88. Timbale of Macaroni. (A sweet dish.)—Boil half a pound of macaroni of the largest size, in boiling water and salt for fifteen minutes; drain it in a colander, wash it well, lay by one quarter of it, and put the rest into a sauce-pan with one ounce of butter, one pint of milk or cream, four ounces of sugar, one teaspoonful of vanilla flavoring, and a saltspoonful of salt; simmer it gently while you line a well buttered three pint plain mould with the best pieces you have reserved, coiling them regularly in the bottom and up the sides of the mould; put what you do not use among that in the sauce-pan, and as soon as it is tender fill the mould with it, and set it in a hot oven for fifteen minutes; then turn it out on a dish, dust it with powdered sugar, and serve it hot, with a pudding sauce.
89. Vanilla Cream Sauce.—Put three ounces of powdered sugar into a sauce-pan with one ounce of corn starch, and one gill of cold water; mix them smooth off the fire; then put the sauce-pan on the fire and pour in half a pint of boiling milk, stirring smooth with an egg-whip for about ten minutes, when the sauce will be thoroughly cooked; flavor it with one teaspoonful of vanilla, and serve with pudding at once.
Since roast or rather baked meats so often play the chief part in American dinners, a few directions will be useful in connection with their cooking. The object in cooking meat is to prepare it for easy mastication and complete digestion; and it should be accomplished with the least possible waste of the valuable juices of the meat. The roasting of meat before the fire is not often possible in ordinary kitchens, but with a well managed oven the same result can be attained. If meat is placed before a slow fire, or in a cool oven, the little heat that reaches it serves only to draw out its juices, and with them its nutritious elements. The albumen of its cut surfaces coagulates at the temperature of a bright, clear fire, or a hot oven, and thus seals up the juices so that only a part of them escape, and those are collected in the form of a rich brown, highly flavored crust, upon the surface of well roasted meat. A good temperature for baking meat is from 320 deg. to 400 deg. Fahr. If the meat is put into a very hot oven for a few moments to harden the outside, the heat can subsequently be moderated, and the cooking finished more slowly, so that the meat will be sufficiently well done, but not burned. Meats should be roasted about twenty minutes to a pound, to be moderately well done; the fire should be clear, and steady, in order that an equal heat may reach the joint and keep its interior steam at the proper degree of heat; after the right length of time has elapsed, care being taken meantime that the meat does not burn, it may be tested by pressing it with the fingers; if it is rare it will spring back when the pressure is removed; if it is moderately well done the resistance to pressure will be very slight; and if it is thoroughly cooked it will remain heavy under the fingers; never test it by cutting into it with a knife, or puncturing it with a fork, for in this way you waste the rich juices. If you wish to froth roast meat, dredge a little flour over its surface, and brown it a few moments before serving it. If it is to be glazed, brush it with clear stock concentrated to a paste by rapid boiling, or dust a little powdered sugar over it, and in both cases return it to the oven to set the glaze.
90. Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding.—Have three ribs of prime beef prepared by the butcher for roasting, all the bones being taken out if it is desirable to carve a clean slice off the top; secure it in place with stout twine; do not use skewers, as the unnecessary holes they make permit the meat-juices to escape; lay it in the dripping pan on a bed of the following vegetables, cut in small pieces; one small onion, half a carrot, half a turnip, three sprigs of parsley, one sprig of thyme, and three bay leaves; do not put any water in the dripping pan; its temperature can not rise to a degree equal in heat to that of the fat outside of the beef, and can not assist in its cooking, but serves only to lower the temperature of the meat, where it touches it, and consequently to soften the surface and extract the juices; do not season it until the surface is partly carbonized by the heat, as salt applied to the cut fibre draws out their juices. If you use a roasting oven before the fire, the meat should be similarly prepared by tying in place, and it should be put on the spit carefully; sufficient drippings for basting will flow from it, and it should be seasoned when half done; when entirely done, which will be in fifteen minutes to each pound of meat, the joint should be kept hot until served, but should be served as soon as possible to be good. When gravy is made, half a pint of hot water should be added to the dripping pan, after the vegetables have been removed, and the gravy should be boiled briskly for a few minutes, until it is thick enough, and seasoned to suit the palate of the family; some persons thicken it with a teaspoonful of flour, which should be mixed with two tablespoonfuls of cold water before it is stirred into the gravy.
91. Yorkshire Pudding.—Put seven ounces of flour into a bowl with one teaspoonful of salt; mix it smoothly with enough milk, say half a pint, to make a smooth, stiff batter; then gradually add enough more milk to amount in all to one pint and a half, and three eggs well beaten; mix it thoroughly with an egg-whip, pour it into a well buttered baking pan, bake it in the oven one hour and a half, if it is to be served with baked beef; or if it is to accompany beef roasted before the fire, one hour in the oven, and then half an hour under the meat on the spit, to catch the gravy which flows from the joint. To serve it cut it into pieces two or three inches square before taking it from the pan, and send it to the table on a hot dish covered with a napkin, with the roast beef.
92. Roast Loin of Veal.—Take out the chine, or back-bone, from a loin of veal weighing about six pounds, being careful to leave the piece of meat as whole as possible; chop up the bones and put them in a dripping pan with two ounces of carrot, one ounce of turnip, and quarter of an ounce of parsley; stuff the veal with a forcemeat made as in receipt No. 93, roll it up neatly, tie it firmly with stout cord, lay it on the vegetables in the pan, and roast it one hour and a half. When done take it from the pan, and keep it hot while you prepare the gravy by putting half a pint of hot water in the pan, boiling it up once, and straining it; or if desirable thicken it with a teaspoonful of flour smoothly dissolved in two tablespoonfuls of cold water and stirred with the gravy.
93. Stuffing for Veal.—Cut two ounces of salt pork in quarter inch dice, and fry it brown in half an ounce of butter, with one ounce of chopped onion; while these ingredients are frying, soak eight ounces of stale bread in tepid water, and then wring it dry in a napkin; add it to the onion when it is brown, with one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, half a saltspoonful of powdered thyme, and the same quantity of dried and powdered celery, and white pepper, and one teaspoonful of salt; mix all these over the fire until they are scalding hot, and cleave from the pan; then stir in one raw egg, and use it with the veal.
94. Roast Lamb with Mint Sauce.—Choose a plump, fat fore-quarter of lamb, which is quite as finely flavored and less expensive than the hind-quarter; secure it in shape with stout cord, lay it in a dripping pan with one sprig of parsley, three sprigs of mint, and one ounce of carrot sliced; put it into a quick oven, and roast it fifteen minutes to each pound; when half done season it with salt and pepper, and baste it occasionally with the drippings flowing from it. When done serve it with a gravy-boat full of mint sauce.
95. Mint Sauce cold.—Melt four ounces of brown sugar in a sauce boat with half a pint of vinegar, add three tablespoonfuls of chopped mint, and serve cold with roast lamb.
96. Hot Mint Sauce.—Put one pint of vinegar into a sauce-pan with four ounces of white sugar, and reduce by rapid boiling to half a pint, stirring to prevent burning; add a gill of cold water, and boil for five minutes; then add three tablespoonfuls of chopped mint, and serve with lamb.
97. Roast Pork with Apple Sauce.—Neatly trim a loin of fresh pork weighing about six pounds; put it into a dripping pan on three bay leaves, quarter of an ounce of parsley, one ounce of onion, and the same quantity of carrot sliced, and roast it about twenty minutes to each pound; when half done, season it with salt and pepper; when brown, serve it with a border of Parisian potatoes, prepared according to receipt No. 2, and send it to the table with a bowl of apple sauce.
98. Apple Sauce.—Pare and slice one quart of good tart apples; put them into a sauce-pan with half a pint of cold water; stir them often enough to prevent burning, and simmer them until tender, about twenty minutes will be long enough; then rub them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, add a saltspoonful of powdered cloves, and four ounces of sugar, or less according to the taste; serve in a bowl, with the roast pork.
99. Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce.—Choose a fat tender turkey weighing about six or seven pounds; pluck it, carefully remove the pin-feathers, singe the bird over the flame of an alcohol lamp, or a few drops of alcohol poured on a plate and lighted; wipe it with a damp towel and see that it is properly drawn by slitting the skin at the back of the neck, and taking out the crop without tearing the skin of the breast; loosen the heart, liver, and lungs, by introducing the fore-finger at the neck, and then draw them, with the entrails, from the vent. Unless you have broken the gall, or the entrails, in drawing the bird do not wash it, for this greatly impairs the flavor, and partly destroys the nourishing qualities of the flesh. Twist the tips of the wings back under the shoulders, stuff the bird with forcemeat made according to receipt No. 100; bend the legs as far up toward the breast as possible, secure the thigh bones in that position by a trussing cord or skewer; then bring the legs down, and fasten them close to the vent. Pound the breast bone down, first laying a towel over it. Lay a thin slice of salt pork over the breast to baste it until sufficient drippings run from the bird; baste it frequently, browning it on all sides by turning it about in the pan; use a clean towel to turn it with, but do not run a fork into it or you will waste its juices: when it is half done season it with two teaspoonfuls of salt and one saltspoonful of powdered herbs, made according to directions in Chapter first; when it has cooked about twenty minutes to each pound, dish it, and keep it hot while you make a gravy by adding half a pint of water to the drippings in the pan, first taking off a little of the superfluous fat, and thickening it if desired with a teaspoonful of flour mixed with two tablespoonfuls of cold water; serve the turkey hot with a gravy-boat full of gravy and a dish of cranberry sauce made according to receipt No. 101. The same directions for drawing, trussing, and roasting will apply to other poultry and game.
100. Forcemeat for Roast Poultry.—Steep eight ounces of stale bread in tepid water for five minutes, and wring it dry in a clean towel; meantime chop fine four ounces each of fresh veal and pork, or use instead, eight ounces of good sausage meat; grate eight ounces of good rather dry cheese; fry one ounce of onion in one ounce of butter to a light yellow color; add the bread, meat, and cheese, season with a saltspoonful of powdered herbs, made according to directions in Chapter first, a teaspoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper, and two whole eggs; mix well and use.
101. Cranberry Sauce.—Carefully pick and wash one quart of cranberries; put them over the fire in a sauce-pan with half a pint of cold water; bring them to a boil, and boil them gently for fifteen minutes, stirring them occasionally to prevent burning; then add four ounces of white sugar, and boil them slowly until they are soft enough to pass through a sieve with a wooden spoon; the sauce is then ready to serve.
102. Roast Chicken with Duchesse Potatoes.—Prepare and roast a pair of chickens as directed in receipt No. 99; or for the stuffing named in that receipt substitute No. 93; meantime boil one quart of potatoes, for mashing, and make twelve heart-shaped croutons or pieces of bread fried in hot fat: lay the Duchesse potatoes around the chickens when it is dished, and the croutons in an outer circle, with the points outward.
103. Duchesse Potatoes.—Mash one quart of hot boiled potatoes through a fine colander with the potato masher; mix with them one ounce of butter, one level teaspoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of white pepper, quarter of a saltspoonful of grated nutmeg, and the yolks of two raw eggs; pour the potato out on a plate, and then form it with a knife into small cakes, two inches long and one inch wide; lay them on a buttered tin, brush them over the top with an egg beaten up with a teaspoonful of cold water, and color them golden brown in a moderate oven.
104. Roast Duck with Watercresses.—Prepare and roast a pair of ducks as directed in receipt No. 99, and serve them with a border of a few watercresses, and a salad bowl containing the rest of a quart, prepared as in receipt No. 105.
105. Romaine Sauce for Watercresses.—Grate half an ounce of onion, and use two tablespoonfuls of vinegar to wash it off the grater; to these add a saltspoonful of sugar, a tablespoonful of lemon juice, three tablespoonfuls of olive oil, six capers chopped fine, as much cayenne as can be taken up on the point of a very small pen-knife blade, a level saltspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper; mix well, and use for dressing watercresses, or any other green salad. A few cold boiled potatoes sliced and mixed with this dressing, and a head of lettuce, makes a very nice potato salad.
106. Roast Goose with Onion Sauce.—Prepare a goose as directed in receipt No. 99; stuff it with onion stuffing made according to receipt No. 107; serve it with a gravy boat full of onion sauce made according to receipt No. 108.
107. Sage and Onion Stuffing.—Pare six ounces of onion, and bring them to a boil in three different waters; soak eight ounces of stale bread in tepid water, and wring it dry in a towel; scald ten sage leaves; when the onions are tender, which will be in about half an hour, chop them with the sage leaves, add them to the bread, with one ounce of butter, the yolks of two raw eggs, one level teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper; mix and use.
108. Onion Sauce.—Prepare six ounces of onions as in receipt No. 107; chop them fine, pass them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and put them into half a pint of boiling milk, with one ounce of butter, one saltspoonful of salt, and one quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper.
109. Roast Wild Duck.—Prepare a pair of ducks as directed in receipt No. 99; do not stuff them, but tie over the breasts slices of pork or bacon; roast fifteen minutes to the pound; serve with gravy in a boat and quarters of lemon on the same dish.
110. Roast Partridge.—Prepare a pair of partridges as in receipt No. 99, but do not stuff them; tie over the breasts slices of pork or bacon, and roast about twenty-five minutes; serve with bread sauce.
111. Bread Sauce.—Peel and slice an onion weighing full an ounce, simmer it half an hour in one pint of milk, strain it, and to the milk add two ounces of stale bread, broken in small pieces, one ounce of butter, one saltspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of nutmeg and pepper mixed; strain, passing through a sieve with a spoon, and serve hot.
Boiling is the most economical way of cooking, if properly done; there are several important points to be considered in this connection. We have already said that the best method of cooking meat is that which preserves all its nourishing juices; if in addition to this we can prepare it in such a way as to present a large available surface to the action of the digestive juices, we would seem to have reached culinary perfection. Judicious boiling accomplishes this: and we cannot do better than to follow Liebig's plan to first plunge the meat into boiling water, and boil it five minutes to coagulate the albumen to a sufficient depth to form a crust upon the surface, and thus confine the juices, and then add enough cold water to reduce the temperature to 158 deg. Fahr., if the meat is to be rare, or to 165 deg. Fahr., if it is to be well done; and to maintain this gentle heat until the meat is tender. There is comparatively little waste in boiling, from the fact that fat melts less quickly than in broiling or roasting, and the covering of the pot retards evaporation, while the water absorbed by the meat adds to its bulk to a certain extent without detracting from its quality. A strainer or plate should be placed in the bottom of the pot to prevent burning; the pot should be skimmed clear as soon as it boils, and the subsequent simmering should be gentle and steady; there should always be sufficient water to cover the meat in order to keep it plump. Less body of heat is required to boil in copper or iron pots, than in those made of tin, especially if the latter have polished surfaces which throw off the heat. The pot-liquor from boiled meat should always be strained into an earthen jar and left to cool; the fat can then be taken off for kitchen use, and the liquor utilized as the basis for some kind of soup.
112. Leg of Mutton with Caper Sauce.—Put a leg of mutton, weighing about six pounds, on the fire in enough boiling hot water to cover it; boil it for five minutes, skimming it as often as any scum rises, then pour in enough cold water to reduce the heat to about 160 deg. Fahr., season with a tablespoonful of salt, and simmer the meat at that heat until it is tender, allowing about twenty minutes cooking to each pound of meat; if turnips are to be served with it as a garnish, choose them of equal size, pare them smoothly, and boil them with the mutton; if the vegetables are cooked first take them up without breaking, and set them back off the fire, in a little of the mutton stock, to keep hot. Just before dishing the meat, make a caper sauce, as directed in receipt No. 113; serve the mutton on a hot dish, with the turnips laid around it, and send the sauce in a gravy-boat to the table with it.
113. Caper Sauce.—Put one ounce of butter and one ounce of flour in a sauce-pan over the fire, and stir until smoothly melted; gradually pour in half a pint of boiling water, season with one teaspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper, and stir until the sauce coats the spoon when you lift it out; take it from the fire, and stir in two ounces of butter, and two tablespoonfuls of small capers, and serve at once. Do not permit the sauce to boil after you have added the butter, as it may turn rancid.
114. Boiled Ham with Madeira Sauce.—Choose a ham by running a thin bladed knife close to the bone, and if the odor which follows the cut is sweet the ham is good; soak it in cold water for twenty-four hours, changing the water once; scrape it well, and trim off any ragged parts; put it in enough cold water to cover it, with an onion weighing about one ounce, stuck with six cloves, and a bouquet made according to directions in Chapter first, and boil it four hours. Take it from the fire and let it cool in the pot-liquor. Then take it up carefully, remove the skin, dust it with sifted bread or cracker crumbs, and brown it in the oven. Serve it either hot or cold; if hot send it to the table with a gravy boat full of Madeira sauce.
115. Madeira Sauce.—Put over the fire in a thick sauce-pan one pint of Spanish sauce made according to receipt No. 44, or the same quantity of any rich brown gravy, season with salt and pepper to taste; the seasoning must depend on the flavor of the gravy; when scalding hot add half a pint of Madeira wine, and stir till the sauce is thick enough to coat the spoon; then strain through a fine sieve, and serve hot.
116. Beef a la Mode Jardiniere.—Daube a seven pound piece of round of beef, by inserting, with the grain, pieces of larding pork, cut as long as the meat is thick, and about half an inch square, setting the strips of pork about two inches apart; this can be done either with a large larding needle, called a sonde, or by first making a hole with the carving-knife steel, and then thrusting the pork in with the fingers; lay the beef in a deep bowl containing the marinade, or pickle, given in receipt No. 117, and let it stand from two to ten days in a cool place, turning it over every day. Then put it into a deep pot just large enough to hold it, together with the marinade, and turn it occasionally over the fire until it is nicely browned; cover it with hot stock or water, and simmer it gently four hours. When it has been cooking three hours cut about four ounces each of carrots and turnips in the shape of olives; pare two dozen button onions; and cut one pint of string beans in pieces one inch long; put all these vegetables on the fire in cold water, in separate vessels, each containing a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of sugar, and let them boil till tender; then lay them in cold water to keep them white, until ready to use them. When the meat is tender, take it up, and keep it warm; strain the sauce in which it has cooked, and stir it over the fire until it is thick enough to coat the spoon; drain the vegetables, and let them scald up in the sauce, and pour all over the beef.
117. Marinade.—Cut in slices, four ounces each of carrot and onion, two ounces of turnip, and one ounce of leeks; chop a quarter of an ounce each of parsley and celery, if in season; slice one lemon; add to these one level tablespoonful of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper, six cloves, four allspice, one inch of stick cinnamon, two blades of mace, one gill of oil and one of vinegar, half a pint of red wine, and one pint of water. Mix all these ingredients thoroughly, and use the marinade for beef, game, or poultry, always keeping it in a cool place.
118. Boiled Fowl with Oyster Sauce.—Prepare a pair of fowls in accordance with receipt No. 99, but do not stuff them; put them into boiling water enough to cover them, with a level tablespoonful of salt to each quart of water; skim until clear, and boil slowly until tender, about fifteen minutes to a pound; when nearly done, make an oyster sauce, as directed in receipt No. 119, and serve it on the same dish with the fowls, sprinkling them with a teaspoonful of chopped parsley.
119. Oyster Sauce.—Blanch one quart of oysters by bringing them to a boil in their own liquor; drain them, saving the liquor; wash them in cold water, and set them away from the fire until you are ready to use them; stir one ounce of butter and one ounce of flour together over the fire until they form a smooth paste, strain into them enough of the oyster liquor and that the chicken was boiled in to make a sauce as thick as melted butter; season with a teaspoonful of salt, quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper, and the same of grated nutmeg; put in the oysters, and serve.
SALADS AND SALAD SAUCES.
"The very herbs of the field yield nourishment, and bread and water make a feast for a temperate man," says Plato; and indeed the healthfulness of fresh vegetables is well enough known in our day; we include under this term not only the edible roots, but the young shoots of succulent plants, rich in nitrates and mineral salts, which play an important part in the preparation of salads. Americans are beginning to realize the wealth of green food abounding in their gardens and fields, which they have too long abandoned to their beasts of burden. We are wise in letting the ox eat grass for us, but with the grass he too often consumes tender herbs which might find a place on our own tables, to the advantage of appetite and digestion. Dandelion, corn-salad, chicory, mint, sorrel, fennel, marshmallows, tarragon, chives, mustard, and cresses, and their numerous kind, grow wild, or can be cultivated with but little trouble; and should find their way to favor in every family, for with the oil and vinegar employed in dressing them, they promote digestion, and purify the system; while the condiments used with them are of decided medicinal value.
There is some degree of truth in the idea that a salad-maker is born, not made, and yet with due care and delicate manipulation, almost any deft-handed and neat-minded individual may become an expert salad dresser. Most careful preparation of the green vegetables is imperatively necessary to the production of a good salad; they must be freshened in cool water, cleaned of all foreign matter, well drained upon a clean napkin; and, above all, torn with the fingers, and not cut with a knife. Then the various ingredients should be very delicately and deliberately compounded, and withal by a quick and cunning hand, and the result will be perfection. Below we give the receipts for a class of salads best adapted for general use.
In the preparation of all salads only good oil should be used, as none other will produce invariably satisfactory results. The very best salads are often the result of the inspiration of the moment, when the necessity arises for substituting some ingredient near at hand for one not to be obtained, as in the case of the shad-roe salad mentioned below. The formula called for Russian caviare, but Russian caviare was not to be had, and a cold shad-roe was; the consequence was its substitution and the alteration of one or two other ingredients, and the result, we do not hesitate to say, was the production of one of the most delicious salads ever invented. Let careful housekeepers not given to these "foreign dishes" remember that they are not only appetizing but economical.
120. Spring Salad.—Break one pint of fresh mustard tops, and one of cresses, tear one good-sized lettuce, and chop two green onions; place all lightly in a dish, and ornament it with celery and slices of boiled beet. Use it with a cream dressing.
121. Watercress Salad.—Serve one quart of watercresses with one chopped green onion, one teaspoonful of ground horseradish, one tablespoonful of lemon juice, and two of oil, simply poured over.
122. Mint Salad.—Wash and clean the tender tops of one quart of spearmint, lay them in a bowl with one tablespoonful of chopped chives, and dress them with brown sugar and vinegar, or sweet sauce. This is an excellent accompaniment for roast lamb.
123. Cauliflower Salad.—Place in a salad bowl one underdone cauliflower, broken in branches, six small silver onions, six radishes, ornament with the hearts of two white lettuces, and one dessertspoonful each of chopped olives and capers; dress it with cream sauce, or plain oil and vinegar.
124. Dandelion Salad.—This salad is a favorite European dish; one pint of the plants are carefully washed and placed in a salad bowl with an equal quantity of watercresses, three green onions or leeks sliced, a teaspoonful of salt, and plenty of oil or cream dressing. This is one of the most healthful and refreshing of all early salads.
125. Asparagus Salad.—Cut the green tops of two bunches of cold asparagus one inch long, mix them with the leaves of one lettuce, a few sprigs of mint, and a teaspoonful of powdered sugar, ornament with tufts of leaves, and serve with a Mayonnaise.
126. Shad-roe Salad.—Boil two roes, separate the grains by washing them in vinegar, place them in a salad bowl, with one head of tender lettuce and one pint of ripe tomatoes cut thin; dress them with two tablespoonfuls each of oil, lemon juice, and strained tomato pulp, seasoned with cayenne pepper.
127. Green Pea Salad.—Place one pint of cold boiled peas in a bowl with one tablespoonful of powdered sugar; pour over them two tablespoonfuls of oil and one of vinegar, and garnish with two cucumbers delicately sliced. This salad is excellent with a Mayonnaise.
128. Orange Salad.—Divest four under-ripe oranges of all rind and pith, slice them into a dish, season with a little cayenne pepper, add the rind of one minced, the juice of one lemon and a tablespoonful of oil if desired; decorate with tarragon tops.
129. Spinach Salad.—Place one pint of lettuce leaves, and one pint of tender spinach tops in a bowl with a few fresh mint leaves, dress them with oil and vinegar plain, and decorate them with sliced hard boiled eggs. A ravigote sauce is excellent with this salad.
130. Tomato Salad.—Slice one quart of ripe tomatoes, sprinkle with cayenne pepper, garnish with chervil or fennel, and dress with oil or lemon juice three tablespoonfuls of each.
131. Nasturtium Salad.—Tear two white lettuces into the salad bowl, sprinkle over them one tablespoonful of pickled nasturtiums, or capers, dress with simple oil and vinegar, and garnish with fresh nasturtium blossoms.
In mixing salad dressings, first, carefully stir together all the ingredients except the oil and vinegar, and add these gradually and alternately a few drops at a time.
132. Cream Dressing.—Where oil is disliked in salads the following dressing will be found excellent. Rub the yolks of two hard boiled eggs very fine with a spoon, incorporate with them a dessertspoonful of mixed mustard, then stir in a tablespoonful of melted butter, half a teacupful of thick cream, a saltspoonful of salt, and cayenne pepper enough to take up on the point of a very small pen-knife blade, and a few drops of anchovy or Worcestershire sauce; add very carefully sufficient vinegar to reduce the mixture to a smooth creamy consistency; and pour it upon lettuce carefully prepared for the table.
133. English Salad Sauce.—Break the yolk of one hard boiled egg with a silver fork, add to it a saltspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of dry mustard, a mashed mealy potato, two dessertspoonfuls each of cream and oil, and one tablespoonful of vinegar; mix until smooth and firm.
134. Remolade.—Beat a fresh raw egg, add to it a teaspoonful of mixed mustard, and three tablespoonfuls of oil; when smooth add just enough vinegar to change the color slightly.
135. Sweet Sauce.—Mix well two tablespoonfuls of oil, the raw yolk of one egg, a saltspoonful of salt, a half that quantity of pepper, one tablespoonful of vinegar, and a dessertspoonful of moist sugar.
136. Piquante Salad Sauce.—Mix together the yolks of two hard boiled and two raw eggs; add one tablespoonful each of cream and oil; and, when smooth, enough Chili or tarragon vinegar to season sharply, about two tablespoonfuls.
137. Green Remolade.—One dessertspoonful each of chopped tarragon, chives, and sorrel, pounded in a mortar; add a saltspoonful of salt, half that quantity of mignonette pepper, one tablespoonful of mixed mustard, a gill of oil, and the raw yolks of three eggs; when pounded quite smooth, dilute it with a little vinegar, and strain it through a sieve.
138. Oil Sauce.—Pound in a mortar one shallot or two button onions, the yolks of two hard boiled eggs, a saltspoonful of herbs, a tablespoonful of vinegar, and enough oil to thicken it, about one gill.
139. Ravigote Sauce.—Clean and chop a few salad herbs, put one teaspoonful of each into a small pan with a tablespoonful of meat jelly or thick stock, and a little pepper and salt; stir till the jelly is hot, and then add one tablespoonful of vinegar, and two of good oil; when thoroughly mixed set the sauce-pan into a cool place, or pour out the mixture on a dish until it is wanted for use.
140. Egg Dressing.—Chop the yolks and whites of two hard boiled eggs separately, but not fine; strew them upon any salad after having dressed it with two tablespoonfuls of cream, and one of white vinegar.
141. Anchovy Salad Sauce.—Mix until smooth two raw eggs, one teaspoonful of the essence of anchovy, one tablespoonful of vinegar, and two of oil.
142. Swiss Dressing.—Pound two ounces of old cheese in a mortar, add one tablespoonful of vinegar, a little salt and pepper, and dilute to the consistency of cream with oil.
143. Spring Dressing.—Beat the yolks of two raw eggs, add a teaspoonful of salt, and a saltspoonful of dry mustard, chop one leek or two new onions, and mix them in, then add three tablespoonfuls of oil and one of vinegar and mix thoroughly; tear up two heads of lettuce, putting thin slices of boiled beets upon it, and pour the dressing over all.
144. Mayonnaise.—Place in the bottom of a salad bowl the yolk of one raw egg, a level teaspoonful of salt, the same quantity of dry mustard, a saltspoonful of white pepper, as much cayenne as can be taken up on the point of a very small pen-knife blade, and the juice of half a lemon; mix these ingredients with a wooden salad spoon until they assume a creamy white appearance; then add, drop by drop, three gills of salad oil, stirring the mayonnaise constantly; if it thickens too rapidly, thin it with a little of the juice from the second half of the lemon, until all is used; and towards the finish add gradually four tablespoonfuls of tarragon vinegar. Keep it cool until wanted for use.
145. Hot Salad Sauce.—This sauce when cold is an excellent and economical substitute for the more expensive mayonnaise.
PART 1.—Put one ounce each of butter and flour into a sauce-pan over the fire, and stir until it is melted, add gradually half a pint of boiling water, season with a teaspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper, stir till smooth, and set a little away from the fire, while you make the following sauce.
PART 2.—Put the yolk of one raw egg in a salad bowl, add a quarter of a saltspoonful of salt, half that quantity of grated nutmeg, as much cayenne as you can take up on the point of a very small pen-knife blade; mix these ingredients with a wooden salad spoon thoroughly, and then add, a few drops at a time and alternately, three tablespoonfuls of oil, and one of vinegar. Pour the preparation marked part 1, into this, gradually stirring until the sauces are thoroughly mixed; cool and use. This sauce will keep for weeks in a cool place.
146. Romaine Salad Dressing.—Grate half an ounce of onion, mix it with a teaspoonful of lemon juice, a saltspoonful each of salt and powdered sugar, a level saltspoonful each of white pepper, and dry mustard, then gradually add three tablespoonfuls of oil, and one of vinegar. Use for lettuce or tomato salad.
Soft water is the best for boiling all vegetables. Fresh vegetables boil in one-third less time than stale ones. Green vegetables should be put into plenty of boiling water and salt, and boiled rapidly, without covering, only until tender enough to pierce with the finger nail; a bit of common washing soda, or of carbonate of ammonia, as large as a dried pea, put into the boiling water with any of the vegetables except beans, counteracts any excess of mineral elements in them, and helps to preserve their color. A lump of loaf sugar boiled with turnips neutralizes their excessive bitterness. Cabbage, potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, and beets, are injured by being boiled with fresh meat, and they also hurt the color of the meat, and impair its tenderness and flavor. When vegetables are cooked for use with salt meat, the meat should first be cooked and taken from the pot liquor, and the vegetables boiled in the latter. The following table will be a guide in boiling vegetables, but it must be remembered that the youngest and freshest boil in the least time; and that in winter all the roots except potatoes require nearly double the time to cook, that they would take in summer, when they are new; spinach, ten to fifteen minutes; brussels sprouts, peas, cauliflowers, and asparagus, fifteen to twenty minutes; potatoes, cabbage, corn, and string-beans, twenty to thirty minutes; turnips, onions, and squash, twenty to forty minutes; beets, carrots, and parsnips, about one hour.
147. Asparagus with Melted Butter.—Trim the white tough ends from two bunches of asparagus, tie it in packages of about a dozen stalks each; put them into three quarts of boiling water, with three tablespoonfuls of salt, and boil them gently until done, about twenty minutes; meantime make some drawn butter according to receipt for caper sauce, omitting the capers; fit two slices of toast to the bottom of the dish you intend to use, dip it for one instant in the water in which the asparagus has been boiled, lay it on the dish, and arrange the asparagus in a ring on it with the heads in the centre; send the butter to the table in a gravy boat, with the dish of asparagus.
148. Green Peas.—Boil two quarts of freshly shelled peas in two quarts of boiling water with half an ounce of butter, one bunch of green mint, and one teaspoonful each of sugar and salt, until they begin to sink to the bottom of the sauce-pan: drain them in a colander, season them with a saltspoonful of salt, and a quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper, and send them to the table hot.
149. String Beans.—These beans are generally marketed while they are unripe, and cooked in the shell; in that condition two quarts of them should be stringed, split in halves, cut in pieces two inches long, and thrown into boiling water with a tablespoonful of salt, but no soda or ammonia should be added, as its action discolors them; a few sprigs of parsley and an ounce of pork can be boiled with them to their improvement; when they are tender, which will be in about half an hour, they should be drained, and served with melted butter, made as for caper sauce, but without the capers.
150. Baked Beets.—Clean eight smooth beets with a soft cloth or brush; bake them in a moderate oven about one hour; rub off the skin, baste them with butter and lemon juice, return them to the oven for five minutes, and serve them hot.
151. Brussels Sprouts.—Trim two quarts of Brussels sprouts, wash them thoroughly, put them in three quarts of boiling water with two tablespoonfuls of salt, and boil them gently until tender, about fifteen minutes, shaking the sauce-pan occasionally; then drain them in a colander, being careful not to break them; put them again into the sauce-pan with one ounce of butter, a teaspoonful of lemon juice, a saltspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper; toss them gently over the fire, while you make some rounds of buttered toast for the bottom of a platter; when this is ready shake the Brussels sprouts upon it, and serve hot. Some persons like the addition of two ounces of grated Parmesan cheese; and others serve them with the Bechamel sauce named in receipt No. 84.
152. Stuffed Cabbage.—Cut the leaves of a large white cabbage as whole as possible, cut out the stalks, wash the leaves well, and boil them only until tender, in three quarts of boiling water and salt, with a piece of soda as large as a dried pea; have ready some sausage meat highly seasoned, and as soon as the cabbage is tender carefully drain it in a colander, run cold water from the faucet over it, and, without tearing the leaves, lay them open on the table, two or three upon each other, making eight or ten piles. Divide the sausage meat, and lay a portion in the centre of each, fold the cabbage over it in a compact roll and tie it in place with cord; lay the rolls on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, put over each a tablespoonful of any rich brown gravy and brown a little in a quick oven; serve at once, on small rounds of toast.
153. Red Cabbage.—Cut a firm head of red cabbage in shreds, lay it in a sauce-pan with the following ingredients; one gill of vinegar, one teaspoonful each of ground cloves and salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, two ounces of butter, and two ounces of sugar; stew it gently until tender, about one hour, shaking the pan to prevent burning, and serve it hot.
154. Baked Cauliflower.—Thoroughly wash a large cauliflower, boil it in plenty of boiling water and salt, until tender, about twenty minutes; drain it whole; pour over it one gill of Bechamel sauce, made as in receipt No. 84, dust it thickly with cracker dust, or bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese, mixed in equal proportions, and brown it ten minutes in a quick oven.
155. Baked Turnips.—Pare six large yellow turnips, slice them, and boil them till tender in plenty of salted water; drain them, put them on a flat dish in layers, pour over them half a pint of Bechamel sauce, dust them thickly with crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese; brown them in a quick oven, and serve hot.
156. Glazed Onions.—Pare three dozen button onions, put them on a tin dish, pour over them a very little Spanish sauce or brown gravy, just enough to moisten them, season them with a teaspoonful of salt, and quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper; brown them in a quick oven, shaking them occasionally to color them equally; serve hot.
157. Mushroom Pudding.—Cleanse a quart of fresh mushrooms, cut them in small pieces, mix them with half a pound of minced ham or bacon, season them with a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper; spread them on a roly-poly crust made by mixing one pound of flour, half a pound of shortening, and a teaspoonful of salt, with about one pint of water: roll up the crust, tie it tightly in a floured cloth, and boil it about two hours in boiling stock, or salted water; serve hot with bread, or vegetables.
158. Boiled Potatoes.—Potatoes should be prepared for boiling by first carefully washing them, removing the deep eyes or defective parts, and then paring off one ring all around the potato; place them in cold water with a little salt; when cooked, which will be in from twenty to thirty minutes, pour off all the water, cover them with a clean, coarse towel, leaving off the lid of the pot, and set them on a hot brick on the back of the fire to steam. Potatoes treated in this way can be kept fresh, hot and mealy for hours. Medium-sized and smooth potatoes are the most economical to use, and the kind should be selected in reference to the season.
159. Lyonnaise Potatoes.—Chop two ounces of onion, and fry it pale yellow in two ounces of butter; meantime peel boiled potatoes, either hot or cold, cut them in slices, put them into the pan containing the onion and butter, season them with a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper, fry them pale brown, shaking the pan to prevent burning, and tossing it to brown them evenly; sprinkle with two tablespoonfuls of chopped parsley, and serve at once.
160. Stuffed Potatoes.—Wash twelve large potatoes with a brush; bake them only until they begin to soften; not more than half an hour; cut off one end, scoop out the inside with a teaspoon into a sauce-pan containing two ounces of butter, one saltspoonful of white pepper, one teaspoonful of salt, and two ounces of grated Parmesan cheese; stir all these ingredients over the fire until they are scalding hot; then fill the potato skins with the mixture, put on the ends, press the potatoes gently in shape, heat them in the oven, and serve them on a hot dish covered with a napkin, the potatoes being laid on the napkin. Observe never to cover a baked potato unless you want it to be heavy and moist.
161. Potato Snow.—Peel a quart of white potatoes, and boil them as directed in receipt No. 158; drain them thoroughly, put them in a sieve over the dish in which they are to be served, and rub them through it with a potato masher, or a wooden spoon; do not stir them after they are put into the dish, and serve them hot.
162. Bermuda or New Potatoes.—Wash a quart of new potatoes thoroughly, put them into plenty of boiling water and salt, and boil them until tender enough to pierce easily with a fork; drain off the water, cover them with a towel, let them steam five minutes, and serve them in their jackets.
163. Broiled Potatoes.—Boil a quart of even sized potatoes until tender, but do not let them grow mealy; drain off the water, peel the potatoes, cut them in half inch slices, dip them in melted butter, and broil them over a moderate fire; serve hot, with a little butter melted.
164. Saratoga Potatoes.—Peel a quart of potatoes, cut them in very thin slices, and lay them in cold water and salt for an hour or more; then dry them on a towel, throw them into a deep kettle of smoking hot fat, and fry them light brown; take them out of the fat with a skimmer into a colander, scatter over them a teaspoonful of salt, shake them well about, and turn them on a platter to serve.
165. Broiled Tomatoes.—Wipe half a dozen large red tomatoes, cut them in half inch slices, dip them in melted butter, season them with salt and pepper, dip them in cracker crumbs, and broil them on an oiled gridiron over a moderate fire, being very careful not to break the slices in turning them. Serve them with chops for breakfast.
166. Stuffed Tomatoes.—Cut off the tops from eight or ten large smooth round tomatoes; scoop out the inside, and put it into a sauce-pan with quarter of a pound of scraps of ham, bacon or tongue minced fine, a saltspoonful of salt, two ounces of butter, half an ounce of chopped parsley, and four ounces of grated cheese and bread crumbs mixed; stir these ingredients over the fire until they are scalding hot, fill the tomato skins with this forcemeat, fit them neatly together, dust them with sifted bread crumbs, put over each a very little sweet oil to prevent burning, brown them in a quick oven, and serve them on a hot dish with their own gravy turned over them.
167. Saratoga Onions.—Slice half a dozen delicately flavored onions in small strips; drop them into plenty of smoking hot fat, fry them pale brown, and drain them for a moment in a colander. Serve hot for breakfast or lunch.
168. Fried Beans.—Fry two ounces of chopped onions in one ounce of butter until golden brown; put into them about a quart of cold boiled white beans, season them with a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper, moisten them with half a pint of any brown gravy, and serve them hot.
169. Ham and Beans.—Put into a sauce-pan two ounces of butter, half a saltspoonful each of salt and pepper, one quart of cold beans, and quarter of a pound of ham chopped fine; moisten these ingredients with a little gravy of any kind, heat them thoroughly, and serve at once.
170. Kolcannon.—Mince an ounce of onion, fry it pale yellow in one ounce of butter, add to it equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and cabbage, season with a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper, and fry for fifteen minutes; serve hot for breakfast or lunch.
171. Carrot Stew.—Clean, boil, and quarter three large carrots; cut the pieces in two; simmer them gently in milk enough to cover them, season with a teaspoonful of salt, and a saltspoonful of pepper; when they are quite tender take them off the fire long enough to stir in the raw yolk of an egg, return them to the fire two minutes to cook the egg, and serve them hot at once.
172. Baked Mushrooms.—Clean a quart of medium sized mushrooms, trim off the roots, dip them first in some maitre d'hotel butter made of equal parts of chopped parsley, lemon juice, and sweet butter, then roll them in cracker or bread crumbs, lay them on a dish, and just brown them in a quick oven.
173. Stuffed Lettuce.—Choose four round firm heads of lettuce, first bring them to a boil in hot water and salt, drain them carefully, cut out the stalk end, fill the inside of the head with minced veal or chicken highly seasoned, lay them on a baking pan, put a tablespoonful of some brown gravy over each, and then bake in a moderate oven about fifteen minutes.
174. Stewed Parsnips.—Wash eight parsnips, carefully cut each in four pieces, boil them in plenty of water, until tender, from twenty minutes to an hour, according to the season; then drain off the water, make a layer of quarter of a pound of salt pork on the bottom of the pot, put the parsnips in again, and fry them until brown; serve the pork with them on a platter.
CHEAP DISHES WITHOUT MEAT.
"Bread is the staff of life;" in all ages and countries farinaceous foods have formed the bulk of man's sustenance; under this general term we include macaroni, which contains more gluten than bread and consequently is more nourishing, the different wheat flours, oat and barley meal, pearl barley, peas, beans, and lentils; the latter are the nearest article to meat in point of nourishment, containing heat-food in quantity nearly equal to wheat, and twice as much flesh food. Lentils have been used for food in older countries from time immemorial, and it is quite time that we should become acquainted with their merits; a lentil soup is given in the second chapter, and in this we append some excellent directions for cooking this invaluable food. One quart of lentils when cooked will make four pounds of hearty food. There are two varieties in market; the small flat brown seed, called lentils a la reine; and a larger kind, about the size of peas, and of a greenish color; both sorts are equally well flavored and nutritious. There is no reason why, with judicious seasoning, the "dinner of herbs" should lack the gustatory enjoyment which is popularly supposed to belong to the repast furnished by the "stalled ox;" especially if we are economical enough to save towards making it any pot-liquor, or cold meat gravy or drippings, which are left from a feast-day.
175. Potato Soup.—Slice six onions, fry them brown with two ounces of drippings, then add two ounces of flour and brown it; add four quarts of boiling water, and stir till the soup boils; season with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper; add one quart of potatoes peeled and cut fine, and boil all until they are tender; then stir in four ounces of oatmeal mixed smooth with a pint of cold water, and boil fifteen minutes; this soup should be stirred often enough to prevent burning; when it is nearly done mix together off the fire one ounce each of butter and flour, and stir them into the soup; when it boils up pass through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and serve hot with plenty of bread.
176. Scotch Crowdie.—Boil one pound of oatmeal one hour in four quarts of any kind of pot-liquor, stirring often enough to prevent burning; season with one tablespoonful of salt, a level saltspoonful of pepper, one ounce of butter, and serve with plenty of bread.
177. Peas-pudding.—Soak three pints of dried peas in cold water over night; tie them loosely in a clean cloth, and boil them about two hours in pot-liquor or water, putting them into it cold and bringing them gradually to a boil; drain them, pass them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, season them with a level tablespoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, one ounce of butter, and one egg, if it is on hand; mix, tie in a clean cloth, and boil half an hour longer; then turn it from the cloth, on a dish, and serve hot.
178. Red Herrings with Potatoes.—Soak a dozen herrings in cold water for one hour; dry and skin them, split them down the back, and lay them in a pan with two ounces of drippings, two ounces of onion chopped fine, a saltspoonful of pepper, and three tablespoonfuls of vinegar; and set them in a moderate oven to brown for ten or fifteen minutes: meantime, boil one quart of potatoes, with a ring of the paring taken off, in plenty of boiling water and salt, pouring off the water as soon as they are tender, and letting them stand on the back of the fire, covered with a dry towel, for five minutes; serve them with the herrings, taking care to dish both quite hot.
179. Oatmeal Porridge.—Boil two ounces of chopped onion in two quarts of skim milk; mix half a pound of oatmeal smooth with about a pint of milk, pour it into the boiling milk, season it with a tablespoonful of salt, boil it about twenty minutes, stirring to prevent burning, and serve hot.
180. Cheese Pudding.—Into two quarts of boiling water, containing two tablespoonfuls of salt, stir one pound of yellow Indian meal, and three quarters of a pound of grated cheese; boil it for twenty minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning; then put it in a buttered baking pan, sprinkle over the top quarter of a pound of grated cheese, and brown in a quick oven. Serve hot. If any remains, slice it cold and fry it brown.
181. Polenta.—Boil one pound of yellow Indian meal for half an hour, in two quarts of pot-liquor, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning; then bake it for half an hour in a buttered baking dish, and serve it either hot; or, when cold, slice it and fry it in smoking hot fat. This favorite Italian dish is closely allied to the hasty-pudding of New England, whose praises have been sung by poe-tasters.
182. Fish Pudding.—Make a plain paste by mixing quarter of a pound of lard or sweet drippings with half a pound of flour, a teaspoonful of salt, and just water enough to make a stiff paste; roll it out; line the edges of a deep pudding dish with it half way down; fill the dish with layers of fresh codfish cut in small pieces, using two or three pounds, season each layer with salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and chopped onions, using one tablespoonful of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper, two bay leaves, a saltspoonful of thyme, four ounces of onion, and half an ounce of parsley; fill up the dish with any cold gravy, milk, or water, cover with paste, and bake fifteen minutes in a quick oven; finish by baking half an hour in a moderate oven; serve hot.
183. Lentils boiled plain.—Wash two pounds of lentils well in cold water, put them over the fire, in four quarts of cold water with one ounce of drippings, one tablespoonful of salt, and a saltspoonful of pepper, and boil slowly until tender, that is about three hours; drain off the little water which remains, add to the lentils one ounce of butter, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a teaspoonful of sugar, and a little more salt and pepper if required, and serve them hot. Always save the water in which they are boiled; with the addition of a little thickening and seasoning, it makes a very nourishing soup.
184. Stewed Lentils.—Put plain boiled lentils into a sauce-pan, cover them with any kind of pot-liquor, add one ounce of chopped onion, two ounces of butter, quarter of an ounce of chopped parsley, and stew gently for twenty minutes; serve hot.
185. Fried Lentils.—Fry one ounce of chopped onion brown in two ounces of drippings, add plain boiled lentils, see if they are properly seasoned, and brown them well; serve hot.
186. Norfolk Dumplings.—Mix well together two pounds of flour, one dessertspoonful of salt, and two pints of milk; divide the dough in twelve equal parts, and drop them into a pot of boiling pot-liquor, or boiling water; boil them steadily half an hour. They should be eaten hot, with gravy, sweet drippings, or a little molasses.
187. Salt Cod with Parsnips.—Soak three pounds of salt fish over night, with the skin uppermost, and boil it about one hour, putting it into plenty of cold water. Meantime pare half a dozen parsnips, and cut them in quarters, boil them half an hour, or longer, until tender, drain them, and dish them around the fish. While the fish and parsnips are cooking make the following sauce: mix two ounces of flour and one ounce of butter or sweet drippings, over the fire until a smooth paste is formed; then pour in half a pint of boiling water gradually, stirring until the sauce is smooth, add three tablespoonfuls of vinegar, season with one saltspoonful of salt, and half that quantity of pepper; let the sauce boil up thoroughly for about three minutes, and serve it with the fish and parsnips. A hard boiled egg chopped and added to the sauce improves it.
188. Pickled Mackerel.—When fresh mackerel or herrings can be bought cheap, clean enough to fill a two quart deep jar, pack them in it in layers with a seasoning of a tablespoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of powdered herbs a saltspoonful each of pepper and allspice, and cover with vinegar and cold water, in equal parts. Bake about one hour in a moderate oven. Serve with plain boiled potatoes.
189. Potato Pudding.—Wash and peel two quarts of potatoes; peel and slice about six ounces of onions; skin and bone two bloaters or large herrings; put all these ingredients in a baking dish in layers seasoning them with a dessertspoonful of salt and a saltspoonful of pepper; pour over them any cold gravy you have on hand, or add two or three ounces of drippings; if you have neither of these, water will answer; bake the pudding an hour and a half; serve hot, with bread.
CHEAP DISHES WITH MEAT.
Those parts of meat which are usually called inferior, and sold at low rates, such as the head, tongue, brains, pluck, tripe, feet, and tail, can be cooked so as to become both nourishing and delicate. They are more generally eaten in Europe than in this country, and they are really worthy of careful preparation; for instance, take the haslet ragout, the receipt for which is given further on in this chapter. The author owes this receipt to the fortunate circumstance of one day procuring a calf's liver direct from the slaughter-house, with the heart and lights attached; the liver was to be larded and cooked as directed in receipt No. 53, at a cooking lesson; the chef said, after laying aside the liver, "I will make for myself a dish of what the ladies would not choose," and at the direction of the author he cooked it before the class; the ladies tasted and approved. The nutritive value and flavor of the dishes specified in this chapter are less than those of prime cuts of meat, but properly combined with vegetables and cereals, they completely take the place of those more expensive foods; they should be thoroughly cooked, and well masticated; and can usually be digested with greater ease than the more solid flesh.
190. Three dishes from a Neck of Mutton.—PART I.—BARLEY BROTH WITH VEGETABLES.—Trim a neck of mutton into neat cutlets, and reserve them for part 2; put the bones and trimmings into three quarts of cold water, boil slowly, and skim thoroughly: add six ounces of barley which has been soaked in cold water over night, a bouquet of sweet herbs, two teaspoonfuls of salt, and one saltspoonful of pepper, and simmer for two hours; strain out one quart of the broth for part 3, then add six ounces of carrots, four ounces of onions, and four ounces of yellow turnips cut in dice about half an inch square, six ounces of oatmeal mixed to a smooth batter with cold water, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, which will be about half an hour: taste to try the seasoning and serve hot.—PART II.—MUTTON STEW.—Cut half a quart each of yellow turnips and potatoes into balls as large as marbles, saving the trimmings to put into soup, and for mashed potatoes; peel six ounces of small onions; put all these in separate vessels to boil until tender enough to pierce with a fork; meantime put the cutlets in a hot pan containing an ounce of drippings, and fry them brown quickly; stir among them one ounce of dry flour; brown it, add one quart of boiling water; season with one teaspoonful of salt, and a quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper; drain the vegetables, put them with the meat and gravy, and serve hot.—PART III.—FRIED PUDDING.—To the quart of broth strained off as directed in Part I, and brought to the boiling point, gradually add sufficient Indian meal to thicken it, about half a pound will generally be enough; season with a teaspoonful of salt, and boil it for twenty minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent burning; pour it out into a deep earthen dish, and let it stand long enough to grow solid; then cut it in slices, and fry it brown in drippings; it can be eaten with molasses for dessert. With proper management all these dishes can be ready at one time, and will form a good and wholesome dinner.
191. Neck of Pork stuffed.—Clean a neck of fresh pork, fill it with sage and onion stuffing, made according to receipt No. ——; put it in a dripping pan, with some small potatoes, peeled and washed well in cold water, roast it brown, seasoning with a teaspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of pepper, when it is half done; when it is thoroughly cooked serve it with the potatoes laid around it, and a gravy made from the drippings in the pan cleared of fat, and thickened with a teaspoonful of flour.
192. Pigs' Feet Fried.—Thoroughly burn all the hairs off with a poker heated to a white heat; then scald the feet, wipe them dry, and put them over the fire to boil in cold water, with two ounces each of carrot and onion, the latter stuck with six cloves, two tablespoonfuls of salt, quarter of an ounce of parsley made into a bouquet with three bay leaves and a sprig of thyme; boil them slowly four hours, or more, until you can easily remove the bones. Split the feet in two pieces, and take out all the large bones; have ready some sifted crumbs of cracker, or dry bread, a little milk, or an egg beaten with a teaspoonful of water; dry the pieces on a clean towel, roll them first in the crumbs, then dip them in the milk or egg, and roll them again in the crumbs; fry them in smoking hot lard, which you must afterwards strain and save to use again, and lay them neatly on a hot dish; they will make an appetizing and nourishing meal.
193. Pigs' Tongue and Brains.—Soak them in cold water with two tablespoonfuls of salt for two hours; then put them into cold water over the fire, with two ounces each of carrot and onion, the latter stuck with three cloves, a bouquet of sweet herbs, and a tablespoonful of vinegar, and boil slowly fifteen minutes; take out the brains leaving the tongue still boiling, and put them in cold water to cool; then carefully remove the thin membrane or skin covering the brains, without breaking them; season them with a saltspoonful of salt and quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper, roll them in cracker crumbs, and fry them brown in smoking hot fat. By this time the tongue will be tender; take it up, lay it on a dish between the brains, put a few sprigs of parsley, celery, mint or watercresses, around them and serve them hot. This inexpensive dish is very delicate and nutritious.
194. Roasted Tripe.—Cut some tripe in pieces three inches long by six wide; cover each one with highly seasoned sausage-meat, roll up, and tie with a string; lay the rolls in a dripping pan, dredge them well with flour, and set them in the oven to bake, basting them with the liquor which flows from them; when they are nicely browned, dish them up with a slice of lemon on each one. Some melted butter may be put over them if desired.
195. Ragout of Haslet.—Wash the lights, cut them in two inch pieces, put them into a sauce-pan with one ounce each of butter, salt pork sliced, onion chopped, one dessertspoonful of salt, and half a saltspoonful of black pepper; two bay leaves, two sprigs of parsley and one of thyme, tied in a bouquet, one ounce of flour, one gill of vinegar, half a pint of cold gravy or cold water, and six potatoes peeled and cut in dice; stew all these ingredients gently together for two hours, and serve as you would a stew, with a tablespoonful of chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.
196. Cock-a-leeky.—Pluck, singe, and draw a cheap fowl, as directed in receipt No. ——; break the breast bone down with a rolling-pin, tie the fowl in a plump shape, put it into a sauce-pan with four quarts of cold water, one pound of rice, first washed in cold water, a tablespoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, and a bunch of leeks weighing about a pound, cut in two-inch pieces. Boil all gently for three hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice burning; serve the fowl on one dish with a tablespoonful of parsley chopped and sprinkled over it, and the rice and broth in a soup tureen or deep dish.
197. Italian Cheese.—Chop a pig's pluck, and two pounds of scraps or trimmings of fresh pork, season this forcemeat to taste with the spice salt of mixed spices and sweet herbs named in Chapter first; put it into an earthen jar with a lid, seal the lid with a paste made of flour and water, and oiled upon the surface to prevent cracking; put the jar in a moderate oven, and bake the cheese three hours, slowly. This dish is eaten cold with bread, in place of butter, and makes a hearty meal.
198. Gammon Dumpling.—Make a plain paste of two pounds of flour, one dessertspoonful of salt, half a pound of finely chopped suet or scraps, and sufficient cold water to mix it to a stiff dough; roll this out about half an inch thick, spread over it about two pounds of any cheap cut of bacon or ham, finely chopped, roll up the dumpling as you would a roly-poly pudding, tie it tightly in a clean cloth, and boil it in boiling water, or boiling pot-liquor, for about three hours. Serve it hot, with plain boiled potatoes.
199. Toad-in-the-Hole.—Cut two pounds of the cheapest parts of any good meat into small pieces, roll them in flour, pepper, and salt, and fry them brown in two ounces of drippings; meantime prepare a batter as follows; mix one pound of flour, one heaping teaspoonful of salt, half a nutmeg grated, and two eggs, stirred in without beating; gradually add three pints of skim-milk, making a smooth batter; add the meat and its gravy to this batter, put it in a greased baking dish, and bake it slowly about two hours. Serve it with plain boiled potatoes.
200. Bacon Roly-Poly.—Boil a pound and a half of bacon for half an hour; then slice it thin; peel and slice six apples and the same number of onions; make a stiff dough of two pounds of flour, a teaspoonful of salt, and cold water; roll it out half an inch thick; lay the bacon, apples, and onion all over it, roll it up, tie it tightly in a clean cloth, and boil it about two hours, in plenty of boiling water. Serve it with boiled potatoes, or boiled cabbage.
201. Baked Ox-heart.—Clean the heart thoroughly; stuff it with the following forcemeat; one ounce of onion chopped fine, a tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a saltspoonful of powdered sage or thyme, a teaspoonful of salt, half a small loaf of bread, and enough warm water to moisten the bread; mix, stuff the heart with it, and bake it an hour in a good hot oven, basting it occasionally with the liquor that flows from it, and when half done seasoning it well with salt and pepper. Serve hot with plain boiled potatoes, or with potatoes peeled, and baked in the pan with the heart.
202. Tripe and Onions.—Cut two pounds of tripe in pieces two inches square; peel and slice six large onions and ten potatoes; slice a quarter of a pound of salt pork or bacon; put the bacon in the bottom of a pot, with the tripe and vegetables in layers on it, seasoning with a tablespoonful of salt, a saltspoonful of pepper, and the same of powdered herbs; mix a pound of flour gradually with a quart and a half of cold water, pour it over the tripe and vegetables, and boil it gently for two hours. Serve hot with bread.
203. Peas and Bacon.—Cut a quarter of a pound of fat bacon in small bits, and fry it brown with two ounces of onions sliced; then add four ounces of split peas, one tablespoonful of salt, one saltspoonful of pepper, one teaspoonful of sugar, and four quarts of cold water; boil it until the peas are reduced to a pulp, which will be about three hours; then stir in sufficient oatmeal to thicken it, and boil slowly twenty minutes, stirring it occasionally; serve hot; or when cold, slice and fry it brown.
204. Pot-au-feu.—Put into four quarts of cold water one pound of cheap lean meat, and one pound of liver whole, some bones, cut into bits, two tablespoonfuls of salt, one teaspoonful of pepper, four leeks cut in pieces, and the following vegetables whole; four carrots, four turnips, and four onions, each stuck with two cloves; boil all gently for three hours, skimming occasionally, and adding two tablespoonfuls of cold water about every half hour; take up the meat and the liver on a platter, arrange the vegetables neatly around them, and serve the broth in a tureen, with plenty of bread.
205. Ragout of Mutton.—Cut four pounds of the scrag end of mutton in small pieces; peel a quart of turnips and cut them in round pieces as large as a walnut, and fry them brown in four ounces of fat; take them up, mix into the fat four ounces of flour, and brown it; add the mutton and sufficient cold water to cover the meat, and stir until it boils; season with a tablespoonful of salt, half a saltspoonful of pepper, a teaspoonful of sugar, and an ounce of onion if the flavor is liked; simmer gently until the meat is tender, about two hours; then add the turnips, heat them, and serve hot.
THE CHILDREN'S CHAPTER.
Any elaborate discussion of the relations of food to the needs of the body would not come within the scope of a work of this character; but there are a few facts concerning the diet of children to which we would call the attention of those mothers who wish their little brood to brighten home with radiant eyes, rosy cheeks, plump, graceful forms, and hearts bubbling over with the vivacity which springs from perfect health. Let them discard sago, arrowroot, and tapioca, all largely composed of starch, as comparatively useless in nourishing the growing body, which calls for the most complete nutrients; these often do very well in illness, where no great degree of nourishment is necessary, and where simply a given quantity of bland, innutritious food is required to help the system do without stronger aliment, calculated to irritate overworked and sensitive organs.
Indigestible articles, such as fat meat, rich pastry, hot bread, unripe fruit and vegetables, tea, coffee, spices, and stimulants, should be avoided in the diet of children. Good wheaten bread, farina, ripe fruit, fresh vegetables, meat-juices, milk, and sugar, should make up the list of staples; when meats are used they should be nutritious and digestible, such as good mutton, young beef, and tender poultry; bread and milk and fruit, for breakfast; meat, vegetables, bread and some light dessert, for dinner; bread and milk, or their equivalents, for supper; in other words, plain food and plenty of it, will keep mind and body in a sound condition, and supply all the requirements of growth.
Meats should be carefully cooked, so as to preserve all their natural juices; but no rich sauces, or made gravies, should accompany them to the table; a few ripe vegetables cooked until perfectly tender, roasted or baked potatoes, seed-bearing fruits, generally stewed, and plenty of light bread at least a day old, should be eaten with the meat. In stewing fruit only enough water should be used to prevent burning, and plenty of sugar should be employed to sweeten it; all fruit is less apt to be injurious if eaten early in the day. Eggs should be plain boiled, and rather soft. Milk should be boiled when there is any undue action of the bowels; otherwise it should be used uncooked with plenty of bread.
Hearty, vigorous children, who play much in the open air, can digest more meat than those who are confined indoors; and the cravings of a healthy appetite should always be appeased, care being taken that the stomach has the proper intervals of rest. Regularity of meals is really most important at all ages; the digestive organs must have time to assimilate their food supply. In childhood and youth, the period of growth, the needs of the system are more pressing than at any other time of life; if at this time children are fed on rich and stimulating food, they will be prone to fevers; if they are underfed they suffer both mentally and physically from slow starvation; equal and regular nutrition is imperative to the well being of the little ones, if we would have them grow up capable of performing in the fullest degree the highest functions of life. Therefore give the children plenty of plain, wholesome food; their active systems will appropriate it. If they continue serene in temper, equable in disposition, and generally healthy,—if the eyes are bright, the skin clear, the sleep serene,—the diet is proper and sufficient.
In the following receipts for preparing children's food the quantities are calculated for four.
206. Oatmeal Porridge.—Oatmeal is an extremely strengthening food; when it is well cooked it produces a large volume of nutritive matter in proportion to its bulk; and combined with milk it is the strongest and best of the cereals. Its flavor is sweet and pleasant; it appears in market in two forms, a rather rough meal, and the unbroken grain, after the husk has been removed; in either shape it should be thoroughly boiled, and combined with milk. A good thick porridge can be made by stirring four ounces of oatmeal into a quart of boiling milk, and then pouring this into a quart of water boiling on the fire, and allowing it to boil half or three-quarters of an hour; care must be taken not to burn it; just before it is done it should be seasoned with a teaspoonful of salt; and sweetened to taste at the table.
207. A good Breakfast can be made of fresh milk sweetened with a little sugar and eaten with bread a day old, lightly buttered.
208. Stewed Fruit.—Put a quart of apples pared and sliced over the fire in a thick sauce-pan, with half a pint of water, to prevent burning, and when tender break them well up and sweeten them with four ounces or more of sugar, according to the flavor of the apples. Serve them with bread and butter in the morning, or at noon.
209. Ripe Currants.—A pound of ripe currants mashed, and mixed with half a pound, or more, of sugar, makes an excellent accompaniment for bread, being served spread upon the slices.
210. Blackberry Jam.—This is an invaluable addition to the breakfast, or noon dinner, in place of butter. It is an excellent agent for regulating the action of the bowels. It is made by boiling with every pound of thoroughly ripe blackberries half a pound of good brown sugar; the boiling to be continued one hour, and the berries well broken up.
211. Baked Fruit.—In addition to baking apples in the ordinary way, plums, peaches, pears, and berries, are good when put into a stone jar with layers of stale bread and sugar, and about a gill of water, and baking the fruit slowly in a moderate oven for an hour and a half.
212. Broiled Chops.—Trim nearly all the fat from a pound of loin mutton chops, broil them over a clear, bright fire for about fifteen minutes, taking care not to burn them; when they are done put them on a hot platter, season them with half a teaspoonful of salt, and if they are very dry put a little butter over them, using not more than a quarter of an ounce. Serve them with mashed potatoes.
213. Beefsteak.—A tender sirloin steak is the best cut for general use. It should be chosen in accordance with the directions given in the chapter on marketing, and broiled over a brisk, clear fire for about twenty minutes; the seasoning of salt should be added after it is taken from the fire, and placed on a hot dish; and but very little butter, if any, should be used. Serve it with baked potatoes, finely broken with a fork.
214. Broiled Chicken.—A tender, but not very fat chicken, makes an excellent dinner for children. It should be plucked, singed, split down the back, carefully drawn, and wiped with a damp cloth, but not washed; the joints and breast-bone should be broken with the rolling pin, the chicken being covered with a folded towel to protect the flesh; it should then be broiled, inside first, over a clear, brisk fire, or better still, laid in a pan on a couple of slices of bread, and quickly roasted in a hot oven; by the latter process all the juices of the bird are saved; some gravy will flow from a good chicken, and from this the superfluous fat should be removed; if the chicken is very fat the bread under it should not be given to the children.
215. Boiled Eggs.—Eggs are usually spoiled in cooking; if they are plunged into boiling water, and maintained at the boiling point, the effect is to harden the albumen while the yolk remains almost raw, and make them totally unfit for digestion. A good way to cook them is to place them over the fire in cold water, bring them slowly to a boil, and then at once set the vessel containing them back from the fire, and let the eggs stand in the water about one minute if they are to be soft, and two minutes, or longer, if they are to be hard. Poor eggs cooked in this way are superior in flavor and digestibility to new-laid eggs boiled rapidly. One minute is quite long enough to boil them if they are wanted in their best condition.
216. Baked Potatoes.—Potatoes for baking should be of equal and medium size, with smooth skins; they should be well washed with a brush or cloth, and put into a quick oven; they will bake in from twenty to thirty-five minutes, according to variety and ripeness; as soon as you find they yield readily when pressed between the fingers, they are done; and should be served at once, uncovered. If they stand they grow heavy, and if you put them in a covered dish you will make them watery.
217. Boiled Potatoes.—Potatoes for children's use should be very carefully boiled; and if not used as soon as they are done, should be kept hot and dry, by pouring off the water, covering them with a dry cloth, and setting them on the back of the stove. After washing them thoroughly, pare them entirely, or take off one ring around each; if they are new, put them over the fire in hot water; if they are old, put them on in cold water; in either case, add a tablespoonful of salt, and boil them from fifteen to thirty minutes, as they require, until you can pierce them easily with a fork; then drain off all the water, cover them with a clean dry towel, and set them on the back of the fire until you are ready to use them.
218. Apple Cake.—Grate a small loaf of stale bread; pare and slice about a quart of apples; lightly butter a pudding mould, dust it well with flour, and then with sugar, and fill it with layers of bread crumbs, apples, and sugar, using a very little cinnamon to flavor it; let the top layer be of crumbs, and put a few bits of butter on it; bake the cake for one hour in a moderate oven; and serve it for dessert.
219. Fruit Farina.—Sprinkle three tablespoonfuls of farina into one quart of boiling milk, using a sauce-pan set into a kettle of boiling water, in order to prevent burning; flavor and sweeten to taste, and boil for half an hour, stirring occasionally; then add one pint of any ripe berries, or sliced apples, and boil until the fruit is cooked, about twenty minutes: the pudding may be boiled in a mould or a cloth after the fruit is added. It should be served with powdered sugar.
220. Plain Cookies.—Beat one egg with one cup of sugar to a cream, work two ounces of butter soft, and beat it with the egg and sugar, grate in quarter of a nutmeg, add one gill of milk, and prepared flour enough to make a sufficiently stiff paste to roll out about a pound. Roll an eighth of an inch thick, cut out with a biscuit cutter, or an inverted cup, and lay on a floured baking pan, and bake about twenty minutes in a moderate oven.
221. Plain Gingerbread.—Partly melt one ounce of butter, stir it into half a pint of molasses, with a tablespoonful of ground ginger, and half a pint of boiling water, stir in smoothly half a pound of prepared flour, and pour the batter into a buttered baking pan; bake it about half an hour in a quick oven, trying it with a broom straw, at the end of twenty minutes; as soon as the straw passes through it without sticking, the cake is done.
222. Strawberry Shortcake.—Rub two ounces of butter into a pound of prepared flour, mix it stiff enough to mould with about half a pint of milk; put the dough upon a round tin plate, gently flattening with the roller; bake it about twenty minutes in a quick oven, trying it with a broom straw to be sure it is done, before taking it from the oven; let it cool a little, tear it open by first separating the edges all around with a fork, and then pulling it in two pieces; upon the bottom put a thick layer of strawberries, or any perfectly ripe fruit, plentifully sprinkled with sugar; then lay on the fruit the upper half of the shortcake, with the crust down; add another layer of fruit, with plenty of sugar, and serve it with sweet milk or cream. This is rather rich, but a small piece may be given to the children as a treat, at the noon dinner.
223. Apple Custard.—Pare and core six apples; set them in a pan with a very little water, and stew them until tender; then put them in a pudding dish without breaking, fill the centres with sugar, and pour over them a custard made of a quart of milk, five eggs, four ounces of sugar, and a very little nutmeg; set the pudding-dish in a baking-pan half full of water, and bake it about half an hour. Serve it either hot or cold, at the noon dinner.
COOKERY FOR INVALIDS.
224. Diet for Invalids.—There are three alimentary conditions in illness; the first prevails where the system suffers from the reaction consequent upon over-taxation, when rest is the first demand; then only palliative foods meet the calls of nature, those which give repletion to the sense of hunger, and tide the system over a certain period of relaxation and recuperation; gelatinous soups, and gruels of arrowroot, sago, and tapioca, will do very well at this stage. The second condition, when the body, failing under the pressure of disease, needs an excess of nutrition, is serious enough to demand the interposition of the physician—the doctor is the proper person to decide what shall be eaten; we will offer only a few suggestions concerning refreshing drinks. At the third point, when the patient is beyond the reach of danger, when foods are ordered which shall yield the greatest possible amount of nutrition, the culinary skill of the nurse may be displayed. It is here that we would give the paragraphs concerning highly nutritive foods. The reader will please to note that the quantities in this chapter are calculated for the use of one person.
225. Gruels.—We have already said that in certain physical conditions the lack of nutrition is what the body requires,—a period of comparative inaction, combined with repletion;—in such a condition the following aliments will suffice.
226. Arrowroot Gruel.—Mix one ounce of arrowroot with sufficient cold water to make a smooth paste; into this pour a gill or more of boiling water, stirring the mixture until it is quite clear; sweeten it with a little sugar, and use it at once.
227. Arrowroot Jelly.—Dissolve two teaspoonfuls of Bermuda arrowroot in just enough cold water to mix it to a smooth liquid paste, stir it into a quarter of a pint of water boiling upon the fire, with two tablespoonfuls of white sugar; continue stirring until the mixture becomes clear, then remove from the fire and stir in one teaspoonful of lemon-juice, put into a mould wet with cold water until it is cold. If the patient's condition will permit, cream and sugar may be eaten with it.
228. Arrowroot Wine Jelly.—Following the above process, make a jelly of one cup of boiling water, two teaspoonfuls of arrowroot, two teaspoonfuls of white sugar, one tablespoonful of brandy or three tablespoonfuls of wine. This jelly is more stimulating than the gruel, and may meet some especial cases; but, unless used with brandy, for impaired digestive powers, we do not believe it to be of permanent value.