Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of changes is found at the end of the text. Inconsistency in spelling and hyphenation has been maintained. A list of inconsistently spelled words is found at the end of the text. Oe ligatures have been expanded.
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CATHERINE OWEN AUTHOR OF "TEN DOLLARS ENOUGH" "GENTLE BREAD-WINNERS" ETC.
NEW YORK HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE 1889
Copyright, 1889, by HARPER & BROTHERS.
All rights reserved.
Choice cookery is not intended for households that have to study economy, except where economy is a relative term; where, perhaps, the housekeeper could easily spend a dollar for the materials of a luxury, but could not spare the four or five dollars a caterer would charge.
Many families enjoy giving little dinners, or otherwise exercising hospitality, but are debarred from doing so by the fact that anything beyond the ordinary daily fare has to be ordered in, or an expensive extra cook engaged. And although we may regret that hospitality should ever be dependent on fine cooking, we have to take things as they are. It is not every hostess who loves simplicity that dares to practise it.
It was to help the women who wish to know at a glance what is newest and best in modern cookery that these chapters were written for Harper's Bazar, and are now gathered into a book. It is hoped by the writer that the copious details and simplification of different matters will enable those who have already achieved success in the plainer branches of cookery to venture further, and realize for themselves that it is only the "first step that costs."
I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Mrs. Clarke, of the South Kensington School of Cookery, to Madame de Salis, and those epicurean friends who have cast their nets in foreign waters, and sent me the daintiest fish they caught.
I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. SAUCES 11 III. WHITE SAUCES 23 IV. BROWN SAUCES 33 V. COLD SAUCES 42 VI. SOUPS 51 VII. FISH ENTREES 61 VIII. VARIOUS WAYS OF SERVING OYSTERS 71 IX. VARIOUS CULINARY MATTERS 79 X. ENTREES 86 XI. ENTREES OF MUTTON CUTLETS OR CHOPS 98 XII. ON THE MANNER OF PREPARING CROQUETTES, CUTLETS, KROMESKIES, RISSOLES, AND CIGARETTES 107 XIII. PATTIES 116 XIV. ENTREES 125 XV. ENTREES—continued 134 XVI. ENTREES—continued 143 XVII. COLD ENTREES, OR CHAUDFROIDS 153 XVIII. COLD ENTREES 162 XIX. GALANTINES, BALLOTINES, ETC. 172 XX. HOW TO "FILLET."—COLD GAME PIES 181 XXI. GARNISHES 191 XXII. VARIOUS WAYS OF SERVING VEGETABLES 199 XXIII. JELLIES 208 XXIV. JELLIES—continued 217 XXV. COLD SWEETS.—CREAMS 226 XXVI. CREAMS AND FROZEN PUDDINGS 235 XXVII. ICED PUDDINGS 243 XXVIII. ICE-CREAMS AND WATER-ICES 252 XXIX. MISCELLANEOUS SWEETS 262 XXX. MISCELLANEOUS SWEETS—continued 271 XXXI. MISCELLANEOUS SWEETS—continued 281 XXXII. FINE CAKES AND SAUCES 291 XXXIII. SALADS AND CHEESE DISHES 300 INDEX 309
By choice cookery is meant exactly what the words imply. There will be no attempt to teach family or inexpensive cooking, those branches of domestic economy having been so excellently treated by capable hands already. It may be said en passant, however, that even choice cooking is not necessarily expensive. Many dishes cost little for the materials, but owe their daintiness and expensiveness to the care bestowed in cooking or to a fine sauce. For instance: cod, one of the cheapest of fish, and considered coarse food as usually served, becomes an epicurean dish when served with a fine Hollandaise or oyster sauce, and it will not even then be more expensive than any average-priced boiling fish. Flounder served as sole Normande conjures up memories of the famous Philippe, whose fortune it made, or it may be of luxurious little dinners at other famous restaurants, and is suggestive, in fact, of anything but economy. Yet it is really an inexpensive dish.
But while it is quite true that fine cooking does not always mean expensive cooking, it is also true that it requires the best materials and sufficient of them; that if satisfactory results are to be obtained there must be no attempt to stint or change proportions from a false idea of economy, although it must never be forgotten that all good cooking is economical, by which I mean that there is no waste, every cent's worth of material being made to do its full duty.
In this book the object will be to give the newest and most recherche dishes, and these will naturally be expensive. Yet for those families who depend upon the caterer for everything in the way of fine soups, entrees, or sauces, because the cook can achieve only the plain part of the dinner, it will be found a great economy as well as convenience to be independent of this outside resource, which is always very costly, and invariably destroys the individuality of a repast. Many new recipes will be given, and others little known in private kitchens, or thought to be quite beyond the attainment of any but an accomplished chef. But if strict attention be paid to small matters, and the directions faithfully carried out, there will be no difficulty in a lady becoming her own chef.
I propose to begin with sauces. This is reversing the usual mode, and yet I think the reader will not regret the innovation. The cooking to be taught in these pages, being emphatically what is popularly known as "Delmonico cooking," very much depends on the excellence of the sauces served with each dish; and as it is no time to learn to make a fine sauce when the dish it is served with is being cooked, I think the better plan is to give the sauces first. They will be frequently referred to, but no repetition of the recipes will be given.
Before proceeding further I will say a few words that may save time and patience hereafter. Of course it is not expected that any one will hope to succeed with elaborate dishes without understanding the principles of simple cooking, but many do this without perceiving that in that knowledge they hold the key to very much more, and I would ask readers who are in earnest about the matter to acquire the habit of putting two and two together in cooking as they would in fancy-work. If you know half a dozen embroidery or lace stitches, you see at once that you can produce the elaborate combinations in which those stitches are used. So it is with cooking. The most elaborate dish will only be a combination of two or three simpler processes of cooking, perfectly done—that is a sine qua non—something fried, roasted, boiled, or braised to perfection, and a sauce that no chef could improve upon; but to recognize that this is so—that when you can make a Chateaubriand sauce or a Bearnaise perfectly, and can saute a steak, the famed filets a la Chateaubriand or a la Bearnaise are no longer a mystery, or that one who can make clear meat jelly and roast a chicken has learned all but the arrangement of a chaudfroid in aspic—will make apparently complicated dishes simple.
I go into these matters because I hope to cause my readers to think about the recipes they will use, when they will see for themselves that even the finest cooking is not intricate nor in any way difficult. It requires intelligence and great care about details: no half-attention will do, any more than it will in any other thing we attempt, whether it be high art or domestic art.
In making sauces or reading recipes for them it simplifies matters to remember that in savory sauces—by which I mean those served with meats or fish—there are what the French call the two "mother sauces," white sauce and brown; all others, with few exceptions, are modifications of these two; that is to say, bechamel is only white sauce made with white stock and cream instead of milk; Allemande is the same, only yolks of eggs replace the cream; and so on through the long list of sauces belonging to the blond variety. The simple brown sauce becomes the famous Chateaubriand by the addition of glaze (or very strong gravy) and a glass of white wine, and is the "mother" of many others equally fine. This being so, it will be seen that it is of the first importance that the making of these two "mother sauces" should be thoroughly understood, in order for the finer ones based on them to be successfully accomplished.
It will clear the way for easy work if I here give the directions for making one of the most necessary and convenient aids to fine cooking—the above-named glaze. To have it in the house saves much worry and work. If the soup is not just so strong as we wish, the addition of a small piece of glaze will make it excellent; or we wish to make brown sauce, and have no stock, the glaze comes to our aid. To have stock in the house at all times is by no means easy in a small family, especially in summer; with glaze, which is solidified stock, one is independent of it.
Six pounds of lean beef from the leg, or a knuckle of veal and beef to make six pounds. Cut this in pieces two inches square or less; do the same with half a pound of lean ham, free from rind or smoky outside, and which has been scalded five minutes. Put the meat into a two-gallon pot with three medium-sized onions with two cloves in each, a turnip, a carrot, and a small head of celery. Pour over them five quarts of cold water; let it come slowly to the boiling-point, when skim, and draw to a spot where it will gently simmer for six hours. This stock as it is will be an excellent foundation for all kinds of clear soups or gravies, with the addition of salt, which must on no account be added for glaze.
To reduce this stock to glaze, do as follows: Strain the stock first through a colander, and return meat and vegetables to the pot; put to them four quarts of hot water, and let it boil four hours longer. The importance of this second boiling, which may at first sight appear useless economy, will be seen if you let the two stocks get cold; the first will be of delightful flavor, but probably quite liquid; the last will be flavorless, but if the boiling process has been slow enough it will be a jelly, the second boiling having been necessary to extract the gelatine from the bones, which is indispensable for the formation of glaze.
Strain both these stocks through a scalded cloth. (If they have been allowed to get cool, heat them in order to strain.) Put both stocks together into one large pot, and let it boil as fast as possible with the cover off, leaving a large spoon in it to prevent it boiling over, also to stir occasionally; when it is reduced to three pints put it into a small saucepan, and let it boil more slowly. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken and has a fine yellowish-brown color, which will be when it is reduced to a quart or rather less. At this point watch closely, as it quickly burns. When there is only a pint and a half it will be fit to pour into small cups or jars, or it may be dried in thin sheets, if required for soup in travelling; to do this, pour it into oiled tin pans an inch deep. When cold it can be cut out in two-inch squares and dried by exposure to the air till it is like glue. One square makes a cup of strong soup if dissolved in boiling water and seasoned. If, however, it is put into pots, it must not be covered until all moisture has evaporated and the glaze shrinks from the sides of the jar. This may take a month.
The most convenient of all ways for preserving glaze is to get from your butcher a yard of sausage-skin. Tie one end very tightly, then pour in the glaze while warm by means of a large funnel. Tie the skin just as you would sausage as close to the glaze as possible, cut off any remaining skin, and hang the one containing the glaze up to dry. When needed, a slice is cut from this.
Of course any strong meat and bone-soup can be boiled down in the same way, and where there is meat on hand in danger of spoiling from sudden change of weather it can be turned into glaze, and kept indefinitely. I have found glaze five years old as good as the first week.
In addition to the glaze, for which the recipe is given in the preceding pages, and which will make you independent of the stock pot, there are several other articles involving very small outlay which it is absolutely necessary to have at hand in order to follow directions without trouble and worry.
It is often said by thoughtless housekeepers that cooking-books are of little use, because the recipes always call for something that is not in the house. This is a habit of mind only, for the very women who say it keep their work-baskets supplied with everything necessary for work, not only the everyday white and black spools, nor would they hesitate to undertake a piece of embroidery which required quite unusual combinations of color or material, and to be obtained only with difficulty. Grant a little of this earnest painstaking to the requirements of the cooking-book at the start, see that the herb-bottles are supplied with dried herbs (when fresh are not attainable), the spice-boxes contain the small quantity of fresh fine spices that is sufficient for a good deal of cooking, and red and white wine and brandy are in the house, all of which should be kept in the store-closet for cooking alone, and not liable to be "out" when wanted.
The so-called "French herbs" are rarely found in American gardens, yet might be very readily sown in early spring, as parsley is; but although seldom home-grown, they are to be found at the French market-gardener's in Washington Market, and can be bought fresh and dried in paper bags quickly for use. I say dried quickly, because unless the sun is very hot much of the aroma will pass into the air; it is, therefore, better to dry them in a cool oven. When they are dry enough to crumble to dust, free the herbs from stems and twigs, and put them separately into tin boxes or wide-mouthed bottles, each labelled. The expense of herbs and spices is very slight, and they are certainly not neglected among kitchen stores on that account; it is merely the want of habit in ordering them. In addition to these articles a bottle of capers, one of olives, one of anchovies, canned mushrooms, and canned truffles should be on hand—the latter should be bought in the smallest-sized cans, as they are very costly, but a little goes a long way. Families living in the country often have for a season more mushrooms than they can use. In the few days in which they are plentiful opportunity should be taken to peel and dry as many as possible; when powdered they give a finer flavor than the canned mushroom, and may be used to great advantage in dark sauces.
The French chef classes all white sauces as blonde, and calls the jar of very smooth thick white sauce, which he keeps ready made as a foundation for most of the family of light sauces, his blonde or veloute. This explanation is given because directions are often found in French recipes to "take half a pint of veloute" or of "blonde." The mistress of a private house may not find it wise or necessary to keep a supply of sauce ready made, although to one who has to supply a variety of sauces each day it is indispensable; but the day before a dinner-party sauces can be so made, and covered with a film of butter to prevent skin forming, and can then be heated in a bain-marie when required for use. Almost every chef has his favorite recipe for veloute, or white sauce, but they differ only in points that are little essential; the foundation is always the same, as follows: Put two ounces of butter in a thick saucepan with two ounces of flour (tablespoonfuls approximate the ounce, but weight only should be relied on for fine cooking). Let these melt over the fire, stirring them so that the butter and flour become well mixed; then let them bubble together, stirring enough to prevent the flour sticking or changing color. Three minutes will suffice to cook the flour; add a pint of clear hot white stock that has been strained through a cloth. This stock must not be poured slowly, or the sauce will thicken too fast. Hold the pint-measure or other vessel in which the stock may be in the left hand, stir the butter and flour quickly with the right, then turn the broth to it all at once. Let this simmer an hour until very thick, then add a gill of very rich cream, stir, and the sauce is ready.
This is undoubtedly the best way to make white sauce, which is to serve as a foundation for others, or is intended to mask meat or poultry, the long, slow simmering producing an extreme blandness not to be attained by a quicker method. But circumstances sometimes prevent the previous preparation of the sauce, in which case it may be made exactly in the same way, only instead of a pint of broth, but three gills should be poured on the butter and flour, and a gill of thick cream stirred in when it boils; the sauce is finished when it again reaches the boiling-point.
This is the foundation for the following "grand" sauces: Poulette, Allemande, Uxelles, Soubise, Ste. Menehould, Perigueux, Supreme, besides all the simpler ones, which take their name from the chief ingredient, such as caper, cauliflower, celery, lobster, etc., etc.
For sauces that have vinegar or lemon juice, it is better that the veloute, or white sauce, should have no cream until the last minute, or it may curdle. My object in giving the recipes for sauces in the way I intend—that is to say, by building on to, or omitting from, one foundation sauce—is to dispel some of the confusion which exists in the minds of many people about the exact difference between several sauces differing from each other very slightly—a confusion which is only added to by reading over the fully written recipes for each, as many a painstaking, intelligent woman's headache will testify. As we progress, the exact difference between each will be explained.
Bechamel.—This sauce differs from the white sauce only in the fact that the white stock used for the latter need not be very strong; for bechamel it should either be very strong or boiled down rapidly to make it so, and there should always be half cream instead of one third, as in white sauce, and when required for fish the stock may be of fish. White sauce is frequently (perhaps most frequently) made with milk, or milk and cream, in place of stock, in this country, and answers admirably for many purposes, but would not be what is required for the kind of cooking intended in these pages.
Most readers know how "to stir," and it may seem quite an unnecessary matter to go into. Yet if only one reader does not know that to stir means a regular, even, slow circling of the spoon, not only in the centre of the saucepan, but round the sides, she will fail in making good sauce. Stir, then, slowly, gently, going over every part of the bottom of the saucepan till the sides are reached, pass the spoon gently round them, thence back to the middle, and so on. In this way the sauce gets no chance to stick to any particular spot. A small copper saucepan is the best possible utensil for making sauce, as it does not burn.
The rule for seasoning is a level salt-spoonful of salt to half a pint; pepper, one fourth the quantity. This, however, is only when the stock is unseasoned; if seasoned, only salt enough must be added to season the cream and eggs.
Allemande.—Take half a pint of white sauce, add to it half the liquor from a can of mushrooms, and half a dozen of the mushrooms chopped fine. Let them simmer—stirring all the time—five minutes, then remove from the fire. Set the saucepan into another containing boiling water. Have the yolks of three eggs ready beaten, put a little of the sauce to them, beat together, then add the eggs gradually to the rest of the sauce, which must be returned to the fire, and stirred until the eggs begin to thicken; then it must be quickly removed, and stirred until slightly cool. Season with a saltspoonful of salt, a fourth of one of pepper, and strain carefully.
It must never be forgotten that in thickening with eggs the sauce or soup must not boil after they are added, or they will curdle. Yet if they do not reach the boiling-point they will not thicken. Only keen attention to the first sign of thickening will insure success. If a failure is made the first time, look upon it as the first step to success, for you have learned what the danger looks like. Make the sauce again as soon as possible, so that your eye may not lose the impression. It is worth considerable effort (and it is really only a matter of a few minutes each time) to make Allemande sauce well, for in doing so you also learn to make Hollandaise and several choice sauces, as will be seen by those that follow.
Poulette Sauce.—Make Allemande sauce as directed in the foregoing recipe; add a wineglass of white wine. If sweetbreads or chicken are to be cooked in the sauce, as is not unusual, of course the eggs must be left out until the last thing. Anything served with this sauce is called a la poulette.
Sauce a la d'Uxelles.—Chop fine a dozen small button mushrooms, or half a dozen large ones; parsley and chives, of each enough to make a teaspoonful when finely chopped; of lean ham a tablespoonful, and one small shallot. Fry gently in a tablespoonful of butter, but do not let them brown. Stir these into half a pint of white sauce, simmer three or four minutes, then add two yolks of eggs, as for Allemande, and the last thing a half-teaspoonful of lemon-juice, and just enough glaze to make the sauce the shade of a pale Suede glove. This sauce is used cold to coat meats that have to be cooked in paper, and many that are afterwards to be fried in bread-crumbs, for which directions will be given in the entrees. Dishes termed a la d'Uxelles are among the most recherche productions of the French kitchen.
Villeroi Sauce.—Make half a pint of white sauce, which, as in the case of bechamel, may be made of fish stock when for use with fish; chop half a dozen mushrooms, and add a gill of the liquor to the sauce, half a saltspoonful of powdered thyme (or one sprig, if fresh), two sprigs of parsley, and half a bay-leaf; simmer for fifteen minutes; strain through a scalded cloth; replace on the fire; add a piece of glaze as large as a hazel-nut, or a tablespoonful of strong meat-gravy, just enough to give it the shade of palest cafe au lait; thicken with two yolks of eggs, as for Allemande sauce. All articles served with this sauce are termed a la Villeroi. It differs from d'Uxelles only in having no ham, nor acidity from the lemon; also, all flavor of onion is omitted.
Supreme sauce gives its name to several dishes dear to epicures—supreme de volaille, supreme de Toulouse, etc. It is made with a pint of thick white sauce, a pint of very strong chicken broth, four stalks of parsley, and six white pepper-corns, boiled down to half a pint. Stir sauce and broth together until thoroughly blended, then boil rapidly down till thick again, taking great care it does not burn. Add one gill of double cream, and half a saltspoonful of salt (if the stock was already seasoned). Boil up till thick enough to mask the back of a spoon, strain, and the last thing add a small teaspoonful of lemon juice.
When the white sauce has to be made expressly for the supreme, it is easier to use strong chicken broth in place of ordinary white stock; then it is not necessary to add it after. The term "to mask the back of a spoon" is a common one to indicate the proper thickness for sauces, but to the untrained eye it may not be easy to decide just what "masking" means. Most sauces should be thin enough to run quite freely from the spoon, yet not so thin as to leave the color of the spoon visible through the coating of sauce it will retain if it be dipped into it; there should be a thin opaque coating or "mask" to the back of the spoon. Sauce of this thickness is produced by using one ounce (exact weight) of flour of fine quality to half a pint of liquid. Meat, fish, or vegetables over which sauce of this consistency has been poured will be quite masked, but the sauce will not be too thick to serve readily with a spoon. This consistency is worth some practice to attain, for it is the perfection of sauce-making.
White sauce, when intended for the foundation of others, it must be observed, is made twice as thick, to allow for the addition of cream, wine, or stock. The only advantage in a private family of making it thus thick is when, perhaps, two or three sauces are needed for a dinner; for example, a plain white sauce for a vegetable, caper, lobster, or cardinal for other purposes, and perhaps poulette, d'Uxelles, or other pale sauce for an entree; but when one sauce only is required, it is best to make that one from the beginning; that is to say, make white sauce with the additions that form it into Allemande, supreme, or whatever you require.
Ste. Menehould Sauce is in these days chiefly associated with "pigs' feet a la Ste. Menehould," but is good for several purposes. It is simply half a pint of white sauce into which a dozen bruised mushrooms, a gill of the mushroom liquor, a large teaspoonful of finely chopped chives, with the sixth of a saltspoonful of pepper and one of salt are allowed to simmer until the sauce is the same thickness as before the addition of the mushroom liquor; that is to say, thick enough to mask the spoon. Strain, return to the saucepan, and add a teaspoonful of finely chopped sage leaves, if for pigs' feet, or parsley for other purposes; boil once, add half a teaspoonful of lemon juice, and the sauce is ready.
Bearnaise Sauce.—This is one of the most difficult sauces to make, on account of the danger of the eggs curdling; but by the following method the work is rendered more sure than by the usual plan. It has been said that the terrors of a cook are Bearnaise sauce and omelette soufflee, but neither is really difficult; great care only is necessary for success with each.
Chop four shallots fine, put them into a saucepan with half a gill of Tarragon vinegar and half a gill of plain vinegar; boil till reduced to one tablespoonful; then add one gill of white sauce, mixing well. Stand the saucepan in another of boiling water; then add, one at a time, three yolks of eggs, beating each, one well in before adding another, and on no account let the sauce boil. Remove the saucepan from the fire when the eggs are all in and show signs of thickening. Have ready three ounces of butter cut into small pieces; drop one in at a time, and with an egg-whisk beat the sauce till the butter is blended; then add another piece, and so on, till all the butter is used. If added too quickly the butter will oil, therefore great care must be taken to see one piece entirely blend before adding another. The butter will probably salt the sauce enough, but if not, add a very little salt. This sauce should have the appearance of a Welsh-rabbit when ready to spread; in other words, it should be very thick, smooth, and dark yellow.
Soubise.—This sauce, which transforms ordinary mutton-chops into "cotelettes a la Soubise," is very easily made. Boil half a dozen Bermuda onions (medium size) in milk till quite tender; press out all the milk; chop them as fine as possible; sprinkle a quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper and one of salt over them; then stir them with a tablespoonful of butter into half a pint of white sauce. If the onions should thin the sauce too much (they are sometimes very watery), thicken with a yolk of egg, or blend a teaspoonful of flour with the butter before stirring it in. Boil the sauce three minutes. Needless to say, if the yolk of egg is added, it must be beaten in after the sauce is removed from the stove, and only allowed to thicken, not boil.
The sauces so far given are what French cooks call "grand sauces." They are the most important part of the dish with which they are served, and, as we have seen, give the name to it. There are numberless other sauces of which the white sauce is parent that are, however, not indispensable to the dish they are served with—by which I mean a boiled fish may be served with oyster sauce or Dutch sauce, the sauce being in this case simply the adjunct.
A dessertspoonful of capers put into half a pint of white sauce, with a teaspoonful of the vinegar, makes caper sauce.
Celery sauce is, again, white sauce with the pulp of boiled celery. Boil the white part of four heads of celery (sliced thin) in milk till it will mash; this will take an hour, perhaps more; then rub the pulp through a coarse sieve, and stir it into half a pint of white sauce made with half rich cream.
Oyster sauce is white sauce made by using the oyster liquor instead of stock. The oysters should be bearded, just allowed to plump in the liquor, which must then be strained for the sauce, using a gill of it with a gill of thick cream to make half a pint; for this quantity a dozen and a half of small oysters will be required.
Shrimp sauce, parsley sauce, lobster sauce, cucumber sauce, and all the family are white sauce with the addition of the ingredient naming it. Cucumber sauce, which is approved for fish, is made by grating a cucumber, and adding it, with the water from it, to some white sauce; boil till well flavored, and then strain. If too thin, boil till thick, stirring carefully.
For shrimp sauce canned shrimps serve very well indeed; they must be thrown for a minute into cold water, well stirred in it to remove superfluous salt, then drained, and dried on a cloth. Put a gill of shrimps to half a pint of bechamel made with fish stock, boil once, and stir in just enough essence of anchovy to make the sauce a pale shrimp pink.
Cardinal sauce is a handsome sauce for boiled fish. It is made by drying the coral from a lobster, then pounding it quite smooth, with one ounce of butter, until it is a perfectly smooth paste. Stir this into half a pint of bechamel. It should be a fine red when mixed; pass through a sieve, and add as much cayenne as will go on the end of the blade of a small penknife.
Hollandaise or Dutch sauce is best made in the following way. There are other methods, but this one meets general approval, is not difficult, and agrees with many who cannot possibly eat it when oil is used.
Make half a pint of drawn butter by melting one ounce of butter with one ounce of flour over the fire; let them bubble together (stirring the while) for one minute; then stir in half a pint of boiling water and half a teaspoonful of salt. So far, the making is exactly the same as for white sauce, except that water is used instead of cream and stock. Boil once, then set the saucepan in another of water, and break up an ounce of butter into small pieces and add them; stir briskly after each piece is added, and see it blend before putting more. When all is in, add the beaten yolks of five eggs, removing the saucepan from the fire while doing it. They must be very carefully and gradually stirred in, and when well mixed returned to the fire until they begin to thicken. The eggs must be kept from curdling. Squeeze in two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice, and add just a dust of cayenne. This should be a thick, yellow, custard-like sauce, and have a perceptible acidity without being sour.
It has been already stated that the family of brown sauces, like the white, have one parent, Espagnole, or Spanish sauce, which is the foundation for Chateaubriand, Financiere, Robert, Poivrade, Piquante, and other sauces. Ordinary brown sauce, like ordinary white, is often made without stock—simply an ounce of flour, one of butter, browned together, and half a pint of boiling water added, then boiled till thick and smooth. But it may be safely said that in high-class dark sauces water should play no part; its place must be taken by stock of good quality, which is often enriched by reducing or adding glaze.
The characteristics of finely made Spanish sauce are a clear beautiful brown, by no means approaching black, absolute freedom from grease, and a fine high flavor, so well blended that no particular spice or herb can be detected. Spanish sauce is made as follows: Wash, peel, and cut small six mushrooms (or a dessertspoonful of mushroom powder), one small carrot, one small onion, and one shallot; dry them, and fry them a fine brown in a tablespoonful of butter, but do not let them burn; drain off the butter. Melt in a copper saucepan two ounces of butter and two ounces of flour, stir them together over the fire till of a pale bright brown, then add a pint of stock, the fried vegetables, and a gill of tomato sauce; let all gently simmer for half an hour with the cover off. Strain through a fine sieve. When Spanish sauce is to be served without any addition, and not as a foundation, a wineglass of sherry is used and the same quantity of stock omitted.
It becomes Chateaubriand by the addition of a wineglass of sherry reduced to half a glass by boiling in a tiny saucepan, a dessertspoonful of fresh parsley very finely chopped, and the juice of half a small lemon. These must be added to one third the quantity of Espagnole, or Spanish sauce, given in the foregoing recipe. Then stir in gradually, bit by bit, one ounce of butter, letting each piece blend before adding more.
I have said here and elsewhere, "the juice of half a small lemon." Yet I would caution the reader to squeeze it in gradually, because some lemons are intensely sour, and a very few drops of juice from such go farther than that of the whole half of an average lemon. Chateaubriand sauce is by no means acid; there must be only a just perceptible dash of acidity, and only so much lemon juice used as will give it zest. Piquante sauce is different; there should be acidity enough to provoke appetite; yet even this should be by no means sour.
To make Piquante sauce, chop a shallot fine, put it, with a tablespoonful of vinegar, into a very small saucepan; let them stew together until the vinegar is entirely absorbed, but do not let it burn. Then add to it half a pint of Spanish sauce and a gill of stock, with a bay-leaf and a sprig of thyme; cook very gently ten minutes, remove the thyme and bay-leaf, and add a dessertspoonful of chopped pickled cucumber, a teaspoonful of capers, and a dessertspoonful of finely chopped parsley. Simmer very slowly ten minutes more; then add enough cayenne to lay on the tip of a penknife blade.
Poivrade resembles piquante sauce very closely, differing from it, however, by the addition of wine and higher flavoring. To make it, fry an onion and a small carrot cut fine, a tomato sliced, and an ounce of lean ham in two ounces of butter; let them brown slightly; then add to them half a pint of claret, a bouquet of herbs, two cloves, and six peppercorns; let them simmer till the wine is reduced one half; then add half a pint of good Spanish sauce, boil gently ten minutes, strain, and serve very hot. A true French poivrade has a soupcon of garlic, obtained by rubbing a crust on a clove of it, and simmering it in the sauce before straining it; but although many would like the scarcely perceptible zest imparted by this cautious use of garlic, no one should try the experiment unless sure of her company.
A "bouquet of herbs" always means two sprigs of parsley, one of thyme, one of marjoram, and a bay-leaf, so rolled together (the bay-leaf in the middle) and tied that there is no difficulty in removing it from any dish which is not to be strained.
The well-known Bordelaise sauce is simply Spanish sauce with the addition of white wine and shallots. Scald a tablespoonful of chopped shallots; put them to half a pint of Chablis, Sauterne, or any similar white wine; let the wine reduce to one gill; then mix with it half a pint of Spanish sauce and the sixth part of a saltspoonful of pepper. Strain and serve.
Robert sauce, that excellent adjunct to beefsteak, varies again from Bordelaise, vinegar and mustard and fried onions taking the place of the wine and shallot. Chop three medium-sized onions quite fine; fry them in a tablespoonful of butter until they are a clear yellowish-brown, stirring them constantly as they fry; drain them, and put them to a half-pint of Spanish sauce, to which you add a wineglass of stock (to allow for boiling away); simmer gently twenty minutes; add a pinch of pepper; strain; then mix a teaspoonful of vinegar in a cup with a teaspoonful of mustard; stir this into the sauce.
Sauce a la Normande is one of the most delicious sauces for baked fish of any kind, although usually associated with sole. To half a pint of Spanish sauce add a dozen mushrooms sliced in half, a dozen small oysters with the beards removed, and a dozen crawfish, if they are to be had, or their place may be taken by a tablespoonful of shrimps picked (canned shrimps, washed and dried, answer very well), one tablespoonful of essence of anchovy, and just a dust of Cayenne pepper.
Light Normande is made by using bechamel instead of Spanish sauce, adding all the other materials; it is then a pale salmon-colored sauce, excellent for boiled fish.
A favorite English sauce for fish, which is also brown or pink, according to whether it is intended for baked or boiled fish, is the Downton sauce. To three quarters of a pint of bechamel add a dessertspoonful of anchovy essence and a small wineglass of sherry, mix well, and serve.
Orange sauce for game is made with half a pint of Spanish sauce boiled five minutes to make it rather thicker than usual, the juice of three sweet oranges, and the peel of one. This peel must be so thinly pared as to be transparent. Boil this peel half an hour in water, then shred it into fine even strips half an inch long, and not thicker than broom straw. Stew this shredded peel another half-hour in a gill of stock, with a scant teaspoonful of sugar; then add it to the sauce, with half a saltspoonful of salt, and boil five minutes.
Matelote may come in with the brown sauces, although it is not made with Spanish sauce as a foundation, but only with strong stock. It is used to simmer fish in when directed to be a la matelote, and if it were already thickened the whole would burn. It is made as follows: Half a pint of Sauterne or Chablis, half a pint of rich stock, two bay-leaves, three leaves of tarragon, chervil, and chive, a scant saltspoonful of salt, a quarter one of pepper; simmer these until reduced to one half-pint. A touch of garlic is indispensable to the true matelote, but when used it must be done with the greatest caution; a fork stuck into a clove of it, then stirred in the sauce (the fork, when withdrawn, not the garlic), or a crust rubbed once across a piece of it, is the only way in which it should be used.
Like the white sauces, the family of brown ones is very large, but I have given those which require special directions. Others are simply Spanish sauce with the addition of the ingredient which gives its name to it, as brown oyster sauce is simply Spanish sauce with oysters, celery sauce, mushroom sauce, and so on. It should always be remembered that the consistency must be preserved; that is to say, except when special mention is made of the sauce being thinner, it should "mask the spoon," and if the addition made to it is of a kind to dilute it, as mushrooms and part of their liquor, it must be rapidly boiled down to the original thickness. In the same way, when ingredients have to be simmered in the sauce—and this is very often the case—then a wineglassful or half one of broth or stock should be allowed for the wasting.
In the next chapter we will make acquaintance with the miscellaneous sauces which are not built on the foundation of either white or brown sauce. These are chiefly cold sauces, although served with hot dishes at times, as Tartare, Remoulade, etc.
Cold dishes, which are such a pleasing feature of foreign cookery, are much neglected with us, at least in private kitchens, or they are limited to two or three articles served in mayonnaise, or a galantine, yet the dishes which the French call chaudfroids are both delicious and ornamental, and it only requires a little taste, care, and perfect sauce to convert the ordinary cold chicken, turkey, or game into an elaborate and choice dish.
Among cold sauces, of course mayonnaise, both green, red, and yellow, reigns supreme; indeed, of late years it has become almost hackneyed. Yet no work on choice eating would be complete without the different forms of mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise is one of those sauces in which everything depends on care, and very little on skill, and yet some women have quite a reputation for making it among their friends who often declare how unsuccessful their own efforts have been, and that to succeed is a gift. It is not as a novelty, therefore, that the manner of making it is given here, but that those who believe they have not the "magic fingers" may take courage and try again.
First of all let me explain what seems to puzzle many. I have been frequently asked, "How much oil can I use to two eggs?" the answer is, "As much as you choose;" or, again, "How many eggs ought I to take to a quart of oil?" again the answer is, "One, two, three, or four." The egg is only a foundation, and mayonnaise will "come" no better with two yolks than one, although some chefs consider it keeps better when two eggs are used to a pint of oil.
A cool room is always insisted on for making the sauce, but to the amateur I say, oil, eggs, and bowl also, should be put in the ice-box until well chilled, and even then mishaps may come from using a warm spoon from a hot kitchen drawer or closet; that, therefore, must be cool also. Of course it is often successfully made with only the usual precaution of a cool room, but with everything well chilled it is hard to fail.
If very little of the sauce is wanted, one yolk of egg will be better than two. Separate the yolks very carefully, allowing not a speck of white to remain; remove also the germ which is attached to the yolk. Stir the yolk at least a minute before beginning to add oil; then arrange your bottle or a sharp-spouted pitcher in your left hand so that it rests on the edge of the bowl, and you can keep up a pretty steady drop, drop, into the egg, while you stir with your right steadily. The oil must be added drop by drop, but this does not mean a drop every two or three minutes; you may add a drop to every one or two circuits of the spoon. The reason for adding it slowly is that each drop may form an emulsion with the egg before more goes in. After two or three minutes look carefully at the mixture; if it has not begun to look pale and opaque, but retains a dark, oily appearance, stir it steadily for two minutes, and then add oil slowly, drop by drop, stirring all the time. If it has not now begun to thicken, it probably will not; but the materials are not lost. Put the yolk of another egg into a cool bowl, and begin again using the egg and oil you have already mixed, in place of fresh oil. When this is all used, proceed with the oil (it is hoped, however, that the work will have proceeded without the necessity for beginning afresh). When the mayonnaise becomes quite thick, use a few drops of vinegar to thin it; then more oil, until sufficient sauce is made. Then white pepper and salt should be added for seasoning. The vinegar used should be very strong, so that very little of it will be sufficient to give the necessary acidity, without making it too thin. This is especially the case when the sauce is required to mask salad. It should for this purpose be set on ice until firm, but in all cases be kept cold. The best mayonnaise, left in a warm kitchen, would separate and become oily. The stirring must be steady and constant, and the task must not be left until completed.
Mayonnaise is the basis of several other sauces, so that in accomplishing it a great deal is done.
Green mayonnaise is made by dropping a bunch of parsley into boiling water, and in a minute or two, when it becomes intensely green, take it up, pound it in a mortar, and then through a sieve. Use as much pulp as will color the sauce a delicate green.
Red mayonnaise, used for cardinal salad and other purposes, is made by pounding lobster coral very fine and stirring it in. It must not be forgotten that anything added to mayonnaise must be ice-cold.
Aspic mayonnaise is another form of the sauce, used in dressing cold dishes, and while more delicious than the usual sauce, will keep its form for hours after the dish is dressed. It is absolutely necessary to prepare it on ice. Put half a pint of stiff aspic jelly into a bowl set in cracked ice, whisk it with an egg-beater until it is a white froth (usually the motion will melt it, but to save labor it may be set in lukewarm water to soften, then beaten, but no oil must be added until it is again ice-cold froth); then beat in very gradually a quarter of a pint of olive oil and a tablespoonful of tarragon vinegar, proceeding with the same care as for the usual mayonnaise; add a saltspoonful of salt, a pinch of pepper, and the same of powdered sugar.
Norwegian sauce is preferred by many to Tartare for some purposes, and is made by adding freshly grated horseradish to mayonnaise in the proportion of two tablespoonfuls to half a pint.
Tartare sauce is mayonnaise with the addition of mustard, chives, pickles, and tarragon, chopped. As usually served, it has only mustard and capers or chopped cucumber, but for those to whom a slight flavor of onion is not disagreeable, chives should be added. To half a pint of mayonnaise use a teaspoonful of dry mustard mixed with two of tarragon vinegar, then stir into the sauce. To this add a tablespoonful either of capers or chopped pickled cucumber; this is the usual Tartare sauce; but the French recipe is a tablespoonful of very finely chopped chives, a teaspoonful each of fresh tarragon and chervil in place of the pickles.
Cold cucumber sauce is mayonnaise with an equal quantity of grated cucumber, drained, pressed, and stirred into it, with a saltspoonful of salt and a few drops of very strong vinegar.
Horseradish sauce is a very good sauce for hot or cold beef, roast or boiled. Grate three tablespoonfuls of horseradish fine, put to it a teaspoonful of sugar, one of salt, and one of vinegar, or a tablespoonful of Chablis wine; let them soak an hour or two, and the last thing before serving stir in four tablespoonfuls of cream that is whipped very solid. A half-teaspoonful of dry mustard is sometimes mixed with the horseradish, but that is a matter of taste. When the sauce is to be served hot, two yolks of egg and two tablespoonfuls of water must be substituted for cream, which would curdle. The water, horseradish, etc., must first come to the boiling-point, then the eggs added gradually, and just allowed to thicken, not to boil.
Mint Sauce.—Take only the young, tender leaves, not a bit of stem, and chop very fine indeed. To two tablespoonfuls add a tablespoonful and a half of brown sugar and three of vinegar. It should be quite thick, not as we so often see it—vinegar with a few bits of mint floating around.
Mint Jelly for masking cold lamb or cutlets.—Take two tablespoonfuls of Spanish sauce, and dissolve in it a good teaspoonful of gelatine softened in cold stock, a tablespoonful of aspic, and one of thick mint sauce. If no aspic is ready, it is not worth while to make for the small quantity needed; a teaspoonful of glaze, two of gelatine, and half a wineglass of Sauterne may be dissolved together to take its place. No gelatine will be needed with the Spanish sauce in this case.
Sweet sauces will be left until the desserts are treated of.
It is not proposed to give the soups to be found readily in most cooking-books in these pages, but only those less known or of peculiar excellence.
It is supposed that the reader understands the making of good beef or veal stock, and perhaps the usual way of clearing it. But since cooking has been studied scientifically, improvements on methods have been introduced; one of these is the clearing of soup with albumen of meat instead of egg. The advantages of this method are that the soup is strengthened and the flavor improved, while clearing with whites of eggs in the usual way, though greatly improving the appearance, tends to lessen the flavor of soup.
To clear Consomme with Beef.—Consomme is reduced stock, or stock made of extra strength. Carefully remove all fat from three pints of it when cold. It will, of course, be a stiff jelly. Chop fine an onion, a carrot, and a turnip. Chop half a pound of lean beef from which all fat is removed; this is best put through a chopping-machine, as it must be very fine. Put the consomme, meat, and vegetables into a saucepan. Stir them briskly till just on the boiling-point. Remove the spoon, let the soup boil up well one minute. It should now be clear. Take a clean cloth, fix it on a soup stand or in a colander, pour boiling water through it, to warm it thoroughly; throw the water away, and pour the soup gently through the cloth twice; do not press or stir it. It will be beautifully clear and of excellent color. It is now ready to serve for a variety of soups, named according to what is served in them.
Consomme a la Rachel.—This is consomme to which is added tiny quenelles made in eggspoons, and colored red, green, and black. Quenelle meat is made from the uncooked breast of chicken or game, the backs of hares or rabbits (or it may be made for certain purposes of fish or very white veal), first chopped, and then pounded in a mortar until it is a perfectly smooth paste. Mere chopped meat is not what is required; it must be fine enough to go through a sieve. For Consomme a la Rachel, however, the breast of chicken is necessary. Take four ounces of chicken, free from skin and sinew; pound it until quite smooth; the more it is pounded the better it is. Mix with it thick cream, a scant saltspoonful of salt, very little pepper, and half a beaten egg, until it is a softish paste, yet firm enough to mould; mix thoroughly. Now try a little by poaching in a teaspoon; that is, fill a teaspoon with the mixture, pressing it in form, then drop it into boiling water for three minutes. Open the quenelle and taste it; if it is creamy, light, and well flavored, it is right, but if there is the least toughness, add a little more cream to the mixture. Notice also the seasoning; if more salt is needed, add it carefully, and try again, till you have the quenelle mixture just right, that is to say, creamy, light, very tender, yet keeping its form. At present quenelles as entrees or for soups form such an important part of fine cooking that it is worth while to get the mixture perfect for other purposes than the present.
Having your quenelle meat ready, proceed to vary it as follows, allowing one quenelle of each color to each guest: For the green quenelles use sufficient pounded tarragon to color one third the meat delicately. For the second use sufficient lobster coral pounded to redden it. The third must be made dark with pounded truffles. Great care must be taken to keep the three portions separate, so that one color may not injure the other. To form them use two very small coffeespoons or eggspoons, as the quenelles should not be larger than small olives; butter the spoons slightly, and when formed drop each for one or two minutes into boiling pale-colored stock. Drop them, as they are done, into cold water, in which they must be kept until you are ready to use them. When the soup is to be served, drain them, lay the number required in the tureen, and pour the boiling consomme on them. They will not require heating in the soup. It may be observed that raw spinach pounded and rubbed through a sieve, and boiled red beet, may be used to color the meat green and red, and the rest left white. The consomme is then called Consomme d'Orleans.
Consomme aux Oeufs files.—Put one quart of cleared consomme to boil. Mix one egg, one dessertspoonful of flour, one tablespoonful of milk, a pinch between forefinger and thumb of salt, and a dust of pepper, into a batter, rub a nutmeg once back and forth over the grater, and stir. When the soup boils, pass this batter through a fine strainer into it. It should look like threads.
Consomme a la Sevigne.—Pound two ounces of breast of cooked chicken until it will pass through a wide sieve. Mix with it two eggs, three tablespoonfuls of milk, twelve drops of almond essence, a scant saltspoonful of salt, as much nutmeg as will go on the end of a penknife blade, and a dust of cayenne. When well blended, fill three or four small round muffin pans, well greased, and steam slowly twenty minutes, or until set. Turn out very carefully; let them cool; then cut them into fancy shapes, and serve in one quart of boiling consomme. A few asparagus points boiled until just tender, but not mushy, are to be dropped in the last thing.
Potage a la Hollandaise.—For this will be required one quart of veal or chicken stock, two ounces of butter, one ounce of flour, four yolks of eggs, half a pint of cream, one gill of green peas, one gill of boiled carrots, one gill of boiled cucumber, one teaspoonful of fresh tarragon chopped fine, one teaspoonful of sugar, and one teaspoonful of salt. Trim the carrots and cucumber with a very small scoop or cutter the size and shape of peas; cook them just tender, and no more, in boiling water. Put the stock on to boil; skim if necessary; add the salt and sugar. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream to them, and beat them till well mixed. This forms a "liaison." Make the butter and flour into a paste in a bowl, pour half a gill of cold stock to it, then enough hot stock to dissolve it; when mixed smooth, stir it into the boiling stock, let it boil, then remove from the fire, and stir in very carefully, to prevent curdling, the liaison of eggs and cream; let it come to the boiling-point, but not boil, or it will curdle. Strain it into a clean stewpan, and add the vegetables; let all get hot together; then strew in the tarragon.
Chestnut Soup (puree de marrons).—Slit twenty-five large chestnuts at each end, put them in boiling water, and boil ten minutes. Drop them into cold water, and remove both the outer and inner skin. Melt three ounces of butter in a saucepan, put in the chestnuts, and saute (toss them about) for a few minutes, but do not brown them; then add a pint and a half of rich white stock, and let the nuts boil in it until very tender, when they must be rubbed through a fine sieve. Boil up again, add half a pint of cream, a teaspoonful of powdered sugar, a teaspoonful of salt (less if the stock be salted), and a pinch of pepper.
Princess Soup.—Cut a chicken in pieces; wash it; butter a stewpan, put in the chicken with a blade of mace, an onion, a bay-leaf, and twelve white peppercorns. Let this simmer, closely covered, ten minutes, shaking it often to prevent its browning; then put to it two quarts of hot veal stock, and simmer one hour. Put into another stewpan two ounces of flour and two ounces of butter; stir them together, and let them bubble once, then strain the liquor from the chicken to it; stir well, and cook a few minutes. Take the white meat from the bones of the chicken, pound it in a mortar very fine, stir it to the stock, then rub through a soup strainer; add just before serving half a pint of fresh cream and the juice of half a lemon. This soup must be made hot, but not boil, after the chicken pulp and cream are added.
Potage a la Royale.—Boil two ounces of macaroni till tender, but not broken; throw it into cold water. Put three pints of white stock to boil; cut the macaroni into lengths half an inch long; beat three yolks of eggs in a bowl with a gill of cream; throw the macaroni into the soup; when it boils, remove from the fire, add the cream and eggs and an ounce of grated Parmesan cheese; stir till the soup reaches the boiling-point, but by no means let it boil, after the cream and eggs are added, or it will be spoiled. Salt soup always in the proportion of a moderate teaspoonful of salt to the quart; if the stock is seasoned, only add salt for the cream, eggs, etc. Use just a suspicion of cayenne. In making soup to which eggs are added, the utmost care is required, yet not any more than in making custard. The main point is to let the eggs come near enough to the boiling-point to thicken, yet far enough from it not to curdle. This a little patience will accomplish by watching and removing the saucepan for a few seconds as the boiling-point approaches, then returning it; do this once or twice, till the opaque, creamy appearance shows the eggs are done.
Instead of giving recipes for cooking fish whole, for which excellent directions are to be found in several modern cookery books, recipes for fish entrees will be substituted. They are now frequently served at the fish course, and by their convenience and economy, as well as the variety they afford, are likely to grow in favor. Another point for them is that they can often be made hours before, and simply heated when needed, thus relieving the cook of the most critical part of her work at the time when she needs her attention free.
Some of these entrees will be more suited for breakfast, luncheon, or supper dishes than to precede a heavy dinner, such, for instance, as the preparations of oysters when they have been also served before soup; but the recipes are included here for their intrinsic worth.
Fillets of Cod a la Normande.—Butter a tin dish, lay on it three slices of cod moderately thick (an inch to an inch and a half), pour over them one wineglass of white wine, place a buttered paper over them, and bake in a moderate oven fifteen minutes. Reduce another glass of wine in a stewpan by simmering, add to it half a pint of white sauce, twelve small oysters, bearded and blanched, twelve small quenelles,[62-*] and twelve button mushrooms. Season with pepper and salt. Simmer one minute only, or the oysters will harden. Place the slices of fish on a hot dish, pour the sauce over them, place the oysters, mushrooms, and quenelles in groups in the corners of the dish.
Lobster Soufflees.—Cut up the meat of a boiled hen lobster into neat dice, showing as much of the red as possible. Prepare as many small ramekin or soufflee cases as may be required by pinning bands of writing-paper round them two to three inches higher than the case. Take three tablespoonfuls of mayonnaise, half a pint of stiff aspic jelly, and a gill of tomato sauce in which a teaspoonful of gelatine has been dissolved. Every utensil used must be ice-cold, the jelly must be quite cold, but not set. Put the tomato sauce, the jelly, and the mayonnaise (which should be left on the ice till the last thing) into a bowl set in another bowl of pounded ice; whisk them together until they begin to look white; then stir the lobster in it, with a teaspoonful of very finely chopped chervil and tarragon; fill the soufflee cases, piling the dressing high; put them on a dish on ice. When they are "set," carefully remove the paper bands, sprinkle a little dried and sifted lobster coral over the tops, and serve.
Coquilles of Prawns.—Pick the shells from four dozen prawns; mix with one third the quantity of mushrooms slightly stewed in a tablespoonful of butter and a saltspoonful of salt (the mushrooms must not be brown); add four tablespoonfuls of Allemande sauce;[64-*] fill the shells, which must be well buttered, dress each over with fine bread crumbs which have been carefully fried a golden brown; put them in a cool oven twenty minutes, only get thoroughly hot, but not to cook.
Coquilles of Salmon or Halibut.—Take one pound of cold halibut or salmon; break it into small pieces; put it in a stewpan with half a saltspoonful of salt and a tiny pinch of pepper, and half a pint of white sauce, a tablespoonful of very thick cream, and a teaspoonful of anchovy sauce; stir well, and let all get hot. Butter some shells, sprinkle over with a few fried crumbs, fill with the mixture, cover with the fried crumbs, and put them in the oven to get thoroughly hot. Serve on a napkin.
Salmon en Papillotes.—Cut some slices of salmon into cutlets the right size for serving, make paper cases to fit them, then cover each slice with the following mixture: two tablespoonfuls of salad oil beaten with the yolk of an egg, one teaspoonful of parsley chopped, one shallot chopped, and one anchovy (all these must be chopped as finely as possible), a half-saltspoonful of salt, and a grain of cayenne; mix, spread on the fish, envelop each piece in a well-buttered case, fasten up (by pinching the paper well), and bake half an hour. Serve in the papers.
Fillet of Sole a la Normande.—In speaking of sole, one of course means the flounder, which is coming to be called the American sole, and when filleted does make a fair substitute for the real thing, and it is suitable for cooking in every way that the English sole can be used, except whole. A boiled flounder without filleting, or a flounder fried whole, as is so often done with sole, would be very coarse. Fillet two flounders (in cities this will be done by the fishmonger, but in the country it may have to be done in the kitchen, therefore directions for doing it will be appended), lay the fillets, neatly trimmed and shaped, into a thickly buttered pan or dish—either fire-proof porcelain or any other that can go to table—pour over them a glass of sherry and four tablespoonfuls of consomme; cover with oiled paper, and bake ten minutes in a moderate oven; take out the pan, pour over the fillets half a pint of sauce Normande; return to the oven for five minutes, and serve in the pan.
Sole a l'Horly.—Make a frying batter thus: mix one tablespoonful of milk with two ounces of flour and a tablespoonful of salad oil to a smooth paste; then add two yolks of eggs, and the whites whipped firm, with a quarter of a saltspoonful of salt; mix with an upward movement of the spoon, so as not to deaden the whites of eggs. Set it aside while you prepare the sole. Mix a tablespoonful of salad oil, a teaspoonful of Chili vinegar, a teaspoonful of tarragon vinegar, a teaspoonful of parsley and one of onion chopped exceedingly fine, a scant saltspoonful of salt, and a quarter one of pepper. Mix all together, then cut the fillets in half, trimming away all ragged appearance, and lay them for fifteen minutes in the mixture (called a marinade); take them out, drain them on a sieve, and then dip each fillet in the batter. This batter should be just thick enough to coat the fish and run slowly off, not cling in a thick paste round it. A French rule for testing the thickness of frying batter is to dip a spoon in it and then let a drop run off the end on a plate; if it drops freely, yet keeps a beadlike form, it is right. Fry each fillet in a wire basket three minutes in very hot deep fat. Serve with fried parsley.
Turbans of Sole a la Rouennaise.—As these require a little of the same mixture as would be used for lobster cutlets or croquettes, it is good management to have them when lobster is required for something else. The mixture for the cutlets is made as follows (less than a fourth of it would be required for the turbans): remove all the flesh from a boiled hen lobster; chop it small; wash, dry, and pound the coral, with an ounce of butter; take one gill of white sauce, mix the lobster coral and a tablespoonful of cream with it, and boil five minutes; mix in the lobster with a little salt (unless the lobster is salt enough) and a grain of cayenne. This made into cutlets, egged, crumbed, and fried, is excellent, but our purpose now is to use it for stuffing. Take as many fillets of sole as required, spread the lobster mixture on each, roll them up, run a toothpick through them to keep them in shape; trim till each will stand; put them on a buttered baking-sheet, cover with buttered paper, and bake ten minutes. Chop up two truffles, two hard-boiled yolks of eggs, and a tablespoonful of parsley, each chopped separately. Take up the turbans, pour over them half a pint of cardinal sauce, and ornament the turbans, one with the truffles, one with the yolk of egg, and one with parsley; so on alternately.
Directions for Filleting Flounders.—Take a sharp knife, cut away the fins all round the fish, and split the flounder right down the middle of the back, then run the knife carefully between the flesh and bones, going towards the edge. You have now detached one quarter of the flesh from the bone; do the other half in the same way, and when the back is thus entirely loose from the bone, turn the fish over and do the same with the other side. You will now find you can remove the bone whole from the fish, detaching, as you do so, any flesh still retaining the bone. Then you have two halves of the fish, and you have four quarters of solid fish. To remove the skin, take the tail end firmly between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, hold the skin side downward on the board, and with your knife make an incision across the flesh, then, keeping the skin firmly between your thumb and finger, push the knife between it and the flesh, slightly humoring it to prevent tearing the flesh. The skin parts quite easily, but no attempt must be made to cut the fish from it.
[62-*] See Quenelles in No. VI.
[64-*] See directions in No. II.
VARIOUS WAYS OF SERVING OYSTERS.
Oysters a la Villeroi.—Scald (or blanch) some large oysters, dry them, then drop them into some very thick Villeroi sauce,[71-*] let them get hot in it, but not boil. Take them out one by one; be sure they are thickly coated with the sauce; have a large dish heaped with sifted crumbs or cracker meal; as you lift each oyster from the sauce lay it on the meal, turn it gently over in the meal, so that a light coat adheres, and the sauce is by no means rubbed off. Place them on an oiled plate where they will get quite cold, so that the sauce may chill and form a whitish glaze under the crumbs. Beat two eggs with two tablespoonfuls of water, and when free from strings dip each oyster in the egg, using a small fork; let superfluous egg drip off for a moment, then lay the oyster again on a deep bed of cracker crumbs, cover well, pat very gently, and lay each as you do it on a dish sprinkled with them. Fry two minutes in very hot deep fat, being careful the oysters do not touch each other.
If I have made these directions as clear as I hope, it will be understood that each oyster has a rich creamy coating under the crumbs, and every effort must be made to avoid breaking the outer shell of egg and crumb. For this reason the fat should be heated to 400 deg.. But although great care in handling is necessary, they are not difficult to succeed with when that care is given.
Oyster Kabobs.—There are two ways of preparing these dainties, and I give both. For those who cannot eat bacon the first will probably be acceptable. For kabobs of any kind, silver or plated skewers are proper, although very slender wooden ones may be used. Put in a stewpan a small onion chopped very fine, a dessertspoonful of parsley, and a dozen mushrooms, also chopped; let these fry one minute in a large tablespoonful of butter, add a dessertspoonful (scant) of flour, stir all together, then drop in as many fat oysters as are required; they must have been blanched in their own liquor and the beards removed; stir all round, and add three beaten yolks of eggs, one at a time, taking care they do not curdle, but get just thick enough to cling round the oyster. String six oysters on each little skewer, basting with the sauce wherever it does not adhere; let each skewer cool, then roll the whole in beaten eggs and abundant cracker meal, so that the skewer will seem to be run through a sausage lengthwise. Fry two minutes in very hot deep fat, serve on a napkin; allow one skewer to each person. Two minutes, if the fat be sufficiently hot, will fry oysters a pale yellow-brown. They should never take longer than this, for oysters harden and shrink if overdone in the least. For this reason the use of a pyrometer, when possible, saves mistakes and trouble. Such articles as oysters, smelts, or any small things, should be fried at a temperature of 380 deg. to 400 deg.. It must be remembered that all fried articles darken after they leave the frying-kettle, and therefore a very pale yellow becomes a golden color on the dish.
Kabobs No. 2.—This is the recipe given by the author of the well-known Pytchley Books, and is admirable. Take the beards from as many fat, fair-sized oysters as required. You require bacon of which the fat is thick enough through to allow of circles being cut from the slices as large as the oysters. Cut the bacon very thin, get a cutter the size of the oysters, trim them with it, then cut eight circles of bacon for six oysters. Put first a piece of bacon, then an oyster, then more bacon, on each little skewer, till there are six oysters with a piece of bacon between each through the centre and one at each end; string them very evenly. Take a very little cayenne on the tip of a knife and a saltspoonful of salt; mix this with two beaten eggs to which two tablespoonfuls of water have been added. Dip each skewer of kabobs in this; let them drip an instant, then lay them on a deep bed of crumbs or cracker meal. Cover them thoroughly, shake them, then dip again into the egg (if this has become full of crumbs strain it), and again lay them in the meal. Shake lightly again, and arrange each skewer of kabobs in a frying-basket, and fry two minutes.
I have spoken in the foregoing directions for "crumbing" of using plenty of meal, and experience tells me that the rule with those unfamiliar with proper methods is to use so little that a plateful would be considered plenty. With this quantity no good work can be done. You need to turn on to a board or dish at least a quart of crumbs, or a whole box of cracker meal. This will enable you to smother the article until every part is covered, instead of sprinkling a little over and under (which generally falls off as fast as put on, and leaves a surface yellow with egg in parts), as you must do if a small quantity only is used. All the meal that is left must be carefully sifted and put away. If the small masses of egg and crumb which will be mixed with it are not sifted out the cracker-meal cannot be used again. There must also be plenty of egg used for dipping.
Oysters in Aspic.—For these dariole moulds are needed, or the small fire-proof china soufflee cases which imitate paper may be used. A dariole is a small straight-sided tin mould, holding rather less than a gill. They will be found at large house-furnishing stores, or a tinman could easily make them, they being, in fact, like deep corn-muffin pans. If they are made to order, avoid getting them too large—three inches deep by two across will be large enough. Fill these moulds with aspic jelly nearly cold, set them on ice while you prepare the oysters, which must be bearded and cooked till plump in butter, but not allowed to color. When cool, cut them in half, throw them into some stiff bechamel,[77-*] which must be warmed till like thick cream, sprinkle with a dust of cayenne; lay the oysters to get cold, that the bechamel may harden on them. Scoop the centre very carefully out of the moulds of aspic, leaving a half-inch thickness all round, fill the centres with the oysters, pour in more aspic, cold, but not set, and put on ice for a few hours, or till ready to serve. The aspic from the centres should have been preserved and used to chop with more to garnish the dish. Turn the moulds out very carefully, and garnish with chopped aspic and watercress or parsley.
It is, of course, understood that bechamel sauce, cold, is like blanc-mange, and that anything coated with it will be enveloped in white jelly, not in a sticky white sauce. If bechamel does not become white jelly when cold the stock of which it is made is not stiff enough.
Lobster in Aspic is prepared as for salad, the solid meat cut in dice and rolled in mayonnaise, then in chopped chervil or parsley. Then proceed exactly as for the oysters.
Oysters a la Tartare.—The oyster-shells for serving oysters a la Tartare must be of good shape and exquisitely clean; therefore, when using oysters on the half-shell, always pick out any that may be deep yet stand well, and have a good shape; scald and scrub them, and keep for use. Scald as many fat oysters as required in their own liquor till firm—three minutes at boiling-point will usually do this; the oysters must be just plump, yet if underdone they will be flabby. Put them on ice, choose as many tiny leaves as you have oysters from the heart of a lettuce; they must all be of a size, or trimmed so, and the size only just large enough to line the shells without coming over them. Lay a leaf on each shell, cut each oyster in half, lay four halves in pyramid fashion on the lettuce leaf, and mask the top of each, just before serving, with Tartare sauce. Allow two to each person.
[71-*] See No. II.
[77-*] See No. II.
VARIOUS CULINARY MATTERS.
This little book does not pretend to go into what may be called the principles of cooking, except in so far as they are involved in the production of all choice cookery; and where it is considered that a principle is little known or too little attended to, the effort will be made to give it emphasis by reiteration here.
By principles of cooking I mean the simple rules by which roasting, boiling, stewing, etc., are successfully accomplished. Any book or series of articles written a dozen years ago would have been of no real use without these rudiments, but within that period there have been cooking-schools started and cookery books written so exceedingly exact in directions that it will be unnecessary to repeat them in "Choice Cookery," which does not pretend to include family cooking.
For this reason the cooking of joints of meat will not be entered into. Nevertheless there are certain rudiments of cooking which are not dwelt on usually in books. They are taught in the cooking-schools, and those of my readers who have had the advantage of attending them will not need the instruction here given. But I meet with many women who devote much time to the art of cooking, and who have taught themselves by book and experiment all they know, who yet, when told to chop a small quantity of herbs very fine, will struggle and chop almost leaf by leaf in their faithful endeavor to carry out the direction. Others, less faithful, finding their method chops some parts fine and leaves some leaves almost whole, let it go at that, with the reflection that "that must do, as it would take all day" to get them all one degree of fineness. So, although it may seem almost too trivial a point to need mention, we will go into the matter of herb-chopping, lemon-grating, etc., that the simple operations may be performed easily and in a very short time.
To Chop Herbs.—Use the leaves only, never the stems; let them be fresh and crisp, or, if wilted, leave them in water for a time. Gather the leaves firmly between the thumb and three fingers of the left hand; shave them through with a sharp knife as you push them forward under it. (The process resembles chaff-cutting by hand machine.) Turn them round; gather them up again, and cut across them in the same way; then finish by chopping quickly, holding the point of the knife with the left hand and bringing it down on the little heap of herbs with the right, always gathering them together as fast as the chopping scatters them. Five minutes will chop a tablespoonful of mint or parsley almost to pulp. A sharp steel knife and a small board must be used, not the chopping-bowl.
French books often direct so much fine herbs to be used; English books mean the same thing when they call for "sweet herbs," and a mixture of one part marjoram, two parts thyme, and three parts parsley is meant by both.
The grating of a lemon is a most simple operation, and it may seem that every one must know how to do it; but this is far from being the case. As many dishes of curdled custards and sauces are caused by this fact, the right way in this case is very important. The object of using grated rind of lemon is to obtain the fragrance and flavor, which differ very greatly from any extracts, however good. Now the whole of the oil which contains this fragrance is at the surface—is, in fact, the yellow portion of the rind; therefore this, and only this, must be removed with the grater. The white part underneath is bitter, and will cause milk or cream to curdle, but it contains no particle of lemon flavor. Yet when lemon flavor is called for the lemon is often grated right down to the pulp in parts, while the yellow rind is left on in patches.
A lemon should be grated evenly, beginning at the end and working round it, using as small a surface of the grater as possible, to prevent waste. The habit of turning the lemon as you grate comes as easily as to turn an apple under the knife when peeling. Generally twice across the grater and back between each turn will remove all the essential oil, but, while guarding against grating too deeply, care must be taken to remove the whole of the yellow surface. A well-grated lemon should be exactly of the same shape as before, have no deep scores into the pith, and have an oily-looking surface.
Perhaps before proceeding to the preparation of the combination dishes known as made dishes or entrees, a few words may be useful to those readers whose ambition to accomplish results may cause them to defeat their own ends. To such I would say, go slowly; never attempt the more difficult thing until the simpler one is beyond chance of failure. Thus in following the instructions in this book the wiser women will have accomplished, perhaps, each week one or two things they may have selected, and it must not be forgotten the plan of the work is that one recipe shall serve as a key to many others.
A great many will very likely have delayed trying to make the sauces until the dish for which they will be required is given. This is a mistake, because it is less annoying to fail with a sauce with no dish depending on it, than, say, when you have decided to have sole a la Villeroi, the soles being ready, and fail with the sauce.
I hope that no failure will come to any one trying the recipes here given, but in some cases, especially in sauces thickened with eggs, a second's diverted attention may cause failure without fault of the cook. Therefore it is best to make single experiments when there is no danger of being disturbed, and when there is nothing else to be attended to. The successful result need never be lost, for in the case of sauces they can be reheated the next day in a bain-marie, or pan of hot water; the same with the soups, and, indeed, most other things, except soufflees and omelets.
But, above all things, never try a recipe for the first time the day you wish it to appear perfect on your table; try it long before, and if you fail, make the same thing over again, reading the directions very carefully; some trifling caution or precaution may have escaped you. No one ever learns to draw so simple a thing as a circle who is discouraged at the first bad curve, and leaves it for easier lines. Keep on at the thing you select to do until you succeed, always choosing and perfecting the easiest thing in each class first.
Fillet of Beef.—This favorite dish with French and Americans may be roasted whole, or cut so as to serve individually. To roast it whole, it must be trimmed perfectly round, and either larded or not as taste may dictate. A fillet weighing four pounds should be roasted three quarters of an hour in a sharp oven. It may then be served a la Chateaubriand by pouring over it half a pint of the sauce of that name, with horseradish sauce, or brown mushroom sauce (brown sauce with mushrooms added).
To serve individually, fillets are prepared in the following way: Cut a fillet into eight slices three quarters of an inch thick; trim the slices into perfect circles, all exactly the same size; flatten them; put them in a hot pan, and saute for seven or eight minutes in two ounces of butter; dress them round a dish, and pour over them the sauce from which the dish will take its name.
Filets de Boeuf a la Bearnaise.—Serve with half a pint of Bearnaise sauce.
Filets de Boeuf aux Champignons.—Dress as before; leave in the centre of the dish room for a mound of stewed mushrooms; pour over the fillets half a pint of rich brown sauce. Serve these dishes as soon as cooked: the meat is spoiled by waiting.
I have received several letters from readers living where lobster is only to be had in cans, asking if there is no substitute for the coral in making cardinal sauce. Canned lobster frequently contains a great deal of coral, which is as good for coloring and flavoring as the fresh. This can only be known, however, before opening, when the cans are of glass. The pulp of red beet-root passed through a sieve and added to white sauce or mayonnaise gives a beautiful red tint; but the flavor, while excellent for a salad or as vegetable sauce, would be unsuitable for serving with fish.
Grenadines of Beef with Mushrooms and Poivrade Sauce.—Take as many slices of fillet of beef, cut three quarters of an inch thick, as you require. Trim them to a pear shape, three and a half inches long and three wide at the broadest part. Lard these with bacon, and put them into a saute pan with a gill of brown sauce and a glass of sherry (half the sauce if there are very few grenadines); let them cook gently for fifteen minutes. Dissolve a piece of glaze the size of a walnut by putting it in a cup which is set in boiling water; when dissolved, take up the grenadines, dish them in a circle, and glaze them (a brush is properly used for this purpose, but the glaze can be spread with a knife dipped in hot water). Fill the centre of the circle with a pyramid of small mushrooms mixed with a gill and a half of poivrade sauce.[88-*]
Fillets of Beef a la Grande-Bretagne.—Cut two pounds of fillet into neat slices an inch thick; slit them (with a small French boning-knife or small penknife) in such a way that you form a pocket in each the mouth or opening of which is smaller than the pocket itself. This can be done by laying the fillet flat on a board, laying your hand on the top of it, making a slit two inches wide, then with the point of the knife enlarging the slit inside, but not the entrance to it. The opening should extend half-way through; into this put a force-meat made of horseradish sauce[89-*] and macaroni boiled and cut fine. The force-meat must be used sparingly, so as not to increase materially the thickness of the fillet; fasten the opening of each with a wooden toothpick. Saute these fillets for fifteen minutes; glaze them as directed in last recipe; arrange them in a circle, with a pyramid of tiny potato balls in the centre. Pour rich brown sauce round.
Mutton Cutlets a la d'Uxelles.—Cut some cutlets from the neck of mutton, leaving two bones to each, trim very carefully, remove the upper part of one bone, split the cutlets without separating them at the bone, spread some thick d'Uxelles sauce[90-*] inside, fold the cutlets together, run a toothpick through them, and broil for four minutes on each side over a hot fire. Have a layer of chopped mushrooms stewed in butter in the dish, lay the cutlets on it, pour over some d'Uxelles sauce, and garnish with truffles, cut in very thin circles.
Mutton Cutlets a la Milanais.—Take six cutlets from a neck of mutton ("French chops," many butchers term them), mix equal quantities of grated Parmesan cheese and cracker meal. Dip the cutlets into rich thick brown sauce,[90-[+]] then into the cracker and Parmesan; shake off loose crumbs; dip them now into beaten egg in which a little salt and very finely chopped parsley and chives have been mixed, and then dip them a second time in the Parmesan and bread crumbs; drop them into a kettle of very hot fat; in four minutes they will be done. Do not fry more than four at a time, as too many cool the fat. Dish them in a circle with spaghetti dressed with Parmesan in the centre.
It seems to me just here that before giving further recipes for fried articles I had better make sure that all my readers understand the process of frying in deep fat. I have used the word saute too, and although no doubt both these processes are familiar to most readers who would be likely to practise "Choice Cookery," for those who are not adepts many of the recipes would be impossible to execute. Frying, once understood, is so easy a process one wonders that so few should excel in it. To those who are not sure of themselves I recommend practice. A couple of hours' practice and careful observance of rules will enable a bright woman to fry successfully.
For this practice you may prepare several different articles and fry one after the other—one or two very soft and creamy croquettes, one or two breaded articles, especially such as are dipped in thick sauce before being crumbed, etc.
The principle on which articles that are very soft and creamy, underneath the surface of egg and crumbs, are fried is this: the creamy substances, whether rich sauce like d'Uxelles and Villeroi, or the cream used to mix croquettes, must always be made of stock that will jelly when cold. The sauce is used warm, and the articles are put to chill on ice, so that they are in a jellied condition. Now the fat into which they are plunged must be so hot that it sets the coating of egg and crumbs, which forms a thin shell, as it were, before the jelly has had time to melt; the shell once formed, the interior cooks in the intense heat very quickly. If the fat were not hot enough, croquettes would go all to pieces, and articles coated with sauce would lose the better part of it.
To fry, you require a stewpan or iron kettle; those called Scotch kettles are best, as they set into the range readily. A frying-pan is only useful for sauteing in little fat. Articles to be fried must be immersed in fat, and no frying-pan is deep enough to do this safely. Put two to three pounds of clarified dripping or lard into the kettle, and let it get very hot. This will be after it ceases to sputter—some time after, perhaps; but you must now begin to watch for smoke to rise from the centre. Have near you some little squares of bread crumb; drop one in from time to time; only when it colors immediately is the fat hot enough. At this point no time must be lost, and your frying begins.
Of course you will have the articles you intend to fry right at hand. You will also need a large dish, in which you lay common butcher's wrapping-paper (often called "kitchen paper") and a perforated skimmer—some like a frying-basket, and for very small things it is an assistance; but for croquettes, cutlets, etc., it is not necessary: they can be laid on the skimmer and dropped in the fat.
The easiest and safest way to fry is to use a cooking thermometer (pyrometers or frimometers they are sometimes called), and let the fat be 380 deg. for croquettes, oysters, and articles that only require two minutes' cooking; 360 deg. for cutlets and heavier articles.
The time required for articles to cook in the frying-kettle seems astonishingly short. For instance, a breaded chop will be cooked to a medium degree in two and a half minutes, well done in three minutes; but it must be remembered the heat is intense. Croquettes must never be left longer than two minutes, while whitebait (which, however, require special instruction to fry without getting them into a cake) need less than a minute. Potatoes require longer than most things; but the fat need not be cooler at first, as would seem necessary, because they are so full of water, even when well dried, that they cool the fat rapidly.
Sauteing (a word that would be expressive of the process in English would be a boon to writers on cooking).—The process generally meant by "frying" is really sauteing; yet so general has been the misconception among all but professed cooks, that one has to take the precaution in giving directions for frying to say, "Fry in deep fat." It ought to be understood that to fry is to immerse in hot fat. If some term suitable for kitchen use could be found, half the difficulty would be over. In old English books a very fair translation was used; they told you to "toss the article in butter," but though it rendered saute "jump" fairly, it did not express the process. There is neither tossing nor jumping about it, unless an occasional shake to the pan be called so; and as "flat frying," "dry frying," are awkward, the sooner we boldly take saute into common use, and let it become a kitchen word as familiar as fricassee (which surely must have been very unfamiliar once), the better.
To saute—although every Bridget or Gretchen fancies she can do it—requires nicety and care to do it well, and is far more difficult than "frying in deep fat." The pan requires to be hot, also the fat or butter used, which should cover the bottom of the pan; a bright fire is required. Things that take long to cook require more fat than those that require but a short time. Effort must be made to adjust the proportion, as adding cold fat prevents browning. Veal cutlets and many other things are far better sauted than fried. The articles sauted require to be watched that they do not burn; yet they must not be too often turned, or they will not brown—except, of course, such things as are chopped, which require frequent stirring up.
In speaking of chilling articles coated with sauce to be fried, I omitted to give the caution that, in the case of meats, care must be taken not to leave them long enough to freeze the meat.
[88-*] See No. IV.
[89-*] See No. V.
[90-*] See No. II.
[90-[+]] See No. IV.
ENTREES OF MUTTON CUTLETS OR CHOPS.
Mutton Cutlets a la Duchesse.—Take as many cutlets (or French chops) as required. Stew them in stock, with a small bouquet of herbs, very gently until they are perfectly tender. Take them up, skim the stock, and strain it; return to a small saucepan, and reduce the liquid to a glaze; dip each cutlet in the glaze and lay it aside. Have ready what cooks now call a "panada," made of a gill of thick white sauce, two yolks of eggs stirred into it and allowed to approach the boiling-point, but not to boil (this, of course, must be done in a double boiler), or the eggs will curdle; chop a dessertspoonful of parsley very fine; parboil and chop also very fine three onions; pound thoroughly in a mortar eight mushrooms; stir these all into the thick sauce, with a saltspoonful of salt and a quarter one of pepper. Roll each cutlet in this force-meat (if found too stiff to adhere properly, moisten with a little cream or a little liquor from the mushrooms), lay them on a fire-proof dish, and cover with bread crumbs and bits of butter. Bake them until they are a golden brown. Serve with brown Soubise sauce.
Lamb Cutlets en Concombre.—Trim and cut six lamb cutlets three quarters of an inch thick, flatten them a little to make them of equal size and thickness; flour them, and saute them in butter five minutes. The fire must be sharp, because they must be a nice brown on both sides. Arrange them round an entree dish, with a gill of brown sauce poured outside, and a pint of fillets of cucumber in the centre.
To Prepare Fillets of Cucumber.—Cut firm fresh cucumbers lengthwise through the middle, remove seeds and all soft parts, cut into inch lengths and into olive shapes all the same size. Put them into a stewpan with an ounce of butter, a pinch of pepper, a saltspoonful of sugar and one of salt, and let them stew until quite tender, without acquiring any color. To do this the stewpan must be closely covered and frequently shaken.
Lamb Cutlets with a Puree of Mushrooms.—Trim and cook and serve the cutlets as in the foregoing recipe, only in place of the cucumbers make a puree of mushrooms in the following way: stew half a pint of button mushrooms and part of their liquor in half a pint of white sauce until they are very tender (taking care the sauce does not burn), pound them in a mortar, then force them through a vegetable strainer; then add enough of the white sauce in which they were stewed to make the puree the substance of very thick cream.
Cold Lamb Cutlets in Mint Jelly.—Roast a piece of what butchers call the rack of lamb, which is really the neck and ribs. Let it get cold; cut from it six cutlets, which trim just as if they were uncooked; that is to say, remove meat and fat from the bone, and scrape it. Mask each of the cutlets in mint jelly[101-*] warmed enough to be half fluid. Arrange very carefully round an entree dish when they are perfectly set, so that the jelly will not come off. Have a Russian salad in the centre.
How to Prepare the Salad.—To prepare this you require two or three small vegetable cutters of pretty shape; use them to trim carrots, white turnips, and cucumbers into small, attractive forms; boil these in separate waters till tender; also green peas, sprays of cauliflower, and very tiny young string-beans. Throw each vegetable as it is cooked into ice-cold water to keep the color. Have some red beet-root boiled before it is cut into shapes. Use equal quantities of each vegetable. Arrange them with peas in the centre, and the others in circles round, studying the effect of color; then dress, but do not mask, them with green mayonnaise.
At seasons when materials for Russian salad cannot readily be obtained the chops may be served with a centre of cucumber salad, or one made of the small white leaves of lettuce.
Cutlets Chaudfroid a la Russe.—For this cold dish mutton cutlets are used. They must be of the finest quality, and from mutton not newly killed. Cut as many cutlets as required, trim, and scrape the bone. Braise for an hour in a moderate oven till the meat is very tender, remove, and press between two dishes until they are cold. Then trim each cutlet into perfect shape. Boil a quart of strong stock (which already jellies) down to less than half a pint; dip each chop into this glaze once or twice, till they look "varnished." You now require a pint of stiff aspic jelly; turn it out of the bowl, cut one or two slices a quarter of an inch thick from it, to be cut into shapes (or croutons) with a cutter to garnish the cutlets. Chop the rest of the aspic, lay it round the dish, and the cutlets against it, with the croutons of aspic to form the outer edge. The centre must be filled with a Russian salad, in this case stirred up with very thick mayonnaise, instead of being formally arranged. The mayonnaise must be only sufficient to dress the vegetables, none to run into the other materials, and beet-root must be added last, as it discolors the sauce if stirred up in it.
ENTREES OF SWEETBREADS.
Sweetbreads a la Supreme.—Take two plump sweetbreads, lay them an hour in strong salt and water, then boil them for ten minutes in fresh water; put them between two plates to flatten till cold. Cut off all the gristle and loose skin from underneath; put them to stew very gently in half a pint of good-flavored stock. Take them up, drain well, and stew them in half a pint of sauce supreme, with a dozen small mushrooms, for ten minutes.