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THE usual custom among professional cooks is to entirely immerse the article to be cooked in boiling fat, but from inconvenience most households use the half -frying method of frying in a small amount of fat in a frying pan. For the first method a shallow iron frying kettle, large at the top and small at the bottom, is best to use. The fat should half fill the kettle, or an amount sufficient to float whatever is to be fried; the heat of the fat should get to such a degree that, when a piece of bread or a teaspoonful of the batter is dropped in it, it will become brown almost instantly, but should not De so hot as to burn the fat. Some cooks say that the fat should be smoking, but my experience is, that is a mistake, as that soon ruins the fat. As soon as it begins to smoke it should be removed a little to one side, and still be kept at the boiling point. If fritters, crullers, croquettes, etc., are dropped into fat that is too hot, it crusts over the outside before the inside has fully risen, making a heavy, hard article, and also ruining the fat, giving it a burnt flavor.
Many French cooks prefer beef fat or suet to lard for frying purposes, considering it more wholesome and digestible, does not impart as much flavor, or adhere or soak into the article cooked as pork fat. In families of any size, where there is much cooking required, there are enough drippings and fat remnants from roasts of beef, skimmings from the soup kettle, with the addition of occasionally a pound of suet from the market, to amply supply the need. All such remnants and skimmings should be clarified about twice a week, by boiling them all together in water. When the fat is all melted, it should be strained with the water and set aside to cool. After the fat on the top has hardened, lift the cake from the water on which it lies, scrape off all the dark particles from the bottom, then melt over again the fat; while hot strain into a small clean stone jar or bright tin pail, and then it is ready for use. Always after frying anything, the fat should stand until it settles and has cooled somewhat; then turn off carefully so as to leave it clear from the sediment that settles at the bottom.
Refined cotton-seed oil is now being adopted by most professional cooks in hotels, restaurants and many private households for culinary purposes, and will doubtless in future supersede animal fats, especially for frying, it being quite as delicate a medium as frying with olive oil. It is now sold by leading grocers, put up in packages of two and four quarts.
The second mode of frying, using a frying pan with a small quantity of fat or grease, to be done properly, should, in the first place, have the frying pan hot over the fire, and the fat in it actually boiling before the article to be cooked is placed in it, the intense heat quickly searing up the pores of the article and forming a brown crust on the lower side, then turning over and browning .the other the same way.
Still, there is another mode of frying; the process is somewhat similar to broiling, the hot frying pan or spider replacing the hot fire. To do this correctly, a thick bottomed frying pan should be used. Place it over the fire, and when it is so hot that it will siss, oil over the bottom of the pan with a piece of suet, that is if the meat is all lean; if not, it is not necessary to grease the bottom of the pan. Lay in the meat quite flat, and brown it quickly, first on one side, then on the other; when sufficiently cooked, dish on a hot platter and season the same as broiled meats.
IN selecting fish, choose those only in which the eye is full and prominent, the flesh thick and firm, the scales bright and fins stiff. They should be thoroughly cleaned before cooking.
The usual modes of cooking fish are boiled, baked, broiled, fried and occasionally stewed. Steaming fish is much superior to boiling, but the ordinary conveniences in private houses do not admit of the possibility of enjoying this delicate way of cooking it. Large fish are generally boiled, medium-sized ones baked or boiled, the smaller kinds fried or broiled. Very large fish, such as cod, halibut, etc., are cut in steaks or slices for frying or broiling. The heads of some fish, as the cod, halibut, etc., are considered tidbits by many. Small fish, or pan-fish, as they are usually called, are served without the heads, with the exception of brook-trout and smelts; these are usually cooked whole, with the heads on. Bake fish slowly, basting often with butter and water. Salmon is considered the most nutritious of all fish. When boiling fish, by adding a little vinegar and salt to the water, it seasons and prevents the nutriment from being drawn out; the vinegar acting on the water hardens the water.
Fill the fish with a nicely prepared stuffing of rolled cracker or stale bread crumbs, seasoned with butter, pepper, salt, sage and any other aromatic herbs fancied; sew up; wrap in a well-floured cloth, tied closely with twine, and boil or steam. The garnishes for boiled fish are: for turbot, fried smelts; for other boiled fish, parsley, sliced beets, lemon or sliced boiled egg. Do not use the knives, spoons, etc., that are used in cooking fish, for other food, as they will be apt to impart a fishy flavor.
Fish to be boiled should be put into cold water and set on the fire to cook very gently, or the outside will break before the inner part is done. Unless the fish are small, they should never be put into warm water; nor should water, either hot or cold, be poured on to the fish, as it is liable to break the skin; if it should be necessary to add a little water while the fish is cooking, it ought to be poured in gently at the side of the vessel.
Fish to be broiled should lie, after they are dressed, for two or three hours, with their inside well sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Salt fish should be soaked in water before boiling, according to the time it has been in salt. When it is hard and dry, it will require thirty-six hours soaking before it is dressed, and the water must be changed three or four times. When fish is not very salt, twenty-four hours, or even one night, will suffice.
When frying fish the fire must be hot enough to bring the fat to such a degree of heat as to sear the surface and make it impervious to the fat, and at the same time seal up the rich juices. As soon as the fish is browned by this sudden application of heat, the pan may be moved to a cooler place on the stove, that the process may be finished more slowly.
Fat in which fish has been fried is just as good to use again for the same purpose, but it should be kept by itself and not put to any other use.
MOST of the smaller fish (generally termed pan-fish) are usually fried. Clean well, cut off the head, and, if quite large, cut out the backbone, and slice the body crosswise into five or six pieces; season with salt and pepper. Dip in Indian meal or wheat flour, or in beaten egg, and roll in bread or fine cracker crumbs trout and perch should not be dipped in meal; put into a thick bottomed iron frying pan, the flesh side down, with hot lard or drippings; fry slowly, turning when lightly browned. The following method may be deemed preferable: Dredge the pieces with flour; brush them, over with beaten egg; roll in bread crumbs, and fry in hot lard or drippings sufficient to cover, the same as frying crullers. If the fat is very hot, the fish will fry without absorbing it, and it will be palatably cooked. When browned on one side, turn it over in the fat and brown the other, draining when done. This is a particularly good way to fry slices of large fish. Serve with tomato sauce; garnish with slices of lemon.
PLACE them in a thick bottomed frying pan with heads all one way. Fill the spaces with smaller fish. When they are fried quite brown and ready to turn, put a dinner plate over them, drain off the fat; then invert the pan, and they will be left unbroken on the plate. Put the lard back into the pan, and when hot slip back the fish. When the other side is brown, drain, turn on a plate as before, and slip them on a warm platter, to be sent to the table. Leaving the heads on and the fish a crispy-brown, in perfect shape, improves the appearance if not the flavor. Garnish with slices of lemon.
Hotel Lafayette, Philadelphia
CAREFULLY clean and wipe the fish, and lay in a dripping pan with enough hot water to prevent scorching. A perforated sheet of tin, fitting loosely, or several muffin rings may be used to keep it off: the bottom. Lay it in a circle on its belly, head and tail touching, and tied, or as directed in note on fish; bake slowly, basting often with butter and water. When done, have ready a cup of sweet cream or rich milk to which a. few spoons of hot water has been added; stir in two large spoons of melted butter and a little chopped parsley; heat all by setting the cup in boiling water; add the gravy from the dripping-pan, and let it boil up once; place the fish in a hot dish and pour over it the sauce. Or an egg sauce may be made with drawn butter; stir in the yolk of an egg quickly, and then a teaspoon of chopped parsley. It can be stuffed or not, just as you please.
THE middle slice of salmon is the best. Sew up neatly in a mosquito-net bag, and boil a quarter of an hour to the pound in hot salted water. When done, unwrap with care, and lay upon a hot dish, taking care not to break it. Have ready a large cupful of drawn butter, very rich, in which has been stirred a tablespoonful of minced parsley and the juice of a lemon. Pour half upon the salmon and serve the rest in a boat. Garnish with parsley and sliced eggs.
CUT slices from an inch to an inch and an half thick, dry them in a cloth, season with salt and pepper, dredge them in sifted flour, and broil on a gridiron rubbed with suet.
Another Mode. — Cut the slices one inch thick, and season them with pepper and salt; butter a sheet of white paper, lay each slice on a separate piece, envelop them in it with their ends twisted; broil gently over a clear fire, and serve with anchovy or caper sauce. When higher seasoning is required, add a few chopped herbs and a little spice.
FRESH SALMON FRIED.
CUT the slices three-quarters of an inch thick, dredge them with flour, or dip them in egg and crumbs; fry a light brown. This mode answers for all fish cut into steaks. Season well with salt and pepper.
AND CAPER SAUCE.
Two slices of salmon, one-quarter pound butter, one-half teaspoonful of chopped parsley, one shallot; salt and pepper to taste.
Lay the salmon in a baking dish, place pieces of butter over it, and add the other ingredients, rubbing a little of the seasoning into the fish; place it in the oven and baste it frequently; when done, take it out and drain for a minute or two; lay it in a dish, pour caper sauce over it and serve. Salmon dressed in this way, with tomato sauce, is very delicious.
SALT SALMON OR OTHER SALT FISH.
SOAK salmon in tepid or cold water twenty-four hours, changing water several times, or let stand under faucet of running water. If in a hurry, or desiring a very salt relish, it may do to soak a short time, having water warm, and changing, parboiling slightly. At the hour wanted, broil sharply. Season to suit taste, covering with butter. This recipe will answer for all kinds of salt fish.
TAKE a fine, fresh salmon, and, having cleaned it, cut it into large pieces, and boil it in salted water as if for eating. Then drain it, wrap it in a dry cloth, and set it in a cold place till next day. Then make the pickle, which must be in proportion to the quantity of fish. To one quart of the water in which the salmon was boiled, allow two quarts of the best vinegar, one ounce of whole black pepper, one nutmeg grated and a dozen blades of mace. Boil all these together in a kettle closely covered to prevent the flavor from evaporating. When the vinegar thus prepared is quite cold, pour it over the salmon, and put on the top a tablespoonful of sweet oil, which will make it keep the longer.
Cover it closely, put it in a dry, cool place, and it will be good for many months. This is the nicest way of preserving salmon, and is approved by all who have tried it.
SMOKED salmon to be broiled should be put upon the gridiron first, with the flesh side to the fire.
Smoked salmon is very nice when shaved like smoked beef, and served with coffee or tea.
THIS way of cooking fresh salmon is a pleasant change from the ordinary modes of cooking it. Cut one and one-half pounds of salmon into pieces one inch square; put the pieces in a stewpan with half a cupful of water, a little salt, a little white pepper, one clove, one blade of mace, three pieces of sugar, one shallot and a heaping teaspoonful of mustard mixed smoothly with half a teacupful of vinegar. Let this boil up once and add six tomatoes peeled and cut into tiny pieces, a few sprigs of parsley finely minced, and one wineglassful of sherry. Let all simmer gently for three-quarters of an hour. Serve very hot, and garnish with dry toast cut in triangular pieces. This dish is good, very cold, for luncheon or breakfast.
CUT cold, cooked salmon into dice. Heat about a pint of the dice in half a pint of cream. Season to taste with cayenne pepper and salt. Fill the shells and serve. Cold, cooked fish of any kind may be made into patties in this way. Use any fish sauce you choose — all are equally good.
AND OYSTER PIE.
ANY remains of cold fish, such as cod or haddock, 2 dozen oysters, pepper and salt to taste, bread crumbs, sufficient for the quantity of fish; 1/2 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful of finely chopped parsley.
Clear the fish from the bones, and put a layer of it in a pie-dish, which sprinkle with pepper and salt; then a layer of bread crumbs, oysters, nutmeg and chopped parsley. Repeat this till the dish is quite full. You may form a covering either of bread crumbs, which should be browned, or puff-paste, which should be cut off into long strips, and laid in cross-bars over the fish, with a line of the paste first laid round the edge. Before putting on the top, pour in some made melted butter, or a little thin white sauce, and the oyster-liquor, and bake.
Time. If of cooked fish, 1/4 hour; if made of fresh fish and puff paste, 3/4 hour.
SECURE the tail of the fish in its mouth, the body in a circle; pour over it half a pint of vinegar, seasoned with pepper and salt; let it stand an hour in a cool place; pour off the vinegar, and put it in a steamer over boiling water, and steam twenty minutes, or longer for large fish. When the meat easily separates from the bone it is done.
Drain well and serve on a very clean white napkin, neatly folded and placed on the platter; decorate the napkin around the fish with sprigs of curled parsley, or with fanciful beet cuttings, or alternately with both.
BROIL A SHAD.
SPLIT and wash the shad and afterwards dry it in a cloth. Season it with salt and pepper. Have ready a bed of clear, bright coals. Grease your gridiron well, and as soon as it is hot, lay the shad upon it, the flesh side down; cover with a dripping-pan and broil it for about a quarter of an hour, or more, according to the thickness. Butter it well and send it to the table. Covering it while broiling gives it a more delicious flavor.
MANY people are of the opinion that the very best method of cooking a shad is to bake it. Stuff it with bread crumbs, salt, pepper, butter and parsley, and mix this up with the beaten yolk of egg; fill the fish with it, and sew it up or fasten a string around it. Pour over it a little water and some butter, and bake as you would a fowl. A shad will require from an hour to an hour and a quarter to bake. Garnish with slices of lemon, water cress, etc.
Dressing for Baked Shad. — Boil up the gravy in which the shad was baked, put in a large tablespoonful of catsup, a tablespoonful of brown flour which has been wet with cold water, the juice of a lemon, and a glass of sherry or Madeira wine. Serve in a sauce boat.
COOK A SHAD ROE.
DROP into boiling water and cook gently for twenty minutes; then take from the fire and drain. Butter a tin plate and lay the drained roe upon it. Dredge well with salt and pepper and spread soft butter over it; then dredge thickly with flour. Cook in the oven for half an hour, basting frequently with salt, pepper, flour, butter and water.
COOK SHAD ROE. (Another Way.)
FIRST partly boil them in a small covered pan, take out and season them with salt, a little pepper, dredge with flour and fry as any fish.
AFTER thoroughly cleaning it place in a saucepan with enough water to cover it; add two tablespoonfuls of salt; set the saucepan over the fire, and when it has boiled about five minutes try to pull out one of the fins; if it loosens easily from the body carefully take the fish out of the water, lay it on a platter, surround it with half a dozen hard-boiled eggs, and serve it with a sauce.
BOILED the same as BASS.
BAKED the same as BAKED SHAD.
AFTER cleaning the eels well, cut them in pieces two inches long; wash them and wipe them dry; roll them in wheat flour or rolled cracker, and fry, as directed for other fish, in hot lard or beef dripping, salted. They should be browned all over and thoroughly done.
Eels are sometimes dipped in batter and then fried, or into egg and bread crumbs. Serve with crisped parsley.
WITH DRAWN BUTTER.
SELECT a medium-sized fish, clean it thoroughly, and rub a little salt over it; wrap it in a cloth and put it in a steamer; place this over a pot of fast-boiling water and steam one hour; then lay it whole upon a hot side-dish, garnish with tufts of parsley and slices of lemon, and serve with drawn butter, prepared as follows: Take two ounces of butter and roll it into small balls, dredge these with flour; put one-fourth of them in a saucepan, and as they begin to melt, whisk them; add the remainder, one at a time, until thoroughly smooth; while stirring, add a tablespoonful of lemon juice, half a tablespoonful of chopped parsley; pour into a hot sauce boat and serve.
THOROUGHLY clean the fish; cut off the head or not, as preferred; cut out the backbone from the head to within two inches of the tail, and stun with the following: Soak stale bread in water, squeeze dry; cut in pieces a large onion, fry in butter, chop fine; add the bread, two ounces of butter, salt, pepper and a little parsley or sage; heat through, and when taken off the fire, add the yolks of two well-beaten eggs; stuff the fish rather full, sew up with fine twine, and wrap with several coils of white tape. Rub the fish over slightly with butter; just cover the bottom of a baking pan with hot water, and place the fish in it, standing back upward, and bent in the form of an S. Serve with the following dressing: Reduce the yolks of two hardboiled eggs to a smooth paste with two tablespoonfuls good salad oil; stir in half a teaspoon English mustard, and add pepper and vinegar to taste.
THE cut next to the tail-piece is the best to boil. Rub a little salt over it, soak it for fifteen minutes in vinegar and cold water, then wash it s and scrape it until quite clean; tie it in a cloth and boil slowly over a moderate fire, allowing seven minutes' boiling to each pound of fish; when it is half -cooked, turn it over in the pot; serve with drawn butter or egg sauce.
Boiled halibut minced with boiled potatoes and a little butter and milk makes an excellent breakfast dish.
SELECT a three-pound piece of white halibut, cover it with a cloth and place it in a steamer; set the steamer over a pot of fast-boiling water and steam two hours; place it on a hot dish surrounded with a border of parsley and serve with egg sauce.
HALIBUT. No. 1.
SELECT choice, firm slices from this large and delicate looking fish, and, after carefully washing and drying with a soft towel, with a sharp knife take off the skin. Beat up two eggs and roll out some brittle crackers upon the kneading board until they are as fine as dust. Dip each slice into the beaten egg, then into the cracker crumbs (after you have salted and peppered the fish), and place them in a hot frying pan half full of boiling lard, in which a little butter has been added to make the fish brown nicely; turn and brown both sides, remove from frying pan and drain. Serve hot.
HALIBUT. No. 2.
FIRST fry a few thin slices of salt pork until brown in an iron frying pan; then take it up on a hot platter and keep it warm until the halibut is fried. After washing and drying two pounds of sliced halibut, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, dredge it well with flour, put it into the hot pork drippings and fry brown on both sides; then serve the pork with the fish.
Halibut broiled in slices is a very good way of cooking it, broiled the same as Spanish mackerel.
TAKE a nice piece of halibut weighing five or six pounds and lay it in salt water for two hours. Wipe it dry and score the outer skin. Set it in a dripping pan in a moderately hot oven and bake an hour, basting often with butter and water heated together in a sauce pan or tin cup. When a fork will penetrate it easily, it is done. It should be a fine, brown color. Take the gravy in the dripping pan, add a little boiling water, should there not be enough, stir in a tablespoonful of walnut catsup, a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, the juice of a lemon, and thicken with brown flour, previously wet with cold water. Boil up once and put in a sauce boat.
BROIL the same as other fish, upon a buttered gridiron, over a clear fire, first seasoning with salt and pepper, placed on a hot dish when done, buttered well and covered closely.
THESE delicate fish are usually fried, and form a delightful breakfast or supper dish. Clean, wash and dry the fish, split them to the tail, salt and pepper them, and flour them nicely. If you use lard instead of the fat of fried salt pork, put in a piece of butter to prevent their sticking, and which causes them to brown nicely. Let the fat be hot; fry quickly to a delicate brown. They should be sufficiently browned on one side before turning on the other. They are nice served with slices of fried pork, fried crisp. Lay them side by side on a heated platter, garnish and send hot to the table. They are often cooked and served with their heads on.
FRIED with their heads on the same as brook trout. Many think that they make a much better appearance as a dish when cooked whole with the heads on, and nicely garnished for the table.
BOILED WHITE FISH.
Taken from Mrs. A. W. Ferry's Cook Book, Mackinac, 1824.
THE most delicate mode of cooking white fish. Prepare the fish as for broiling, laying it open; put it into a dripping pan with the back down; nearly cover with water; to one fish two tablespoonfuls of salt; cover tightly and simmer (not boil) one-half hour. Dress with gravy, a little butter and pepper, and garnish with hard-boiled eggs.
CLEAN and stuff the fish. Put it in a baking pan and add a liberal quantity of butter, previously rolled in flour, to the fish. Put in the pan half a pint of claret, and bake for an hour and a quarter. Remove the fish and strain the gravy; add to the latter a gill more of claret, a teaspoonful of brown flour and a pinch of cayenne, and serve with the fish.
Plankington House, Milwaukee.BAKED SALMON TROUT.
THIS deliciously flavored game-fish is baked precisely as shad or white fish, but should be accompanied with cream gravy to make it perfect. It should be baked slowly, basting often with butter and water. When done have ready in a saucepan a cup of cream, diluted with a few spoonfuls of hot water, for fear it might clot in heating, in which have been stirred cautiously two tablespoonfuls of melted butter, a scant tablespoonful of flour, and a little chopped parsley. Heat this in a vessel set within another of boiling water, add the gravy from the dripping-pan, boil up once to thicken, and when the trout is laid on a suitable hot dish, pour this sauce around it. Garnish with sprigs of parsley.
This same fish boiled, served with the same cream gravy (with the exception of the fish gravy) , is the proper way to cook it.
WASH and dry them thoroughly in a cloth, and arrange them nicely in a fiat baking-dish; the pan should be buttered, also the fish; season with salt and pepper, and cover with bread or cracker crumbs. Place a piece of butter over each. Bake for fifteen or twenty minutes. Garnish with fried parsley and cut lemon.
SPLIT the fish down the back, take out the backbone, wash it in cold water, dry it with a clean, dry cloth, sprinkle it lightly with salt and lay it on a buttered gridiron, over a clear fire, with the flesh side downward, until it begins to brown; then turn the other side. Have ready a mixture of two tablespoonfuls of butter melted, a tablespoonful of lemon juice, a teaspoonful of salt, some pepper. Dish up the fish hot from the gridiron on a hot dish, turn over the mixture and serve it while hot.
Broiled Spanish mackerel is excellent with other fish sauces. Boiled Spanish mackerel is also very fine with most of the fish sauces, more especially "Matre d 'Hotel Sauce."
WASH and clean off all the brine and salt; put it to soak with the meat side down, in cold water over night; in the morning rinse it in one or two waters. Wrap each up in a cloth and put it into a kettle with considerable water, which should be cold; cook about thirty minutes. Take it carefully from the cloth, take out the backbones and pour over a little melted butter and cream; add a light sprinkle of pepper. Or make a cream sauce like the following:
Heat a small cup of milk to scalding. Stir into it a teaspoonful of cornstarch wet up with a little water. When this thickens, add two tablespoonfuls of butter, pepper, salt and chopped parsley, to taste. Beat an egg light, pour the sauce gradually over it, put the mixture again over the fire, and stir one minute, not more. Pour upon the fish, and serve it with some slices of lemon, or a few sprigs of parsley or water-cress, on the dish as a garnish.
WHEN the mackerel have soaked over night, put them in a pan and pour on boiling water enough to cover. Let them stand a couple of minutes, then drain them off, and put them in the pan with a few lumps of butter; pour on a half teacupful of sweet cream, or rich milk, and a little pepper; set in the oven and let it bake a little until brown.
SELECT as many salt mackerel as required; wash and cleanse them well, then put them to soak all day in cold water, changing them every two hours; then put them into fresh water just before retiring. In the morning drain off the water, wipe them dry, roll them in flour, and fry in a little butter on a hot, thick-bottomed frying pan. Serve with a little melted butter poured over, and garnish with a little parsley.
FRESH mackerel are cooked in water salted, and a little vinegar added; with this exception they can be served in the same way as the salt mackerel. Broiled ones are very nice with the same cream sauce, or you can substitute egg sauce.
AFTER the fish has laid in salt water six hours, take it out, and to every six pounds of fish take one-quarter cupful each of salt, black pepper and cinnamon, one-eighth cupful of allspice, and one teaspoonful of cloves.
Cut the fish in pieces and put into a half gallon stone baking-jar, first a layer of fish, then the spices, flour, and then spread a thin layer of butter on, and continue so until the dish is full. Fill the jar with equal parts of vinegar and water, cover with tightly fitting lid, so that the steam cannot escape; bake five hours, remove from the oven, and when it is cold it is to be cut in slices and served. This is a tea or lunch dish.
PUT the crabs into a kettle of boiling water, and throw in a handful of salt. Boil from twenty minutes to half an hour. Take them from the water when done and pick out all the meat; be careful not to break the shell. To a pint of meat put a little salt and pepper; taste, and if not enough add more, a little at a time, till suited. Grate in a very little nutmeg and add one spoonful of cracker or bread crumbs, two eggs well beaten, and two tablespoonfuls of butter (even full); stir all well together; wash the shells clean, and fill each shell full of the mixture; sprinkle crumbs over the top and moisten with the liquor; set in the oven till of a nice brown; a few minutes will do it. Send to the table hot, arranged on large dishes. They are eaten at breakfast or supper.
IN WHITE SAUCE.
FLAKE up cold boiled halibut and set the plate into the steamer, that the fish may heat without drying. Boil the bones and skin of the fish with a slice of onion and a very small piece of red pepper; a bit of this the size of a kernel of coffee will make the sauce quite as hot as most persons like it. Boil this stock down to half a pint; thicken with one teaspoonful of butter and one teaspoonful of flour, mixed together. Add one drop of extract of almond. Pour this sauce over your halibut and stick bits of parsley over it.
STURGEON STEAK MARINADE.
TAKE one slice of sturgeon two inches thick; let it stand in hot water five minutes; drain, put it in a bowl and add a gill of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of melted butter, half a teaspoonful of salt, a salt-spoonful of black pepper and the juice of half a lemon; let it stand six hours, turning it occasionally; drain and dry on a napkin; dip it in egg; roll in bread crumbs and fry, or rather boil, in very hot fat. Beat up the yolks of two raw eggs, add a teaspoonful of French mustard, and by degrees, half of the marinade, to make a smooth sauce, which serve with the fish.
TAKE out the backbone of the fish; for one weighing two pounds take a tablespoonful of allspice and cloves mixed; these spices should be put into little bags of not too thick muslin; put sufficient salt directly upon each fish; then roll in cloth, over which sprinkle a little cayenne pepper; put alternate layers of fish, spice and sage in an earthen jar; cover with the best cider vinegar; cover the jar closely with a plate, and over this put a covering of dough, rolled out to twice the thickness of pie crust. Make the edges of paste, to adhere closely to the sides of the jar, so as to make it air tight. Put the jar into a pot of cold water and let it boil from three to five hours, according to quantity. Ready when cold.
TAKE a pound or so of cold boiled fish (halibut, rock or cod) y not chop, but cut, into pieces an inch in length. Mix in a bowl a dressing as follows: The yolks of four boiled eggs rubbed to a smooth paste with salad oil or butter; add to these salt, pepper, mustard, two teaspoonfuls of white sugar, and, lastly, six tablespoonfuls of vinegar. Beat the mixture until light, and just before pouring it over the fish, stir in lightly the frothed white of a raw egg. Serve the fish in a glass dish, with half the dressing stirred in with it. Spread the remainder over the top, and lay lettuce leaves (from the core of the head of lettuce) around the edges, to be eaten with it.
CHOWDER. (Rhode Island.)
FRY five or six slices of fat pork crisp in the bottom of the pot you are to make your chowder in; take them out and chop them into small pieces, put them back into the bottom of the pot with their own gravy. (This is much better than having the slices whole.)
Cut four pounds of fresh cod or sea-bass into pieces two inches square, and lay enough of these on the pork to cover it. Follow with a layer of chopped onions, a little parsley, summer savory and pepper, either black or cayenne. Then a layer of split Boston, or butter, or whole cream crackers, which have been soaked in warm water until moistened through, but not ready to break. Above this put a layer of pork and repeat the order given above onions, seasoning (not too much), crackers and pork, until your materials are exhausted. Let the topmost layer be buttered crackers well soaked. Pour in enough cold water to barely cover all. Cover the pot, stew gently for an hour, watching that the water does not sink too low. Should it leave the upper layer exposed, replenish cautiously from the boiling tea-kettle. When the chowder is thoroughly done, take out with a perforated skimmer and put into a tureen. Thicken the gravy with a tablespoonful of flour and about the same quantity of butter; boil up and pour over the chowder. Serve sliced lemon, pickles and stewed tomatoes with it, that the guests may add if they like.
TAKE a pint bowl of codfish picked very fine, two pint bowls of whole raw peeled potatoes, sliced thickly; put them together in plenty of cold water and boil until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked; remove from the fire and drain off all the water. Mash them with the potato masher, add a piece of butter the size of an egg, one well-beaten egg, and three spoonfuls of cream or rich milk. Flour your hands and make into balls or cakes. Put an ounce each of butter and lard into a frying pan; when hot, put in the balls and fry a nice brown. Do not freshen the fish before boiling with the potatoes. Many cooks fry them in a quantity of lard similar to boiled doughnuts.
TAKE a thick, white piece of salt codfish, lay it in cold water for a few minutes to soften it a little, enough to render it more easily to be picked up. Shred it in very small bits, put it over the fire in a stew pan with cold water; let it come to a boil, turn off this water carefully, and add a pint of milk to the fish, or more according to quantity. Set it over the fire again and let it boil slowly about three minutes, now add a good-sized piece of butter, a shake of pepper and a thickening of a tablespoonful of flour in enough cold milk to make a cream. Stew five minutes longer, and just before serving stir in two well-beaten eggs. The eggs are an addition that could be dispensed with, however, as it is very good without them. An excellent breakfast dish.
À LA MODE.
PICK up a teacupful of salt codfish very fine and freshen — the desiccated is nice to use; two cups mashed potatoes, one pint cream or milk, two well-beaten eggs, half a cup butter, salt and pepper; mix; bake in an earthen baking dish from twenty to twenty-five minutes; serve in the same dish, placed on a small platter, covered with a fine napkin.
SEW up the piece of fish in thin cloth, fitted to shape; boil in salted water (boiling from the first), allowing about fifteen minutes to the pound. Carefully unwrap and pour over it warm oyster sauce. A whole one boiled the same.
PICK any cold fresh fish, or salt codfish, left from the dinner, into fine bits, carefully removing all the bones.
Take a pint of milk in a suitable dish and place it in a saucepan of boiling water; put into it a few slices of onion cut very fine, a sprig of parsley minced fine, add a piece of butter as large as an egg, a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of white pepper, then stir in two tablespoonfuls of cornstarch, or flour, rubbed in a little cold milk; let all boil up and remove from the fire. Take a dish you wish to serve it in, butter the sides and bottom. Put first a layer of the minced fish, then a layer of the cream, then sprinkle over that some cracker or bread crumbs, then a layer of fish again, and so on until the dish is full; spread cracker or bread crumbs last on the top to prevent the milk from scorching.
This is a very good way to use up cold fish, making a nice breakfast dish, or a side dish for dinner.
TAKE a piece of salt codfish, pick it up very fine, put it into a saucepan, with plenty of cold water; bring it to a boil, turn off the water, and add another of cold water; let this boil with the fish about fifteen minutes, very slowly; strain off this water, making the fish quite dry, and set aside to cool. In the meantime, stir up a batter of a pint of milk, four eggs, a pinch of salt, one large teaspoonful of baking powder in flour, enough to make thicker than batter cakes. Stir in the fish and fry like any fritters. Very fine accompaniment to a good breakfast.
SALT CODFISH. (New England Style.)
CUT the fish into square pieces, cover with cold water, set on tie back part of the stove; when hot, pour off water and cover again with cold water; let it stand about four hours and simmer, not boil; put the fish on a platter, then cover with a drawn-butter gravy and serve. Many cooks prefer soaking the fish over night.
CODFISH AND OYSTER SAUCE.
LAY the fish in cold, salted water half an hour before it is time to cook it, then roll it in a clean cloth dredged with flour; sew up the edges in such a manner as to envelop the fish entirely, yet have but one thickness of cloth over any part. Put the fish into boiling water slightly salted; add a few whole cloves and peppers and a bit of lemon peel; pull gently on the fins, and when they come out easily the fish is done. Arrange neatly on a folded napkin, garnish and serve with oyster sauce. Take six oysters to every pound of fish and scald (blanch) them in a half -pint of hot oyster liquor; take out the oysters and add to the liquor, salt, pepper, a bit of mace and an ounce of butter; whip into it a gill of milk containing half of a teaspoonful of flour. Simmer a moment; add the oysters, and send to table in a sauce boat. Egg sauce is good with this fish.
IF SALT fish, soak, boil and pick the fish, the same as for fish-balls. Add an equal quantity of mashed potatoes, or cold, boiled, chopped potatoes, a large piece of butter, and warm milk enough to make it quite soft. Put it into a buttered dish, rub butter over the top, shake over a little sifted flour, and bake about thirty minutes, and until a rich brown. Make a sauce of drawn butter, with two hard-boiled eggs sliced, served in a gravy boat.
STEAK. (New England Style.)
SELECT a medium-sized fresh codfish, cut it in steaks cross-wise of the fish, about an inch and a half thick; sprinkle a little salt over them, and let them stand two hours. Cut into dice a pound of salt fat pork, fry out all the fat from them and remove the crisp bits of pork; put the codfish steaks in a pan of corn meal, dredge them with it, and when the pork fat is smoking hot, fry the steaks in it to a dark brown color on both sides. Squeeze over them a little lemon juice, add a dash of freshly ground pepper, and serve with hot, old-fashioned, well-buttered Johnny Cake.
ONE pound of cooked salmon (about one and a half pints when chopped), one cup of cream, two tablespoonfuls of butter, one tablespoonful of flour, three eggs, one pint of crumbs, pepper and salt; chop the salmon fine, mix the flour and butter together, let the cream come to a boil, and stir in the flour and butter, salmon and seasoning; boil one minute; stir in one well-beaten egg, and remove from the fire; when cold make into croquettes; dip in beaten egg, roll in crumbs and fry. Canned salmon can be used.
WATER TURTLES, OR TERRAPINS.
SELECT the largest, thickest and fattest, the females being the best; they should be alive when brought from market. Wash and put them alive into boiling water, add a little salt, and boil them until thoroughly done, or from ten to fifteen minutes, after which take off the shell, extract the meat, and remove carefully the sand-bag and gall; also all the entrails; they are unfit to eat, and are no longer used in cooking terrapins for the best tables. Cut the meat into pieces, and put it into a stewpan with its eggs, and sufficient fresh butter to stew it well. Let it stew till quite hot throughout, keeping the pan carefully covered, that none of the flavor may escape, but shake it over the fire while stewing. In another pan make a sauce of beaten yolk of egg, highly flavored with Madeira or sherry, and powdered nutmeg and mace, a gill of currant jelly, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste, enriched with a large lump of fresh butter. Stir this sauce well over the fire, and when it has almost come to a boil take it off. Send the terrapins to the table hot in a covered dish, and the sauce separately in a sauce tureen, to be used by those who like it, and omitted by those who prefer the genuine flavor of the terrapins when simply stewed with butter. This is now the usual mode of dressing terrapins in Maryland, Virginia, and many other parts of the South, and will be found superior to any other. If there are no eggs in the terrapin, "egg balls" may be substituted. (See recipe.)
TERRAPIN, WITH CREAM.
PLACE in a saucepan, two heaping tablespoonfuls of butter and one of dry flour; stir it over the fire until it bubbles; then gradually stir in a pint of cream, a teaspoonful of salt, a quarter of a teaspoonful of white pepper, the same of grated nutmeg, and a very small pinch of cayenne. Next, put in a pint of terrapin meat and stir all until it is scalding hot. Move the saucepan to the back part of the stove or range, where the contents will keep hot but not boil; then stir in four well-beaten yolks of eggs; do not allow the terrapin to boil after adding the eggs, but pour it immediately into a tureen containing a gill of good Madeira and a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Serve hot.
PLUNGE the terrapins alive into boiling water, and let them remain until the sides and lower shell begin to crack this will take less than an hour; then remove them and let them get cold; take off the shell and outer skin, being careful to save all the blood possible in opening them. If there are eggs in them put them aside in a dish; take all the inside out, and be very careful not to break the gall, which must be immediately removed or it will make the rest bitter. It lies within the liver. Then cut up the liver and all the rest of the terrapin into small pieces, adding the blood and juice that have flowed out in. cutting up; add half a pint of water; sprinkle a little flour over them as you place them in the stewpan; let them stew slowly ten minutes, adding salt, black and cayenne pepper, and a very small blade of mace; then add a gill of the best brandy and half a pint of the very best sherry wine; let it simmer over a slow fire very gently. About ten minutes or so, before you are ready to dish them, add half a pint of rich, cream, and half a pound of sweet butter, with flour, to prevent boiling; two or three minutes before taking them off the fire peel the eggs carefully and throw them in whole. If there should be no eggs use the yolks of hens' eggs, hard boiled. This recipe is for four terrapins.
Rennert's Hotel, Baltimore.
PUT a handful of salt into a large kettle or pot of boiling water. When the water boils very hard put in the lobster, having first brushed it and tied the claws together with a bit of twine. Keep it boiling from twenty minutes to half an hour, in proportion to its size. If boiled too long the meat will be hard and stringy. When it is done take it out, lay it on its claws to drain, and then wipe it dry.
It is scarcely necessary to mention that the head of a lobster and what are called the lady fingers are not to be eaten.
Very large lobsters are not the best, the meat being coarse and tough. The male is best for boiling; the flesh is firmer and the shell a brighter red. It may readily be distinguished from the female; the tail is narrower, and the two uppermost fins within the tail are stiff and hard. Those of the hen lobster are not so, and the tail is broader.
Hen lobsters are preferred for sauce or salad, on account of their coral. The head and small claws are never used.
They should be alive and freshly caught when put into the boiling kettle. After being cooked and cooled, split open the body and tail and crack the claws, to extract the meat. The sand pouch found near the throat should be removed. Care should be exercised that none of the feathery, tough, gill-like particles found under the body shell get mixed with the meat, as they are indigestible and have caused much trouble. They are supposed to be the cause of so-called poisoning from eating lobster.
Serve on a platter. Lettuce and other concomitants of a salad should also be placed on the table or platter.
BUTTER a deep dish and cover the bottom with fine bread crumbs; put on this a layer of chopped lobster, with pepper and salt; so on, alternately, until the dish is filled, having crumbs on top. Put on bits of butter, moisten with milk and bake about twenty minutes.
TAKE out all the meat from a boiled lobster, reserving the coral; season highly with mustard, cayenne, salt and some kind of table sauce; stew until well mixed and put it in a covered saucepan, with just enough hot water to keep from burning; rub the coral smooth, moistening with vinegar until it is thin enough to pour easily, then stir it into the saucepan. The dressing should be prepared before the meat is put on the fire, and which ought to boil but once before the coral is put in; stir in a heaping teaspoonful of butter, and when it boils again it is done and should be taken up at once, as too much cooking toughens the meat.
TAKE any of the lobster remaining from table and pound it until the dark, light meat and coral are well mixed; put with it not quite as much fine bread crumbs; season with pepper, salt and a very little cayenne pepper; add a little melted butter, about two tablespoonfuls if the bread is rather dry; form into egg-shaped or round balls; roll them in egg, then in fine crumbs, and fry in boiling lard.
BASTING THE TURKEY
CUT some boiled lobster in small pieces; then take the small claws and the spawn, put them in a suitable dish, and jam them to a paste with a potato masher. Now add to them a ladleful of gravy or broth, with a few bread crumbs; set it over the fire and boil; strain it through a strainer, or sieve, to the thickness of a cream, and put half of it to your lobsters, and save the other half to sauce them with after they are baked. Put to the lobster the bigness of an egg of butter, a little pepper and salt; squeeze in a lemon, and warm these over the fire enough to melt the butter, set it to cool, and sheet your patty pan or a plate or dish with good puff paste, then put in your lobster, and cover it with a paste; bake it within three-quarters of an hour before you want it; when it is baked, cut up your cover, and warm up the other half of your sauce above mentioned, with a little butter, to the thickness of cream, and pour it over your patty, with a little squeezed lemon; cut your cover in two, and lay it on the top, two inches distant, so that what is under may be seen. You may bake crawfish, shrimps or prawns the same way; and they are all proper for plates or little dishes for a second course.
À LA NEWBURG.
TAKE one whole lobster, cut up in pieces about as large as a hickory nut. Put in the same pan with a piece of butter size of a walnut, season with salt and pepper to taste, and thicken with heavy cream sauce; add the yolk of one egg and two oz. of sherry wine.
Cream sauce for above is made as follows: 1 oz. butter, melted in saucepan; 2 oz. flour, mixed with butter, thin down to proper consistency with boiling cream.
Rector's Oyster House; Chicago.
Mix with the contents of a can of crabs, bread crumbs or pounded crackers. Pepper and salt the whole to taste; mince some cold ham; have the baking pan well buttered, place therein first a layer of the crab meat, prepared as above, then a layer of the minced ham, and so on, alternately until the pan is filled. Cover the top with bread crumbs and bits of butter, and bake.
HALF a dozen fresh crabs, boiled and minced, two ounces of butter, one small teaspoonful of mustard powder; cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Put the meat into a bowl and mix carefully with it an equal quantity of fine bread crumbs. Work the butter to a light cream, mix the mustard well with it, then stir in very carefully, a handful at a time, the mixed crabs, a tablespoonful of cream and crumbs. Season to taste with cayenne pepper and salt; fill the crab shells with the mixture, sprinkle bread crumbs over the tops, put three small pieces of butter upon the top of each, and brown them quickly in a hot oven. They will puff in baking and will be found very nice. Half the quantity can be made. A crab shell will hold the meat of two crabs.
PICK the meat of boiled crabs and chop it fine. Season to taste with pepper, salt and melted butter. Moisten it well with rich milk or cream, then stiffen it slightly with bread or cracker crumbs. Add two or three well-beaten eggs to bind the mixture. Form the croquettes, egg and bread, crumb them and fry them delicately in boiling lard. It is better to use a wire frying basket for croquettes of all kinds.
MAKE A CRAB PIE.
PROCURE the crabs alive, and put them in boiling water, along with some salt. Boil them for a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, according to the size. When cold pick the meat from the claws and body. Chop all together, and mix it with crumbs of bread, pepper and salt, and a little butter. Put all this into the shell and brown in a hot oven. A crab shell will hold the meat of two crabs.
CRABS may be boiled as lobsters. They make a fine dish when stewed. Take out the meat from the shell, put it into a saucepan with butter, pepper, salt, a pinch of mace and a very little water; dredge with flour and let simmer five minutes over a slow fire. Serve hot; garnish the dish, with the claws laid around it.
The usual way of cooking them is frying them in plenty of butter and lard mixed; prepare them the same as frying fish. The spongy substance from the sides should be taken off, also the sand bag. Fry a nice brown and garnish with parsley.
OYSTERS must be fresh and fat to be good. They are in season from September to May.
The small ones, such as are sold by the quart, are good for pies, fritters, or stews; the largest of this sort are nice for frying or pickling for family use.
TAKE large oysters from their own liquor into a thickly folded napkin to dry them; then make hot an ounce each of butter and lard in a thick-bottomed frying pan. Season the oysters with pepper and salt, then dip each one into egg and cracker crumbs rolled fine, until it will take up no more. Place them in the hot grease and fry them a delicate brown, turning them on both sides by sliding a broad-bladed knife under them. Serve them crisp and hot.
Boston Oyster House.
Some prefer to roll oysters in corn meal and others use flour, but they are much more crisp with egg and cracker crumbs.
FRIED IN BATTER.
Ingredients. One-half pint of oysters, two eggs, one-half pint of milk, sufficient flour to make the batter; pepper and salt to taste; when liked, a little nutmeg; hot lard.
Scald the oysters in their own liquor, beard them, and lay them on a cloth to drain thoroughly. Break the eggs into a basin, mix the flour with them, add the milk gradually, with nutmeg and seasoning, and put the oysters in a batter. Make some lard hot in a deep frying pan; put in the oysters one at a time; when done, take them up with a sharp pointed skewer and dish them on a napkin. Fried oysters are frequently used for garnishing boiled fish, and then a few bread crumbs should be added to the flour.
OYSTERS. (In Milk or Cream.)
DRAIN the liquor from two quarts of oysters; mix with it a small teacupful of hot water, add a little salt and pepper and set it over the fire in a saucepan. Let it boil up once, put in the oysters, let them come to a boil, and when they "ruffle" add two tablespoonfuls of butter. The instant it is melted and well stirred in, put in a pint of boiling milk and take the saucepan from the fire. Serve with oyster or cream crackers. Serve while hot.
If thickening is preferred, stir in a little flour or two tablespoonfuls of cracker crumbs.
PLAIN OYSTER STEW.
SAME as milk or cream stew, using only oyster liquor and water instead of milk or cream, adding more butter after taking up.
FOR oyster soup, see SOUPS.
TAKE six to twelve large oysters and cook them in half a pint of their own liquor; season with butter and white pepper; cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Serve in hot soup plates or bowls.
Fulton Market, New York.
PREPARE the oysters in egg batter and fine cracker meal; fry in butter over a slow fire for about ten minutes; cover the hollow of a hot platter with tomato sauce; place the oysters in it, but not covering; garnished with chopped parsley sprinkled over the oysters.
Boston Oyster House.
DRY a quart of oysters in a cloth, dip each in melted butter well peppered; then in beaten egg, or not, then in bread or cracker crumbs also peppered. Broil on a wire broiler over live coals three to five minutes. Dip over each a little melted butter. Serve hot.
OYSTERS IN THE SHELL. No. 1.
SELECT the large ones, those usually termed " Saddle Rocks," formerly known as a distinct variety, but which are now but the large oysters selected from any beds; wash and wipe them, and place with the upper or deep shell down, to catch the juice, over or on live coals. 'When they open their shells, remove the shallow one, being careful to save all the juice in the other; place them, shells and all, on a hot platter, and send to table hot, to be seasoned by each person with butter and pepper to taste. If the oysters are fine, and they are just cooked enough and served all hot, this is, par excellence, the style.
ROAST. No. 2.
PUT one quart of oysters in a basin with their own liquor and let them boil three or four minutes; season with a little salt, pepper and a heaping spoonful of butter. Serve on buttered toast.
WASH and drain a quart of counts or select oysters; put them in a shallow pan and place in a steamer over boiling water; cover and steam till they are plump, with the edges ruffled, but no longer. Place in a heated dish, with butter, pepper and salt, and serve.
OYSTERS IN THE SHELL.
WASH and place them in an air-tight vessel, laying them the upper shell downward, so that the liquor will not run out when they open. Place this dish or vessel over a pot of boiling water where they will get the steam. Boil them rapidly until the shells open, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Serve at once while hot, seasoned with butter, salt and pepper.
OYSTERS. No. 1.
CUT some stale bread in thin slices, taking off all the crust, round the slices to fit patty-pans; toast, butter, place them in the pans and moisten with three or four teaspoonfuls of oyster liquor; place on the toast a layer of oysters, sprinkle with pepper, and put a small piece of butter on top of each pan; place all the pans in a baking-pan, and place in the oven, covering tightly. They will cook in seven or eight minutes if the oven is hot; or, cook till the beards are ruffled; remove the cover, sprinkle lightly with salt, replace, and cook one minute longer. Serve in patty pans. They are delicious.
New York Style.
OYSTERS. No. 2.
LAY in a thin pie tin or dripping-pan half a pint of large oysters, or more if required; have the pan large enough so that each oyster will lie flat on the bottom; put in over them a little oyster liquor, but not enough to float; place them carefully in a hot oven and just heat them through thoroughly — do not bake them — which will be in three to five minutes, according to fire; take them up and place on toast; first moistened with the hot juice from the pan. Are a very good substitute for oysters roasted in the shell, the slow cooking bringing out the flavor.
French Restaurant, New Orleans, La.
SELECT plump, good-sized oysters; drain off. the juice, and to a cup of this juice add a cup of milk, a little salt, four well-beaten eggs, and flour enough to make batter like griddle-cakes.
Envelope an oyster in a spoonful of this batter (some cut them in halves or chop them fine), then fry in butter and lard, mixed in a frying pan the same as we fry eggs, turning to fry brown on both sides. Send to the table very hot.
Most cooks fry oyster fritters the same as crullers, in a quantity of hot lard, but this is not always convenient; either way they are excellent.
LINE patty-pans with thin pastry, pressing it well to the tin. Put a piece of bread or a ball of paper in each. Cover them with paste and brush them over with the white of an egg. Cut an inch square of thin pastry, place on the centre of each, glaze this also with egg, and bake in a quick oven fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove the bread or paper when half cold.
Scald as many oysters as you require (allowing two for each patty, three if small) in their own liquor. Cut each in four and strain the liquor. Put two tablespoonfuls of butter and two of flour into a thick saucepan; stir them together over the fire till the flour smells cooked, and then pour half a pint of oyster liquor and half a pint of milk into the flour and butter. (If you have cream use it instead of milk.) Stir till it is a thick, smooth sauce. Put -the oysters into it and let them boil once. Beat the yolks of two eggs. Remove the oysters for one minute from the fire, then stir the eggs into them till the sauce looks like thick custard.
Fill the patties with this oyster fricassee, taking care to make it hot by standing in boiling water before dinner on the day required, and So make the patty cases hot before you fill them.
IT is still known in New York from the place at which it was and is still served. Take nine large oysters in the shell; wash, dry and roast over a charcoal fire, on a broiler. Two minutes after the shells open they will be done. Take them up quickly, saving the juice in a small shallow, tin pan; keep hot until all are done; butter them and sprinkle with pepper.
This is served for one person when calling for a roast of this kind. It is often poured over a slice of toast.
HAVE ready about a pint bowl of fine cracker crumbs. Butter a deep earthen dish; put a layer of the cracker crumbs on the bottom; wet this with some of the oyster liquor; next have a layer of oysters; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay small bits of butter upon them; then another layer of cracker crumbs and oyster juice; then oysters, pepper, salt and butter, and so on, until the dish is full; the top layer to be cracker crumbs. Beat up an egg in a cup of milk and turn over all. Cover the dish and set m the oven for thirty or forty-five minutes. When baked through, uncover the top, set on the upper grate and brown.
SCALD a quart can of oysters in their own liquor; when it boils, skim out the oysters and set aside in a warm place. To the liquor add a pint of hot water; season well with salt and pepper, a generous piece of butter, thicken with flour and cold milk. Have ready nice light biscuit dough, rolled twice as thick as pie crust; cut out into inch squares, drop them into the boiling stew, cover closely, and cook forty minutes. When taken up, stir the oysters into the juice and serve nil together in one dish. A nice side entrée.
Prince's Bay, S. I.
HAVING buttered the inside of a deep pie plate, line it with puff paste, or common pie crust, and prepare another sheet of paste for the lid; put a clean towel into the dish (folded so as to support the lid), set it into the oven and bake the paste well; when done, remove the lid and take out the towel. While the paste is baking prepare the oysters. Having picked off carefully every bit of shell that may be found about them, drain off the liquor into a pan and put the oysters into a stewpan with barely enough of the liquor to keep them from burning; season them with pepper, salt and butter; add a little sweet cream or milk, and one or two crackers rolled fine; let the oysters simmer, but not boil, as that will shrivel them. Remove the upper crust of pastry and fill the dish with the oysters and gravy; replace the cover and serve hot.
Some prefer baking the upper crust on a pie plate, the same size as the pie, then slipping it off on top of the pie after the same is filled with the oysters.
GRATE the corn, while green and tender, with a coarse grater, into a deep dish. To two ears of corn, allow one egg; beat the whites and yolks separately, and add them to the corn, with one tablespoonful of wheat flour and one of butter, a teaspoonful of salt and pepper to taste. Drop spoonfuls of this batter into a frying pan with hot butter and lard mixed, and fry a light brown on both sides.
In taste, they have a singular resemblance to fried oysters. The corn must be young.
TAKE a slice of raw ham, which has been pickled, but not smoked, and soak in boiling water for half an hour; cut it in quite small pieces, and put in a saucepan with two-thirds of a pint of veal or chicken broth, well strained; the liquor from a quart of oysters, one small onion, minced fine, and a little chopped parsley, sweet marjoram, and pepper; let them simmer for twenty minutes, and then boil rapidly for two or three minutes; skim well and add one scant tablespoonful of corn-starch, mixed smoothly in one-third cup of milk; stir constantly, and when it boils add the oysters and one ounce of butter; after which, just let it come to a boil, and remove the oysters to a deep dish; beat one egg, and add to it gradually some of the hot broth, and, when cooked, stir it into the pan; season with salt, and pour the whole over the oysters. When placed upon the table, squeeze the juice of a lemon over it.
SMALL OYSTER PIES.
FOR each pie take a tin plate half the size of an ordinary dinner plate; butter it, and cover the bottom with a puff paste, as for pies; lay on it five or six select oysters, or enough to cover the bottom; butter them and season with a little salt and plenty of pepper; spread over this an egg batter, and cover with a crust of the paste, making small openings in it with a fork. Bake in a hot oven fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.
Boston Oyster HouseSTEWED CLAMS.
WASH clean as many round clams as required; pile them in a large iron pot, with half a cupful of hot water in the bottom, and put over the fire; as soon as the shells open take out the clams, cut off the hard, uneatable "fringe" from each with strong, clean scissors, put them into a stewpan with the broth from the pot, and boil slowly till they are quite tender; pepper well and thicken the gravy with flour stirred into melted butter.
Or, you may get two dozen freshly opened very small clams. Boil a pint of milk, a dash of white pepper and a small pat of butter. Now add the clams. Let them come to a boil and serve. Longer boiling will make the clams almost indigestible.
CLAMS IN THE SHELL.
ROAST in a pan over a hot fire, or in a hot oven, or, at a "Clam Bake," on hot stones; when they open, empty the juice into a saucepan; add the clams, with butter, pepper and a very little salt.
TAKE fifty small or twenty-five large sand clams from their shells; if large, cut each in two, lay them on a thickly-folded napkin; put a pint bowl of wheat flour into a basin, add to it three well-beaten eggs, half a pint of sweet milk and nearly as much of their own liquor; beat the batter until it is smooth and perfectly free from lumps, then stir in the clams. Put plenty of lard or beef fat into a thick-bottomed frying pan, let it become boiling hot; put in the batter by the spoonful; let them fry gently; when one side is a delicate brown turn the other.
THE materials needed are fifty round clams (quahogs), a large bowl of salt pork cut up fine, the same of onions finely chopped, and the same (or more, if you desire) of potatoes cut into eighths or sixteenths of original size; wash the clams very thoroughly and put them in a pot with half a pint of water; when the shells are open they are done; then take them from the shells and chop fine, saving all the clam water for the chowder; fry out the pork very gently, and when the scraps are a good brown take them out and put in the chopped onions to fry; they should be fried in a frying pan, and the chowder kettle be made very clean before they are put in it, or the chowder will burn. (The chief secret in chowder-making is to fry the onions so delicately that they will be missing in the chowder.)
Add a quart of hot water to the onions; put in the clams, clam water and pork scraps. After it boils, add the potatoes, and when they are cooked, the chowder is finished. Just before it is taken up, thicken it with a cup of powdered crackers, and add a quart of fresh milk. If too rich, add more water. No seasoning is needed but good black pepper.
With the addition of six sliced tomatoes, or half a can of the canned ones, this is the best recipe of this kind, and is served in many of our best restaurants.
New Bedford Recipe.
PURCHASE a dozen large soft clams in the shell and three dozen opened clams. Ask the dealer to open the first dozen, care being used not to injure the shells, which are to be used in cooking the clams. Clean the shells well, and put two soft clams on each half shell; add to each a dash of white pepper, and half a teaspoonful of minced celery. Cut a slice of fat bacon into the smallest dice, add four of these to each shell, strew over the top a thin layer of cracker dust; place a piece of table butter on top, and bake in the oven until brown. They are delightful when properly prepared.
IF BOUGHT in the shell boil them and take out the hearts, which is the only part used. Dip them in beaten egg and fry in the same manner as oysters.
Some prefer them stewed the same as oysters.
FROGS are usually fried, and are considered a great delicacy. Only the hind-legs and quarters are used. Clean them well, season, and fry in egg batter, or dip in beaten egg and fine cracker crumbs, the same as oysters.
WASH and skin the quarters, parboil them about three minutes, drain them. Now put into a stewpan two ounces of butter. When it is melted, lay in the frogs, and fry about two minutes, stirring them to prevent burning; shake over them a tablespoonful of sifted flour and stir it into them; add a sprig of parsley, a pinch of powdered summer savory, a bay leaf, three slices of onion, salt and pepper, a cup of hot water and one of cream. Boil gently until done; remove the legs, strain and mix into the gravy the yolks of two eggs, well beaten to a cream; put the legs in a suitable dish, pour over the gravy and serve.