, and put the other half of the shells where they will get hot. Put the lobster into the double broiler, and cook, with the meat side exposed to the fire, for eight minutes; then turn, and cook ten minutes longer. Place on a hot dish, and season slightly with salt and cayenne, and then well with maitre d' hotel butter. Cover the claws with the hot shells. Garnish the dish with parsley, and serve.
Split the meat of the tail and claws, and season well with salt and pepper. Cover with soft butter and dredge with flour. Place in the broiler, and cook over a bright fire until a delicate brown. Arrange on a hot dish, pour Bechamel sauce around, and serve.
Split the meat of the tail and claws, and season well with salt and pepper. Dip in beaten egg and then in bread crumbs, which let dry on the meat; and then repeat the operation. Place in a frying-basket, and plunge into boiling fat. Cook till a golden brown—about two minutes. Serve with Tartare sauce.
The meat of a two and a half pound lobster, cut into dice; two table- spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, one pint of stock or water, a speck of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Let the butter get hot, and add the dry flour. Stir until perfectly smooth, when add the water, gradually, stirring all the while. Season to taste. Add the lobster; heat thoroughly, and serve.
Curry of Lobster.
The meat of a lobster weighing between two and three pounds, one very small onion, three table-spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, a scant one of curry powder, a speck of cayenne, salt, a scant pint of water or stock. Let the butter get hot; and then add the onion, cut fine, and fry brown. When the onion is cooked add the flour and curry powder, and stir all together for two minutes. Add stock; cook two minutes, and strain. Add the meat of lobster, cut into dice, and simmer five minutes. Serve with a border of boiled rice around the dish.
Devilled Lobster in the Shell.
Two lobsters, each weighing about two and a half pounds; one pint of cream, two table-spoonfuls of butter, two of flour, one of mustard, a speck of cayenne, salt, pepper, a scant pint of bread crumbs. Open the lobster and, with a sharp knife, cut the meat rather fine. Be careful, in opening, not to break the body or tail shells. Wash these shells and wipe dry; join them in the form of a boat, that they may hold the prepared meat. Put the cream on to boil. Mix the butter, flour, mustard and pepper together, and add three spoonfuls of the boiling cream. Stir all into the remaining cream, and cook two minutes. Add the lobster, salt and pepper, and boil one minute. Fill the shells with the mixture, and place in a pan, with something to keep them in position (a few small stones answer very well). Cover with the bread crumbs, and brown for twenty minutes in a hot oven. Serve on a long, narrow dish; the body in the centre, the tails at either end. Garnish with parsley. If for a large company, it would be best to have a broad dish, and have four lobsters, instead of two. This is a very handsome dish, and is really not hard to cook. There is always a little more of the prepared lobster than will go into the shells without crowding, and this is nice warmed and served on slices of crisp toast.
Prepare the lobster as for devilling, omitting, however, the mustard. Turn into a buttered escollop dish, and cover thickly with crumbs. Brown in a hot oven, and serve.
White stock may be used instead of the cream. Many people who cannot eat lobster when prepared with cream or milk, find it palatable when prepared with stock or water.
A lobster weighing between two and a half and three pounds, three table-spoonfuls of butter, half a cupful of stock or cream, one heaping table-spoonful of flour, a speck of cayenne, salt, two eggs, about a pint of bread crumbs, twelve sprigs of parsley. Cut the meat of the lobster into fine dice, and season with salt and pepper. Put the butter on to heat. Add the flour, and when smooth, add the stock and one well-beaten egg. Season. Boil up once, add the lobster, and take from the fire immediately. Now add a table-spoonful of lemon juice. Butter a platter, and pour the mixture upon it, to the thickness of about an inch. Make perfectly smooth with a knife, and set away to cool. When cool, cut into chops, to resemble cutlets. Dip in beaten egg and then in bread crumbs, being sure to have every part covered. Place in the frying-basket and plunge into boiling fat. Cook till a rich brown. It will take about two minutes. Drain for a moment in the basket; then arrange on a hot dish, and put part of a small claw in each one, to represent the bone in a cutlet. Put the parsley in the basket and plunge for a moment into the boiling fat. Garnish with this, or, pour a white or Bechamel sauce around the dish, and garnish with fresh parsley. The quantity given will make six or seven cutlets.
Canned lobster can be used for cutlets, stews, curries and patties, can be escaloped, or served on toast.
Put them into boiling water, and boil rapidly for ten or fifteen minutes, or until the nails will come out and the black skin rub off— the time depending upon the size of the fish. After this, put into fresh boiling water, and boil until the under shell cracks, which will be about three-quarters of an hour. Remove the under shell, throw away the sand and gall bags, take out intestines, and put the terrapins to boil again in the same water for an hour. Pick liver and meat from upper shell. Cut the intestines in small pieces, and add to this meat. Pour over all a quantity of the liquor in which the intestines were boiled sufficient to make very moist. Put away until the next day. For each terrapin, if of good size, a gill of cream and of wine, half a cupful of butter, yolks of two hard-boiled eggs, rubbed smooth, salt, pepper and cayenne are needed. Pour over the terrapin, let it come to a boil, and serve,—[Mrs. Furness, of Philadelphia.]
Lift the shell at both sides and remove the spongy substance found on the back. Then pull off the "apron," which will be found on the under side, and to which is attached a substance like that removed from the back. Now wipe the crabs, and dip them in beaten egg, and then in fine bread or cracker crumbs. Fry in boiling fat from eight to ten minutes, the time depending upon the size of the crabs. Serve with Tartare sauce. Or, the egg and bread crumbs may be omitted. Season with salt and cayenne, and fry as before,
When broiled, crabs are cleaned, and seasoned with salt and cayenne; are then dropped into boiling water for one minute, taken up, and broiled over a hot fire for eight minutes. They are served with maitre d' hotel butter or Tartare sauce.
All pieces, unless very salt, should be plunged into boiling water, and boiled rapidly for fifteen minutes, to harden the albumen that is on the outside, and thus keep in the juices. The kettle should then be put back where it will just simmer, for meat that is boiled rapidly becomes hard and stringy, while that which is kept just at the boiling point (where the water hardly bubbles) will cut tender and juicy, provided there is any juiciness in it at the beginning. White meats, like mutton and poultry, are improved in appearance by having rice boiled with them; or, a still better way is to thickly flour a piece of coarse cotton cloth, pin the meat in it, and place in the boiling water. Meat cooked in this way will be extremely juicy.
Leg of Mutton.
Cook, as directed, in boiling water to cover. A leg that weighs eight or nine pounds will cook in one hour and a quarter if it is wanted done rare. Allow five minutes for every additional pound. Save the water for soups.
Cook the same as mutton. Serve with drawn butter.
Wash the ham very clean, and put on with cold water to cover. Simmer gently five hours, and set the kettle aside for one or two hours. When nearly cold, take out the ham and draw off the skin. Cover with cracker crumbs and about three table-spoonfuls of sugar. Place in the oven, in a baking-pan, for thirty or forty minutes. Many people stick cloves into the fat part of the ham, and use only a few crumbs. The time given is for a ham weighing about twelve pounds; every pound over that will require fifteen minutes more. The fish kettle comes next to a regular ham kettle, and answers quite as well as both. If you have neither kettle, and no pot large enough to hold all the meat, cut off the knuckle, which will cook in about two hours. But this rather hurts the flavor and appearance of the dish.
Soak over night, and cook from five to six hours. Throw into cold water and peel off the skin.
Put into boiling water to cover, with two table-spoonfuls of salt. Cook from five to six hours. Skin the same as salt tongue.
Wash, and put into cold water, if very salt; but such a piece as one finds in town and city shops, and which the butchers corn themselves, put into boiling water. Cook very slowly for six hours. This time is for a piece weighing eight or ten pounds. When it is to be served cold let it stand for one or two hours in the water in which it was boiled. If the beef is to be pressed, get either a piece of the brisket, flank or rattle-ran. Take out the bones, place in a flat dish or platter, put a tin sheet on top, and lay on it two or three bricks. If you have a corned beef press, use that, of course.
There are two modes of roasting: one is to use a tin Kitchen before an open fire, and the other and more common way is to use a very hot oven. The former gives the more delicious favor, but the second is not by any means a poor way, if the meat is put on a rack, and basted constantly when in the oven. A large piece is best for roasting, this being especially true of beef. When meat is cooked in a tin kitchen it requires more time, because the heat is not equally distributed, as it is in the oven.
To prepare for roasting: Wipe the meat with a wet towel. Dredge on all sides with salt, pepper and flour; and if the kitchen is used, dredge the flour into that. Run the spit through the centre of the meat, and place very near the fire at first, turning as it browns. When the flour in the kitchen is browned, add a pint of hot water, and baste frequently with it, dredging with salt and flour after each basting. Roast a piece of beef weighing eight pounds fifty minutes, if to be rare, but if to be medium, roast one hour and a quarter, and ten minutes for each additional pound.
Roasting in the Oven.
Prepare the meat as before. Have a rack that will fit loosely into the baking-pan. Cover the bottom of the pan rather lightly with flour, put in rack, and then meat Place in a very hot oven for a few minutes, to brown the flour in the pan, and then add hot water enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Close the oven; and in about ten minutes, open, and baste the meat with the gravy. Dredge with salt, pepper and flour. Do this every fifteen minutes; and as soon as one side of the meat is brown, turn, and brown the other. Make gravy as before. Allow a quarter of an hour less in the oven than in the tin kitchen. The heat for roasting must be very great at first, to harden the albumen, and thus keep in the juices. After the meat is crusted over it is not necessary to keep up so great a heat, but for rare meats the heat must, of course, be greater than for those that are to be well done. The kitchen can be drawn back a little distance from the fire and the drafts closed. Putting salt on fresh meat draws out the juices, but by using flour a paste is formed, which, keeps in all the juices and also enriches and browns the piece. Never roast meat without having a rack in the pan. If meat is put into the water in the pan it becomes soggy and looses its flavor. A meat rack costs not more than thirty or forty cents, and the improvement in the looks and flavor of a piece of meat is enough to pay for it in one roasting. The time given for roasting a piece of beef is for rib roasts and sirloin. The same weight in the face or the back of the rump will require twenty minutes longer, as the meat on these cuts is in a very compact form. If a saddle or loin of mutton is to be roasted, cook the same time as beef if the weight is the same; but if a leg is to be roasted, one hour and a quarter is the time. Lamb should be cooked an hour and a half; veal, two hours and three-quarters; pork, three hours and a quarter. Ten minutes before dishing the dinner turn the gravy into a sauce-pan, skim off all the fat, and set on the stove. Let it come to a boil; then stir in one table-spoonful of flour, mixed with half a cupful of cold water. Season with salt and pepper, and cook two minutes. Serve the meat on a hot dish and the gravy in a hot tureen.
Boiled Rib Roast.
Either have the butcher remove the bones, or do it your-self by slipping a sharp knife between the flesh and bones—a simple matter with almost any kind of meat. Roll up the piece and tie with strong twine. Treat the same as plain roast beef, giving the same time as if it were a piece of rump (one hour and a half for eight pounds), as the form it is now in does not readily admit the heat to all parts. This piece of beef can be larded before roasting, or it can be larded and braised. Serve with tomato or horse-radish sauce.
Roast Beef, with Yorkshire Pudding.
A rib or sirloin roast should be prepared as directed for roasting. When within three-quarters of an hour of being done, have the pudding made. Butter a pan like that in which the meat is being cooked, and pour in the batter. Put the rack across the pan, not in it. Place the meat on the rack, return to the oven, and cook forty-five minutes. If you have only one pan, take up the meat, pour off the gravy and put in the pudding. Cut in squares, and garnish the beef with these. Another method is to have a pan that has squares stamped in it. This gives even squares and crust on all the edges, which baking in the flat pan does not. When the meat is roasted in the tin-kitchen, let the pudding bake in the oven for half an hour, and then place it under the meat to catch the drippings.
For the Yorkshire pudding, one pint of milk, two-thirds of a cupful of flour, three eggs and one scant teaspoonful of salt will be needed. Beat the eggs very light. Add salt and milk, and then pour about half a cupful of the mixture upon the flour; and when perfectly smooth, add the remainder. This makes a small pudding—about enough for six persons. Serve it hot.
Fillet of Veal, Roasted.
About eight or ten pounds of the fillet, ham force-meat (see rule for force-meat), half a cupful of butter, half a teaspoonful of pepper, two table-spoonfuls of salt, two lemons, half a pound of salt pork. Rub the salt and pepper into the veal; then fill the cavity, from which the bone was taken, with the force-meat. Skewer and tie the fillet into a round shape. Cut the pork in thin slices, and put half of these on a tin sheet that will fit into the dripping pan; place this in the pan, and the fillet on it. Cover the veal with the remainder of the pork. Put hot water enough in the pan to just cover the bottom, and place in the oven. Bake slowly for four hours, basting frequently with the gravy in the pan, and with salt, pepper and flour. As the water in the pan cooks away, it must be renewed, remembering to have only enough to keep the meat and pan from burning. After it has been cooking three hours, take the pork from the top of the fillet, spread the top thickly with butter and dredge with flour. Repeat this after thirty minutes, and then brown handsomely. Put the remainder of the butter, which should be about three table-spoonfuls, in a sauce- pan, and when hot, add two heaping table-spoonfuls of flour, and stir until dark brown. Add to it half a pint of stock or water; stir a minute, and set back where it will keep warm, but not cook. Now take up the fillet, and skim all the fat off of the gravy; add water enough to make half a pint of gravy, also the sauce just made. Let this boil up, and add the juice of half a lemon, and more salt and pepper, if needed. Strain, and pour around the fillet. Garnish the dish with potato puffs and slices of lemon.