********************************************************** Transcriber's Note: The chapter title 'MISCELLANEOUS BREAKFAST DISHES' was changed to match the Table of Contents. It was originally titled DAINTY DISHES. Bold words are delimited by '='. **********************************************************
THOMAS J. MURREY
Author of "Fifty Soups," "Fifty Salads," "Valuable Cooking Recipes," etc. Formerly Professional Caterer of the Astor House, New York, etc.
"Now good digestion wait on appetite And health on both."—SHAKESPEARE
WHITE, STOKES, & ALLEN PUBLISHERS COPYRIGHT, 1885.
My Friend, Frank B. Thurber,
Whose efforts to raise the standard of our food products to a higher order have been untiring, this unpretentious work is most respectfully dedicated
REMARKS ON BREAKFAST COOKERY, 9
FRUITS. APPLES, BAKED, 11 BANANAS, 11 BLACKBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, ETC., 11 CANTALOUPES, 11 CHERRIES, 12 CURRANTS, 12 FIGS AND DATES, 12 GRAPES, 12 MELONS, 13 ORANGES, 13 PEACHES, 13 PEARS, 13 PINEAPPLES, 14 PLUMS, 14 STRAWBERRIES, 14 MISCELLANEOUS, 14
BEVERAGES. COFFEE, 15 "AFTER DINNER" COFFEE, 17 BOILING WATER FOR COFFEE, 18 TEA, 18 COCOA AND CHOCOLATE, 18
BREAD, ETC. BREAD, 20 "HOME-MADE" BREAD AND ROLLS, 23 SALT, 23 MAIZE, OR INDIAN CORN, 24 CORN BREAD, 25 CORN MEAL CUSTARD, 25 "BOSTON BROWN BREAD," 26 MAIZE MUFFINS, 26 GRAHAM MUFFINS, 27 BREAKFAST BISCUIT, 27 MILK BREAD, 27 ROLLED WHEAT BISCUIT, 28 TO TEST THE OVEN, 28
TOAST. DRY TOAST, 29 DIP TOAST, 29 MILK TOAST, 30 ANCHOVY TOAST, 30 CLAM TOAST, 30 MARROW BONE TOAST, 30 OYSTER TOAST, 31 SALMON TOAST, 31 TONGUE TOAST, 31
EGGS AND OMELETS. TO TEST EGGS, 32 BAKED EGGS, 32 OMELETS, 32 CHEESE OMELET, 34 OMELET WITH HERBS, 34 ONION OMELET, 34 OYSTER OMELET, 34 OMELETTE AU RHUM, 35 SPANISH OMELET, 35 SWEET OMELET, 36
POTATOES. POTATOES IN GENERAL, 36 BOILED POTATOES, 37 LYONNAISE POTATOES, 38 POTATOES AU COCHON, 38 POTATOES AU GRATIN, 38 POTATOES, SAUTEED, 38
MISCELLANEOUS BREAKFAST DISHES. ARTICHOKES (FRENCH), 39 ARTICHOKES (FRENCH), FRIED, 39 CHICKEN CROQUETTES, 40 CHICKEN, DEVILLED, 40 CHICKEN, FRIED, 40 CRABS, SOFT-SHELL, 41 FILET OF SOLE; SAUCE TARTARE, 42 HAMBURG STEAK, 42 HOMINY FRITTERS, 43 KIDNEY, SAUTEED, 43 LAMB CHOPS WITH FRENCH PEAS, 43 MUSHROOMS ON TOAST, 45 MUTTON CHOPS WITH FRIED TOMATOES, 45 OYSTERS, BROILED, 46 PORK AND BEANS, 46 REED BIRDS, 48 SALT CODFISH, BROILED, 49 SARDINES, BROILED, 49 SAUCE TARTARE, 49 SAUSAGES, 50 SMELTS, BROILED, 50 SMELTS, FRIED, 50 SQUABS, 50 STEAK, TENDERLOIN; SAUCE BEARNAISE, 51 STEAK, SIRLOIN; SAUCE BORDELAISE, 52 TOMATO SAUCE, 52 TRIPE WITH OYSTERS, 53 TRIPE, LYONNAISE, 53 TURKEY, MINCED, WITH POACHED EGG, 44 VEAL CUTLET, SAUCE ROBERT, 53
REMARKS ON BREAKFAST COOKERY.
"Dinner may be pleasant, So may social tea; But yet methinks the breakfast Is best of all the three."
The importance of preparing a variety of dainty dishes for the breakfast table is but lightly considered by many who can afford luxuries, quite as much as by those who little dream of the delightful, palate-pleasing compounds made from "unconsidered trifles."
The desire of the average man is to remain in bed until the very last moment. A hurried breakfast of food long cooked awaits the late riser, who will not masticate it properly when he finally arrives at the breakfast-table, and the best of housekeepers is discouraged and prevented from ever attempting culinary surprises, when they are not to be appreciated. In this way she is innocently driven into a rut from which it is difficult to escape when occasions present themselves for offering novelties.
The following recipes and remarks will be found valuable assistants to those so situated, and will offer many practical suggestions intended to develop ingenuity and skilfulness in this much-neglected branch of cookery. Avoid asking that innocent but often annoying question, "What shall we have for breakfast?" Rely upon your own resources and inventiveness, and you will soon master the situation. The average business man generally knows but little of what is or is not in market, and he dislikes to have his gastronomic knowledge constantly analyzed.
Should your domestic duties prevent you from occasionally visiting the public markets, it will be found expedient to subscribe for a reliable newspaper that makes a specialty of reporting the latest gastronomic news. This cannot be accomplished by cook-books, owing to the fluctuations in prices and the constant arrival of "good cheer" at seasons when least expected.
Steaks and chops are looked upon as the substantials of the breakfast-table, but when served continually they do not give satisfaction, be they ever so good, and are not duly appreciated unless interspersed occasionally with lighter dishes.
Apples, Baked.—Peel and core six large sour apples; mix together a cup of sugar, half a teaspoonful of mixed ground spice, a saltspoonful of salt, two tablespoonfuls of grated cracker crumbs, and two tablespoonfuls of milk or water. Fill the core with the mixture; put the apples in a pan, and bake; serve them hot or cold with sweetened cream. A border of whipped cream around the apples may be substituted for the plain cream.
Apples may be served sliced, covered with sugar and a mild liquor poured over them, and topped off with whipped cream.
Bananas.—Select short, thick, red or yellow bananas; peel and cut them in quarters lengthwise; serve on a napkin.
Blackberries, Raspberries, Whortleberries, etc., are too well known to require instructions as to how they should be served; but a word of caution is necessary. They should be very thoroughly examined before they are served; all stems, bruised berries, and unripe fruit should be removed, and a thorough search made for minute particles of grit and for insects.
Cantaloupes, or small melons, should be placed on ice the night preceding their use. Cut or slice off the top of each melon; remove the seeds, and replace them with fine ice; replace the covers, and send to table looking as though uncut.
Should they taste insipid, trim off the rind, cut the remainder into neat pieces, pour over them a plain salad-dressing, and they will be found quite palatable.
Cherries.—If large, fine-looking fruit, serve them plain; but they must be cold to be palatable. Keep them on ice over night, or serve glasses of fine ice to each guest, with the fruit arranged on top of it.
Currants.—Large, fine clusters should be served on the stem, arranged on a fruit-stand alone, or in layers alternated with mulberries, raspberries, or other seasonable fruits. Serve with powdered sugar.
Figs and Dates may be served at breakfast.
Grapes.—Malaga, Tokay, Hamburg, and similar varieties of grapes should be well rinsed in ice-water, and cut into small bunches with fruit scissors. Place on a glass dish, or dishes surrounded by fine ice, and, if plentiful, do not divide the clusters, but drain them out of ice-water. Serve on a neatly-folded napkin, a bunch for each guest.
Melons.—The best way to eat melons is unquestionably with a little salt; they should be kept over night in an ice-box and served at the following breakfast; but melons are very deceptive; they may look delicious, but, from growing in or near the same garden where squashes and pumpkins are raised, they often taste as insipid as these vegetables would if eaten raw. In this case they are made very palatable by cutting the edible part into slices, and serving them with plain dressing of oil, vinegar, pepper, and salt.
Oranges.—Of the many ways of serving oranges, I prefer them sliced. If in summer, keep them cold until wanted. Remove all seeds, and cut large slices in two. Mandarins are served whole, with the peel scored but not removed.
Peaches.—If the peaches are large and perfect do not slice them, but serve them whole; wipe or brush off the feathery coating, arrange them neatly on the fruit-dish, and decorate them with fresh green leaves and flowers.
Sliced peaches turn a rusty brown color if allowed to stand after cutting them. Should this occur, cover them with whipped cream properly sweetened.
Pears.—Fine-flavored pears should be served whole; inferior pears, sliced and dredged with sugar; they are acceptable when mixed with other fruits.
Pineapples are best served as a salad. Pare and dig out the eyes; take hold of the crown of the pine with the left hand; take a fork in the right hand, and with it tear the pine into shreds, until the core is reached, which throw away. Arrange the shredded fruit lightly in a compote, add a liberal quantity of powdered sugar, a wine-glassful of Curacoa, and half a wine-glassful of brandy.
Alternate layers of shredded pineapple and fresh cocoanut served with a sauce of orange juice, seasoned with sugar and liquors, is excellent.
Plums are too often picked before they are quite ripe, which prevents them from becoming popular as a breakfast fruit; this is true of Apricots also.
Strawberries are often objectionable, owing to grit; wash, or rather rinse them in water, drain on a napkin, and serve with vanilla-flavored whipped cream for a change.
Nearly all tropical fruits that are imported are excellent breakfast fruits, such as the alligator pear, Lechosa prickly pear, pomegranate, tropical mango, and many others.
Coffee.—The coffee-tree is a much-branched tree of the cinchona family, not exceeding twenty feet in height, and much resembling a cherry-tree. Its pale green leaves are about six inches in length. The flowers are in clusters in the axils of the leaves, are white in color, resembling orange-tree flowers, and perfume the air. The fruit on ripening turns from green to red, and is about the size of a cherry or cranberry, each containing two seeds closely united by their flat sides. These being removed and separated, become the coffee of commerce.
"How to make good coffee" is the great problem of domestic life. Tastes naturally differ, and some prefer a quantity of chicory, while to others the very name of this most wholesome plant (but keep it out of coffee) will produce nausea.
Purchase coffee from large dealers who roast it daily. Have it ground moderately fine, and do not purchase large quantities at a time. At home keep the coffee in air-tight jars or cans when not in use.
The old-fashioned coffee-pot has much to recommend it, and the only possible objection to it is that it makes a cloudy beverage. Those who find this objectionable should use one of the many patented modern filters. When the coffee is finely ground these filter-pots are the best to use. Put three ounces of finely-ground coffee in the top compartment of the coffee-pot; pour a quart of boiling water over it; let it filter through; add half a pint more of boiling water; let it filter through, and pour it out into a hot measure, and pour it through the filter again. Let it stand a moment on the range, and you have coffee as clear as wine; but unless your pot, measure, and the water are very hot, the coffee will taste as though it had become cold and then "warmed over." No eggs or other foreign substances are used to clear or settle the coffee.
As I do not object to a sediment in my cup, I use the old-fashioned coffee-pot. I first heat the pot, and put the coffee into a loose muslin bag, and pour a quart of boiling water over every three ounces of coffee. I let it boil, or rather come to a boiling point a moment; then let it stand to settle. Should it not do so rapidly enough, I pour a few tablespoonfuls of cold water round the inside edge of the coffee-pot. It is advisable to tie a thread to the bag, with which it may be drawn out of the coffee, if desired.
Now, heat the coffee cup; fill it one third full of hot, but not boiled, cream; then add the coffee, and serve.
One word as to eggs used in making coffee. I admit that a different flavor is produced when they are used; but the albumen of the eggs covers the coffee grains, and coagulates, preventing the escape of the properties of the coffee, and compelling one to use nearly double the quantity of coffee to produce the same result as when eggs are not used.
Pure Java, if of a high order, does not need other brands of coffee to make it palatable; but, as a rule, most of the coffees sold at the grocers' are improved by blending or mixing one third each of pure Mocha, Java, and Maracaibo to make a rich cup of coffee, while a mixture of two thirds Mandehling Java and one third "male berry" (so called) Java produces excellent results. Mexico coffee is quite acceptable, but the producers must clean it properly if they expect to receive patronage.
"After-dinner Coffee."—Use three ounces of finely-ground coffee to a pint of boiling water. Old Government Java does make a very satisfactory cup of after-dinner coffee. The after-dinner coffee found at most of the first-class restaurants in New York, such as the Brunswick, etc., contains chicory.
Boiling Water is a very important desideratum in the making of good coffee. The water should be fresh from the main pipe, boiled two or three minutes, and then added to the coffee. Servants frequently use water drawn from the range boiler, or water that has stood long in the tea-kettle; in either case the coffee will be insipid.
Tea.—The constituents of tea are very much the same as those of coffee—theine (an aromatic oil), sugar and gum, and a form of tannic acid. Green tea is more astringent than the other varieties, partly because it contains more tannin, and partly because it is sophisticated to adapt it to a peculiar taste.
Whatever variety of tea used, do not allow the beverage to boil; put the tea in a black earthen tea-pot previously heated; pour boiling water over it; let it draw for two minutes, and the process is at an end. Charitable institutions would find it advantageous to grind tea to powder; in this way one half the quantity of tea ordinarily used is saved.
Cocoa and Chocolate are obtained from the seeds of Theobroma cacao. The active principle is theobromine, a substance which resembles the alkaloids of coffee and tea, except that it contains more nitrogen than theine and caffeine. Another important difference between cacao (not cocoa) and coffee or tea is the large amount of fat or cacao-butter contained in the bean.
The seed receptacle resembles a large black cucumber, containing from ten to thirty leaves, which are roasted like coffee. The husks are then taken off, and are called cacao shells. The best cacao is made from the bean after the husks are removed.
Chocolate is the finely-ground powder from the kernels mixed to a paste, with or without sugar. The product of this seed, being rich in fatty matters, is more difficult to digest, and many dyspeptics cannot use it unless the fats have been removed, which is now done by manufacturers. Nearly all brands of cacao and chocolate are recommended to be prepared at table; but it is much better to prepare them before the meal, and allow it to boil at least once before serving.
BREAD, ROLLS, ETC.
Bread.—The word is derived from the Anglo-Saxon bracan, to bruise, to pound, which is expressive of the ancient mode of preparing the grain. Bread was not introduced into Rome until five hundred and fifty years after its foundation. Pliny informs us that the Romans learned this, with many other improvements, during the war with Perseus, King of Macedon. The armies, on their return, brought Grecian bakers with them into Italy, who were called pistores, from their ancient practice of bruising the grain in mortars.
The Greeks ascribed the invention of bread-making to Pan; but the Chaldeans and Egyptians were acquainted with it at a still more remote period. In the paintings discovered in the tombs of Egypt the various processes used by them in bread-making are distinctly represented.
Bread from wheat was first made in China, 2000 B.C.
An extensive variety of substances is used in making bread; the roots, shoots, bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds of trees and plants have been, and are still, made into bread by semi-civilized races. In Iceland codfish is dried and beaten to a powder, and made into bread.
Bread is universally admitted to be a matter deserving the serious consideration of all good housewives. It is no longer a luxury, as in olden times, but a positive necessity; upon it depends the health of all mankind. It is, therefore, highly important that its ingredients should be of the very best quality. At no time is this question more seriously to be considered than when changing the food of infants from liquids to solid food.
Bakers' bread cannot always be relied upon. One never knows to what extent the flour has been mixed with brands of flour made from musty or sprouted wheat, as the baker can make what appears to be good bread from these by mixing them with what is known as garlic flour, which is a grade of flour ground with garlic, the effect being to conceal other unpleasant odors.
Their flour is often stored in damp cellars, where, under the influence of heat that is not strong enough to expel moisture, fermentation takes place in it, exactly as it does in bread-making, except on a smaller scale.
Any flour containing too much moisture is likely to "heat," or sour, and flour of the best quality, when placed in damp, stuffy cellars, where it will absorb moisture, is likely to do the same thing. The yeast used by many bakers is deserving the attention of the Health Department. Damaged hops are often used, which, when boiled too long, impart their obnoxious flavor to the yeast, and to the bread made from it.
If what is known as "head yeast" be allowed to ferment too far—as is often the case—it will sour the stock yeast; or if the fermentation be too feeble, the result in either case will be unhealthy bread.
Potatoes used in making "potato ferment" are often of a very inferior quality, and impart their rankness to the bread. When bread is sold by weight an excess of water is introduced to brands of dry flour, which absorb more than others, and the result is heavy, dark, pasty bread, which is often sour.
By the producer of inferior bread these little items are not taken into consideration. The bread has been made, and it must be sold; and the unsuspecting housewife who buys bread from certain bakers because they sell it a few cents less per loaf than the price asked by firms who will not jeopardize their reputations, is endangering the health of her family.
I particularly warn my readers against bakers seeking customers by cutting rates; they cannot supply good bread at low rates without using inferior flour.
Home-made Bread.—To make good bread or rolls, take five potatoes; peel and cut them up, and boil in water enough to cover them; when done, mash them smooth in the water in which they were boiled; when cool, not cold, add a gill of liquid yeast, a dessert-spoonful of sugar, a salt-tablespoonful of lard, and a pint of flour. Mix together lightly until it is of a pasty, sticky consistency; cover and set it in a warm place to rise; it will rise in two or three hours, and should look almost like yeast. Stir into this three pints of flour and, if necessary, a little cold water; the dough should be rather soft, and need not be kneaded more than half an hour. Set in a moderately warm place for four hours; it is now ready to be shaped into loaves and baked; but it is better to push it down from the sides of the bread-pan, and let it rise again and again, until the third time, which is ample. Knead until smooth, and if too soft, add a little more flour. For rolls, roll out and cut into rounds. Use the rolling-pin slightly, batter, and fold. Baking-pans should be well greased.
Salt is always used in bread-making, not only on account of its flavor, which destroys the insipid, raw taste of the flour, but because it makes the dough rise better. It is therefore highly important that it should be of the best quality, as it has an affinity for the kidneys and other organs, and acts upon them powerfully.
As it is the smallest item in the expense of a family, no pains should be spared in procuring the best in market.
American manufacturers have not as yet made a salt free from foreign flavors and suitable to delicate cookery; its peculiar fishy flavor is objectionable, and gives to bread a taste that leads the eater thereof to imagine it had been sliced with a fish-knife.
Most of the leading grocers sell an English salt that is a very valuable assistant in bread-making.
Maize or Indian Corn is the noblest of the cereal grasses, and deserves our liberal patronage and constant praise. From it can be produced an infinite variety of nutritious food, from Tennyson's "dusky loaf that smelt of home" to the simple "hoe cake" of "Old Black Joe."
To enumerate all of the good things produced from corn would make a volume five times the size of this little book. Enough has been said to practically demonstrate the necessity of our being at all times aware of its excellent qualities, if we value health and subsequent happiness.
In America no national question is of more importance than the success or failure of the corn crop. Upon it depends the success not only of large business enterprises, but of business centres. Nearly all of the important domestic animals that are used as food are fed upon it exclusively, and a large percentage of the population depends upon it—directly or indirectly—for very existence, which is conclusive evidence that a failure of this important cereal means starvation and bankruptcy to many, which the failure of the wheat crop would not effect.
Corn Bread.—Sift half a pound each of corn meal and flour, add a scant teaspoonful of salt and a tablespoonful of wheat baking powder. Beat together one ounce of powdered sugar, two eggs, and one ounce of butter; add these to the flour; then gradually add nearly a pint of milk, to make a thin batter, and bake in a hot oven.
Corn-meal Custard.—Beat up three eggs; add to them a quart of milk and an ounce each of butter and sugar. Mix and add gradually a quarter of a pound of very fine corn meal; flavor with nutmeg. Pour into custard cups, and boil or steam for ten minutes; then put them in the oven a moment to brown on top.
Boston Brown Bread.—Sift together half a pound each of rye and wheat flour, one pound of corn meal, one heaping teaspoonful of salt, a heaping tablespoonful of brown sugar, and one of wheat baking powder. Wash, peel, and boil two medium-sized potatoes; rub them through a sieve; thin out the potato with nearly a pint of water, and use this to make the batter. Pour it into well-greased moulds having covers; set them into hot water to within two inches of the top of the moulds, and boil for two hours; then take them out of the water, remove the cover, and place them in the oven for twenty minutes.
A Boston brown bread preparation put up by the Boston Cereal Manufacturing Company is an article of food quite recently introduced, which saves much of the difficult details necessary to make this excellent New England loaf.
Maize Muffins.—This very latest preparation deserves special mention, as being the highest and most scientific product of corn that has been introduced for public consideration. It is known as shredded maize, and from it a most excellent porridge can be made in ten minutes. Griddle cakes, sweet puddings, and especially breakfast rolls made of it are delightful. Most excellent muffins are prepared as follows: Mix together one pound of shredded maize, one pint of hot milk, a teaspoonful of salt, and one ounce of butter; let it cool, and whisk into it three beaten eggs, one ounce of sugar, and two teaspoonfuls of wheat baking powder; mix thoroughly; half fill the muffin-rings, and bake in a hot oven.
Graham Muffins.—Sift one quart of graham flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, and a heaping tablespoonful of wheat baking powder; add two ounces of butter and two beaten eggs, with milk enough to make a thin batter. Mix. Half fill the greased muffin-rings, and bake in a quick oven.
Breakfast Biscuits.—Sift one quart of flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, and a scant tablespoonful of wheat baking powder; add half an ounce of butter; mix together, and add milk enough to make a batter; roll out the dough on a floured board; dredge it with flour; cut out the biscuits; place them on a buttered tin, and bake in a quick oven.
Milk Bread.—Sift one and a half pounds of flour, a teaspoonful of salt, half an ounce of powdered sugar, same of melted butter, and two tablespoonfuls of wheat baking powder. Simmer a pint of milk; let it cool; add it to the flour; beat it with a plated knife; shape it into loaves. Let stand for half an hour in well-greased pans, covered, then bake in a quick oven.
Rolled-wheat Biscuit.—Half a pint each of rolled wheat and flour, one coffeespoonful of salt, two teaspoonfuls of wheat baking powder, one tablespoonful of powdered sugar, and one teaspoonful of lard or melted butter. Add milk enough to make a batter, and bake in small tins in a quick oven.
To Test the Oven.—Throw on the floor of the oven a tablespoonful of new flour; if it takes fire or assumes a dark brown color, the temperature is too high, and the oven must be allowed to cool. If the flour remains white after the lapse of a few seconds, the temperature is too low. When the oven is of the proper temperature the flour will turn a brownish yellow and look slightly scorched.
Toast is very palatable and digestible when properly prepared. Many seem to think that they have made toast when they brown the outside of a slice of bread. Have they?
The object in making toast is to evaporate all moisture from the bread, and holding a slice over the fire to singe does not accomplish this; it only warms the moisture, making the inside of the bread doughy and decidedly indigestible. The true way of preparing it is to cut the bread into slices a quarter of an inch thick, trim off all crust, put the slices in a pan or plate, place them in the oven—which must not be too hot—take them out when a delicate brown, and butter at once.
For my own use I dry all home-made bread in this manner.
Dry Toast should be served within the folds of a napkin if you wish to keep it hot; toast-racks allow the heat to escape, and they are not recommended.
Dip Toast.—Prepare the toast as above directed; dip the edges into hot water quickly, and butter at once. This is also called water toast.
Milk Toast.—Wet the pan to be used with cold water, which prevents burning. Melt an ounce of floured butter; whisk into it a pint of hot milk; add a little salt; simmer. Prepare four slices of toast; put them in a deep dish one at a time; pour a little of the milk over each, and over the last one pour the remainder of the milk.
Anchovy Toast.—The best way to prepare this appetizing dish is as follows: Toast the bread and trim it neatly, and place it near the range to keep warm; next prepare a "dip," as for ordinary cream toast; spread a thin layer of anchovy paste on each slice of bread; place in a hot, deep dish; pour the prepared cream over them, and serve.
Clam Toast.—Chop up two dozen small clams into fine pieces; simmer for thirty minutes in hot water enough to cover them. Beat up the yolks of two eggs; add a little cayenne and a gill of warmed milk; dissolve half a teaspoonful of flour in a little cold milk; simmer all together; pour over buttered toast, and serve.
Marrow-bone Toast.—Procure two beef shin-bones about six to eight inches long; cover them with dough, and wrap them in muslin; pour hot water enough to cover them, and boil for an hour and a half. Remove cloth and dough; shake or draw out the marrow with a long-handled fork upon slices of hot toast. Add salt, cayenne, and, if convenient, a little chopped celery, and serve.
Oyster Toast.—Select fifteen plump oysters; chop them fine, and add salt, pepper, and a suspicion of nutmeg. Beat up the yolks of two eggs with a gill of cream; whisk this into the simmering oysters. When set, pour the whole over slices of buttered toast.
Salmon Toast.—It very often occurs that a can of salmon is not all used at a meal, and yet there is not quite enough for another meal without other dishes or ingredients added to it. Should this occur, mince the salmon, heat, and season it and serve it on toast. A poached egg added to it is quite acceptable.
Tongue Toast.—A very nice dish is prepared from cold boiled or potted tongue. Slice the tongue, and cut each slice into small, fine pieces; heat it in a pan with a little butter. To prevent burning, moisten with warm water or clear soup; add salt and pepper; stir into it two beaten eggs. When set, arrange neatly on toast.
Dainty bits of roast game, fowl, etc., minced, warmed over, and served on toast are excellent, and show a way of using good material that would otherwise be wasted.
EGGS AND OMELETS.
To Test Eggs.—Dissolve an ounce of salt in ten ounces of water; add the eggs. Good ones will sink, indifferent eggs will swim, and bad eggs will float, even in pure water.
Fresh eggs are more transparent in the centre.
Old eggs are transparent at the top.
Eggs may be kept a long time by covering them with beeswax dissolved in warm olive or cotton-seed oil. Use one third wax to two thirds oil.
Baked Eggs.—Mince half a pound of lean boiled ham, add an equal quantity of cracker crumbs. Moisten and spread the mixture over a platter; scoop out four round holes as large as an egg, and drop an egg from the shell into each hole; season with salt, cayenne, and butter; put the dish in the oven, and serve when the eggs are cooked.
The crumbs should be moist enough to take almost a crust when baked.
Omelets.—As a rule, an omelet is a wholesome and inexpensive dish, yet one in the preparation of which cooks frequently fail, owing to carelessness of detail. With a little attention the housewife can easily become the perfect cook in this branch, as well as others.
The flavoring and the ingredients used may be varied indefinitely; but the principle is always the same. In making an omelet care should be taken that the omelet pan is hot and dry. To insure this, put a small quantity of lard into the pan; let it simmer a few minutes, and remove it; wipe the pan dry with a towel, and put in a little fresh lard, in which the omelet may be fried. Care should be taken that the lard does not burn, as it would spoil the color of the omelet.
It is better to make two or three small omelets than one very large one, as the latter cannot be well handled by a novice.
The omelet made of three eggs is the one recommended for beginners. Break the eggs separately; put them into a bowl, and whisk them thoroughly with a fork. (The longer they are beaten, the lighter will be the omelet.) Add a teaspoonful of milk, and beat up with the eggs; beat until the last moment before pouring into the pan, which should be over a hot fire. As soon as the omelet sets, remove the pan from the hottest part of the fire, slip a knife under it to prevent sticking to the pan; when the centre is almost firm, slant the pan; work the omelet in shape to fold easily and neatly; and, when slightly browned, hold a platter against the edge of the pan, and deftly turn it out upon the hot dish.
Salt mixed with the eggs prevents them from rising, and when used the omelet will look flabby; yet without salt it will taste insipid. Add a little salt to it just before folding it and turning out on the dish.
Cheese Omelet.—Beat up the eggs and add to them a tablespoonful of grated Parmesan cheese; add a little more cheese before folding, and turn out on a hot dish. Grate a little cheese over it before serving.
Omelet with Herbs.—Beat up three eggs and add to them a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, mixed with a few chives. Pour into the pan, and before folding season with salt and pepper; fold, and turn out on a hot dish.
Onion Omelet.—Cut up a small Spanish onion; fry it a light brown; before folding the omelet add the onion, and turn out on a hot dish.
Oyster Omelet.—Stew six oysters in their own liquor for five minutes; remove the oysters, and thicken the liquid with a walnut of butter rolled in flour; season with salt and cayenne; whisk this to a cream. Chop the oysters, and add them to the sauce; simmer until the sauce thickens. Beat up four eggs lightly, and add a tablespoonful of cream; turn out into a hot pan, and fry a light gold color. Before folding the omelet entirely, place the oysters with part of the sauce within, and turn it over on a hot dish. The remainder of the sauce should be poured round it.
Omelet au Rhum.—Prepare an omelet as has been directed, fold it, and turn out on a hot dish; dust a liberal quantity of powdered sugar over it, and singe the sugar into neat stripes with a hot iron rod, heated on the coals. Pour a wine-glassful of warmed Jamaica rum around it, and when on the table set fire to it. With a tablespoon dash the burning rum over the omelet, blow out the fire, and serve.
Spanish Omelet.—Chop up half of a sweet Spanish pepper; peel and cut up a large tomato; cut two ounces of ham into dice; mince three button mushrooms and half an onion with a clove of garlic; season with salt, cayenne, and capers. Put the onion and ham in a pan, and fry; add the other ingredients, and simmer until a thick pulp; add this to an omelet just before folding it and turning out on a dish. Pour a well-made tomato sauce round it, and serve.
The ingredients may be varied to suite the taste.
Sweet Omelet.—Beat up the eggs as usual, and, just before it is folded in the pan, add a heaping tablespoonful of jelly, preserves, or other ingredients that fancy may suggest.
Potatoes.—Take a sound-looking potato of any variety; pay but little attention to its outward appearance; cut or break it in two, crosswise, and examine the cut surface. If it appears watery to such a degree that a slight pressure would cause water to fall off in drops, reject it, as it would be of little use for the table. A good potato should be of a light cream-color, and when rubbed together a white froth should appear round the edges and surface of the cut, which indicates the presence of starch. The more starch in the potato, the more it will froth; consequently the more froth on the potato the better it will be when cooked. The strength of its starchy properties may be tested by releasing the hold of one end, and if it clings to the other, the potato is a good one. These are the general principles followed by potato-buyers, and they are usually to be fully relied upon. About one seventh part of the potato is nutritious, and this is chiefly farinaceous, and is accompanied by no inconsiderable portion of saline matter, more especially of potassa, which renders it highly antiscorbutic, and a powerful corrective of the grossness of animal food. When forming part of a mixed diet, no substance is more wholesome than the potato. Even the wild potato found in the Yellowstone Country is thought one of the best of edible wild roots.
Boiled Potatoes.—To retain the highest amount of nourishment, potatoes should be boiled with their skins on. When so treated, they are twice as rich in potassa salts as those which have first been peeled. It is a good plan to place them in the oven or on top of the range after boiling them, thereby allowing all surplus moisture to escape. Before sending to table they should be peeled, and, if convenient, thoroughly mashed, as they are more easily digested, and when they are lumpy or watery they escape proper mastication, and in this way cause serious derangement of the system. Under no circumstances allow the aged, dyspeptic, or those in delicate health to eat them except when mashed. The so-called potato "with a bone in it," a favorite dish of the Irish peasant, is a potato only half cooked, being raw in the centre; and a more indigestible thing cannot well be imagined.
Lyonnaise Potatoes.—The same as sauteed, except that a little onion is fried brown and the potato then added.
Potatoes au Cochon.—Slice two hot, mealy potatoes; cut the slices into squares; put them in a saucepan, and add scalded cream enough to cover them, salt, and white pepper. Cut into very small pieces half an ounce of fat, boiled, salt pork; add a tablespoonful to the potato; simmer until thoroughly blended together; pour the contents of the dish into a small au gratin dish (or vegetable baker); grate a little Parmesan cheese over it; add a small bit of butter; place in the oven a moment to brown, and serve in the same dish.
Potatoes au Gratin.—Nearly fill the gratin pan with hot boiled potatoes, cut into small pieces; cover with milk; strew over them grated cheese or part cheese and grated crumbs; add a little butter, and bake brown in a quick oven.
Potatoes Sauteed are cold boiled potatoes cut into small slices and slightly browned in a frying-pan, shaped, and turned out on a hot dish (as you would an omelet), and seasoned with parsley, salt, and pepper.
MISCELLANEOUS BREAKFAST DISHES.
Artichokes (French).—Trim the ends; remove the choke, and quarter each artichoke; pour boiling water over them, and drain. Put them in a stewpan, and to each artichoke add a gill of white wine and one of clear soup; season with salt, pepper, and a little lemon-peel; when done, remove the artichoke, and boil the sauce down. Cream an ounce of butter; add half a teaspoonful of flour, and by degrees add the sauce; simmer until thick, and send to table with the artichokes.
Artichokes (French), Fried.—Wash and cut away the leaves of two artichokes; remove the inside choke; cut the bottoms into neat pieces, and cover them with water containing one third vinegar. Drain; season with salt and pepper; dip them in beaten egg; roll them in fine cracker dust, and fry in plenty of hot fat.
Chicken Croquettes.—Cut up the white meat of one cold boiled chicken, and pound it to a paste with a large boiled sweetbread, freed from sinews; add salt and pepper. Beat up one egg with a teaspoonful of flour and a wine-glassful of rich cream. Mix all together; put it in a pan, and simmer just enough to absorb part of the moisture, stirring all the time; turn it out on a flat dish, and place in ice-box to become cold and firm; then roll it into small neat cones; dip them in beaten eggs; roll in finely powdered bread crumbs; drop them in boiling fat, and fry a delicate brown. Handle them carefully.
Some add a little nutmeg, but I have found the above recipe more satisfactory without it, especially among my Philadelphia patrons.
Chicken, Devilled.—Prepare a mixture of mustard, pepper, and salt, moistened with a little oil. Put a small quantity of oil in a frying-pan; add just onion enough to give it flavor, and toss the chicken about in this a moment. Remove; rub or brush the moisture over the chicken, and broil. Serve with a sharp, pungent sauce, made of drawn butter, lemon juice, mustard, and chopped capers.
Chicken, Fried.—Cut up half an onion, and fry it brown in a little butter. Divide two ounces of butter into little balls; roll them in flour; add to the onion, and fry the breast of the chicken in this, as well as the legs and side-bones, to a delicate brown. Take them out, and add to the sauce a few cut-up mushrooms, a gill of claret, salt, pepper, and a piece of cut sugar; simmer slowly; pour over the chicken and serve.
The Southern way of frying chicken is as follows: Slice and cut into small dice half a pound of salt pork; flour the chicken, and fry in the pork fat; dissolve a heaping tablespoonful of flour with a little cold milk; add to it gradually half a pint of boiled milk that has been seasoned with butter, pepper, and salt; simmer until thick; arrange the chicken on a hot dish, and pour the sauce round it. Toast may be placed under the chicken, if desired.
Crabs, Soft-shell.—These should be cooked as soon as possible after being caught, as their flavor rapidly deteriorates after being exposed to the air. Select crabs as lively as possible; remove the feathery substance under the pointed sides of the shells; rinse them in cold water; drain; season with salt and pepper; dredge them in flour, and fry in hot fat.
Many serve them rolled in eggs and cracker dust; but thus they are not as good.
Filet of Sole, Sauce Tartare.—Remove the head, fins, tail, and skin from a medium-sized flounder; lay the fish flat on the table, and with a sharp knife make a deep cut through to the back-bone the whole length of the fish. Cut the upper side lengthwise from the bone; now remove the bone from the lower part, and cut the fish into pieces crosswise, each piece to be about two inches in width. Season each piece; roll it up and tie it with strong thread; dredge them in flour, and fry in plenty of hot fat (they may be dipped in egg batter and rolled in bread crumb if liked); remove the thread; arrange them neatly on a hot dish; garnish with parsley, and send to table with sauce tartare (which see).
Hamburg Steak, Sauce Piquante.—Select a thick rump steak, and with a stiff-backed kitchen knife scrape away the lean meat from the sinews. Season the meat with salt and cayenne, and shape it into a round form slightly flattened on top. Fry a minced onion brown in butter; cook the steak in this, on both sides, and serve with the following sauce: put into the same saucepan half a pint of strong soup stock, half a teaspoonful of browned flour, three tablespoonfuls of vinegar, a tablespoonful of chopped eschalot, a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, half a saltspoonful of black pepper, and a little salt. Simmer, strain, and serve.
Many like a Hamburg steak rare, while others prefer it well done; others there are who think they like it rare, highly seasoned with onion and other pungent seasoning.
Hominy Fritters.—Take one pint of boiled hominy, one gill of cream, two tablespoonfuls of corn-starch, two eggs, half a teaspoonful of baking powder, a saltspoonful of salt; mix to a batter. If too stiff, add a little more cream. Drop the batter in large spoonfuls into hot fat, and fry brown.
Kidney, Sauteed.—Cut up half an onion; brown it in a pan with an ounce of butter. Slice a calf's kidneys; toss about over a slow fire in the pan; add salt and pepper, a pint of red or white wine, and one piece of cut sugar. Simmer until tender; dissolve a teaspoonful of flour in cold water; add to the dish. Toast a few slices of bread; trim them neatly; place them on a dish; pour the kidneys over them, and serve.
A few mushrooms cut up and strewn over the dish will be appreciated by many.
Lamb Chops with French Peas.—Dainty lamb chops require but a moment's cooking, and, unless care be taken, will dry quickly over the fire; they should be turned repeatedly, and, when done, seasoned with pepper, salt, and the sweetest of sweet butter.
Arrange a mound of peas in the centre of a dish; place the chops around this, and serve. The peas should be cooked as follows: Open a small can of imported peas; drain off the liquid; melt an ounce of butter in a pan, and when it creams, add the peas: shake the pan to prevent burning; add pepper and salt. When the peas are heated through they require no longer cooking, and should be served at once.
The great mistake made by many cooks in cooking canned peas is that they allow them to remain too long on the fire, which spoils them, as they are already cooked, and simply require heating.
Minced Turkey with Poached Eggs.—A very appetizing dish is made of cold boiled or roast turkey. Trim off all skin and most of the fat, especially on the back; pick out the little tid-bits in the recesses; cut off all that will not look neat when sliced cold. Season with salt and pepper, and a tablespoonful or two of minced celery; chop up the meat; put it in a pan with a little butter or turkey fat, to prevent burning, and just a suspicion of onion; moisten with a little broth made from the turkey bones. Poach one or two eggs for each person; arrange the minced meat neatly on slices of buttered toast; place the egg on top, and serve.
The above mode of preparing a breakfast dish is not only economical, but is one of the most delightful dishes that can be produced; almost any kind of boiled or roast meat, poultry, or game can be utilized in this way.
Mushrooms on Toast.—Peel a quart of mushrooms; cut off a little of the root end; now take half a pound of round steak, and cut it up fine and fry it in a pan with a little butter, to extract the juice, which, being done, remove the pieces of steak. When the gravy is very hot add the mushrooms; toss them about for a moment, and pour the contents of the pan on buttered toast; season with salt and cayenne. Some add a little sherry to the dish before removing from the range.
Mutton Chops with Fried Tomatoes and Sauce.—Select four nice rib chops; have them trimmed neatly by the dealer; take hold of the end of the rib, and dip the chops a moment in hot fat, in which you are to fry them; now roll them in fine cracker crumbs, and shake off the surplus; dip them in egg, again in the crumbs, and drop them into boiling fat. Remove when brown.
Fried Tomatoes.—Select three smooth, medium-sized, well-filled tomatoes; cut into slices half an inch thick; dredge them with flour or roll in egg and crumbs, and fry (or, rather, sautee) in a small quantity of hot fat, turning and cooking both sides evenly. Have prepared the following sauce: Add to a pint of milk a tablespoonful of flour, one beaten egg, salt, pepper, and a very little mace. Cream an ounce of butter; whisk into it the milk, and let it simmer until it thickens; pour the sauce on a hot side dish; arrange the tomatoes in the centre, and add the chops opposite each other, and serve.
Plain broiled or papered chops may be served in this way.
Oysters, Broiled.—Rub the bars of a wire broiler with a little sweet butter; dry twelve large, plump oysters in a napkin, and place them on the broiler; brush a little butter over them, and broil over a fire free from flame and smoke. When done on both sides, arrange them neatly on toast; pour a little well-seasoned melted butter over them, and serve.
Do not bread-crumb oysters intended for broiling.
Pork and Beans.—To call this homely Yankee dish a "dainty" may surprise many; but, when properly prepared, it may well be called so.
Wash a quart of small white beans in cold water; pick them over while in the water; reject all imperfect beans; drain; cover with fresh cold water, and let them soak over night. Next morning change the water twice; then put them in a large iron pot; add a liberal quantity of cold water, and simmer them slowly for four hours. Pour them into a colander carefully to drain. Heat an old-fashioned beanpot with hot water, and wipe it dry; place a small piece of pork in the pot, and add the beans to within two inches of the top; now place a small piece of pork (properly scored on its rind) on the beans. Dissolve a tablespoonful of black molasses in a pint of warm water; add half a teaspoonful of salt and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, and pour this over the beans; place the pot in a moderate oven, and bake for three hours, at the end of which time take them out, and add a little more warm water, to prevent them from becoming too dry. Bake for three hours longer, and serve with hot Boston brown bread.
The old-fashioned manner of preparing this dish was to place all the pork on top, the result being that the first few spoonfuls of beans contained all the pork fat, while the remainder had not been seasoned by it.
The above recipe distributes the pork fat evenly through the beans, as it is lighter than water, and naturally rises; and for this reason only half the usual quantity of pork is required to produce the desired result.
Reed Birds.—The average French cook cannot understand why these "lumps of sweetness" do not require long cooking and elaborate sauces to make them palatable, and these cooks invariably spoil them. Pluck and draw the birds, leaving the heads on. Put into a frying-pan an ounce of sweet butter; when hot, add six birds; toss them about to cook evenly; add a little salt and pepper; let them remain over the fire for about three minutes, and serve on a hot dish.
To cook them in large quantities, as they are prepared by the gunners at their club-houses along the Delaware, proceed as follows: Clean them properly; arrange them in a baking-tin; add a liberal quantity of butter, salt, and pepper; put the pan in the oven. At the end of five minutes turn them with a long-handled spoon, let them cook five minutes longer, and serve.
An excellent way to serve them at late breakfast-parties is as follows: Pluck and draw the birds, and remove their heads. Take a few large long potatoes; cut them in two crosswise; scrape out part of the inside; place a bird in each half of potato; press the halves together, tie them with twine, and bake until the potatoes are done. Remove the common twine and tie them up again with narrow tape or ribbon. Send to table on a napkin.
Salt Codfish, Broiled.—Cut from a medium-sized salt codfish three pieces about two inches square; split each piece in two, and soak in water over night; change the water two or three times. Next morning rinse the pieces in fresh cold water, and drain and dry in a napkin; brush a little butter over each, and broil. When done, pour over them melted butter seasoned with pepper and lemon juice.
Sardines, Broiled.—Open a can of sardines, and remove the fish without breaking them; scrape off the skin and split them, if large; put them between a double wire broiler, and broil both sides nicely. Squeeze a little lemon and orange juice over them before serving.
Sauce Tartare.—Chop together one small pickle, a dozen capers, and a few sprigs of parsley and a very small piece of onion; to these add half a pint of Mayonnaise and a teaspoonful of French mustard.
Sausages.—A disagreeable feature of sausages, when cooked in the ordinary manner, is that the spattering fat covers the range, and the ascending smoke pervades the whole house. This may be avoided by putting them in a baking-pan and cooking them in the oven. Ten minutes is sufficient to cook a pound of country sausages, provided the oven be quite hot. They are excellent when split in two and broiled; serve hot or cold apple sauce with them. Apple fritters also are acceptable with sausages.
Smelts, Broiled.—Clean thoroughly six medium-sized smelts; split them down the back; rub a little oil over them; place them on a double broiler, and broil. When done, serve with sauce tartare (which see).
Smelts, Fried.—Thoroughly clean the smelts, leaving the heads on; dip them in beaten egg; roll them in fine cracker dust, and fry in very hot fat; garnish with parsley and lemons, quartered, and send to table with sauce tartare (which see).
Squabs are very nice broiled, but are at their best served as follows;—Select a pair of plump birds; clean them, cut off the legs, and remove the heads without breaking or tearing the neck skin; insert the forefinger in it, and separate the skin over the breast from the flesh; fill this with a nicely-seasoned bread stuffing, and fasten the loose end of the neck to the back. Place a thin wide slice of bacon over the breast, and fasten the ends with wooden toothpicks; put them in a pan; dredge with a little flour, and bake to a delicate brown; serve with fresh green peas.
Spring chicken may be treated in the same way.
Steak, Tenderloin; Sauce Bearnaise.—Cut a thick steak off the large end of a beef tenderloin; flatten it out a little; rub olive-oil or butter over it, and broil over a charcoal fire; place it on a hot dish, add a little pepper and salt, and serve with sauce Bearnaise.
Sauce Bearnaise.—Reduce a gallon of strong, clear soup to a quart by constant boiling. Beat up the yolks of four eggs; pour them into a buttered saucepan, and add gradually—whisking all the time—the reduced soup, a tablespoonful of strong garlic vinegar (or, if preferred, plain vinegar, and the expressed juice of garlic or shallots), pepper, salt, and a little lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Care must be exercised not to add the soup while hot to the eggs, or it will curdle, and yet do not add it cold.
Steak, Sirloin; Sauce Bordelaise.—Select a steak cut from the best part of the sirloin; trim it neatly; rub a little oil over it, and broil over a charcoal fire; serve with the following sauce:
Sauce Bordelaise is easiest made as follows: Chop up one medium onion, or, better still, two shallots; fry them in butter until brown; add a pint of strong clear soup or beef gravy, half a pint of claret or white wine, salt, pepper, and a teaspoonful of chopped parsley; simmer, and if not quite thick enough add a little browned flour.
Tomato Sauce.—Open a can of Baldwin tomatoes, which contain but little liquid; simmer them gently for three quarters of an hour; season with salt, cayenne, a clove of garlic, bruised, and very little mace. Press them through a fine sieve; put the pulp in a clean, hot stewpan, with a little butter; stir to prevent burning, and, when quite thick, serve.
A most excellent tomato sauce is made of a brilliant red ketchup, known to dealers under the name of "Connoisseur Ketchup." Take half a pint of it; heat it gently; add a gill of rich soup-stock and a teaspoonful of flour dissolved in a little cold water; simmer until it thickens, and serve.
Ordinary ketchups do not have the proper color, and are likely to sour when heated.
Tripe with Oysters.—Tripe, when properly prepared by a simple process, is very nutritious and easily digested.
Cut up half a pound of well-washed tripe; simmer for three quarters of an hour in water slightly salted; take out the tripe; add to the broth a little butter rolled in flour, salt, and pepper; add a little more flour if not thick enough. Return the tripe and a dozen oysters; simmer for a few minutes longer, and serve.
Tripe Lyonnaise.—Cut up half a pound of cold boiled tripe into neat squares. Put two ounces of butter and a tablespoonful of chopped onion in a pan, and fry to a delicate brown; add the tripe, a teaspoonful of chopped parsley, one of strong vinegar, salt, and cayenne; stir the pan to prevent burning. When done, cover the bottom of a hot dish with tomato sauce, add the contents of the pan to it, and serve.
Veal Cutlet, Sauce Robert.—Select two medium-sized veal steaks, or cut one large one in two; dip in beaten egg; roll in bread crumbs, and fry very well done in the hottest of hot fat; serve with sauce Robert, made as follows;—Fry a small onion brown; add to it a gill each of clear soup and white wine; simmer until brown; strain; return to the pan, and add a teaspoonful of tarragon vinegar, half a teaspoonful of browned flour, and a tablespoonful of French mustard.
Cutlets or veal chops, broiled, may also be served with this sauce.
By THOMAS J. MURREY, formerly professional caterer of the Astor House, New York; Continental Hotel, Philadelphia; and other leading hotels.
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Containing much valuable information concerning soups and soup-making, and fifty recipes for soups of all kinds, simple and elaborate.
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