31 October 1903
COOKERY FOR WORRIED
By Mrs Alfred Praga (“The Careful Cook”)
HOW TO USE
UP THE SCRAPS
It is often easy to produce very dainty little made dishes
at a cost practically nil, if only due care is taken of
the odds and ends which will persist in accumulating in
even the best-regulated larders. For example, let us suppose
that the carcass of a chicken remain on hand, together
with, perhaps, a couple of ounces of cold tongue. If every
particle of meat be carefully picked off that carcass
it will yield another 2oz to 3oz, which, if added to the
cold tongue, makes 4oz or 5oz of meat in all. Now if turned
into croquettes or rissoles this will make as dainty a
dish as the heart of an economical housewife for the palate
of a fastidious husband could desire. Here is the recipe
Take 4oz of any sort of cold meat, and chop it finely
by hand. Reserve on a plate. Place half a pint of milk
(skim milk will do) in a clean stewpan. Add to it a slice
of onion, a slice of turnip, if obtainable a bit of celery,
and a good-sized sprig of parsley. Cover the pan and simmer
very slowly until the milk tastes strongly of the herbs,
but take care that it does not boil away even in the smallest
degree, then strain it off into a clean stewpan. Note:
Allow at least 15 min for the simmering process.
Place 1oz of butter in another stewpan,
and directly it melts add to it by degrees 1oz of well-dried
and sifted flour; stir rapidly for five minutes with a
small wooden spoon, and then add, also very gently and
by degrees, the flavoured milk; allow each portion of
milk to become thoroughly mixed with the flour and butter
before the next is added, and this is the only way to
Should any lumps form by chance, then the
sauce must be well stirred until quite smooth and thick
before the next lot of milk is added. It is the neglect
of this simple precaution which is the cause of the pasty,
lumpy poultices which in England are served up under the
misnomer of sauce.
When all the milk had been added, continue
to stir it until it comes to the boil, and then keep boiling
it for five or six minutes, still stirring all the time.
Add pepper and salt to taste, and if the flavour is liked
a tiny grate of nutmeg.
Remove from the fire, and allow the sauce
to cool a little. Then mix it with the chopped meat, lightly
but very thoroughly. Spread out the mixture upon a large
plate to the depth of an inched, and leave it in the larder
until quite cold. Then shape into balls about the size
of a small tangerine; egg and breadcrumb these.
Place enough clarified beef dripping in
a deep stewpan to half fill it when melted. Put this on
the fire and bring to the boil. As soon as it is actually
boiling, ie when the blue smoke is rising, but not before,
add the croquettes, a few at a time only, and fry till
of a bright golden-brown hue. Take out quickly, drain
carefully on clean kitchen paper, and serve at once.
A dish of well-baked potatoes, each potato
spilt open and a bit of butter and a little pepper and
salt inserted, are nice with this dish; or in summer-time
a dish of green peas and new potatoes. Not only chicken
and tongue, but cold game of any kind, or any sort of
meat, may be used for these croquettes.
Are made in a similar way, and are almost equally nice.
Take sufficient cold boiled or fried fish to yield 4oz
or 6oz, when freed from skin, bone, etc. Flake it into
tiny pieces — it is not needful to chop it.
Make half a pint of sauce as described in
the foregoing recipe. Mix it with the fish — adding
also a few drops of anchovy to the sauce if liked —
lightly but thoroughly. Leave till cold. Shape into small
balls, and fry in boiling fat until of a light golden-brown
hue. Take out quickly, drain carefully, and serve at once.
A little tomato catsup made hot may be handed separately,
if liked, with these croquettes.
Any scraps of white fish, either fried or
boiled, may be utilised in this fashion, but brown fish
is not suitable, as it is too rich. Croquettes of salmon,
however, are nice for those who can digest very rich food.
They are made as directed in the foregoing recipe.
When a portion of cold boiled rice remains
over from a curry it can be turned into as admirable dish
for high tea as follows:
Make half a pint of sauce as directed in the foregoing
recipe. Add to it 4oz or 6oz of cold boiled rice; mix
very thoroughly, and spread out upon a large dish to the
depth of an inch. Leave till perfectly cold, then shape
into balls. Make an opening in the centre of each, and
put in a spoonful of potted meat or fish, any sort best
liked will do. Close up the croquette again, and roll
each in egg and breadcrumbs, then fry in boiling fat,
as directed in the foregoing recipes, until of a light
golden-brown hue. Take out, drain carefully, and serve.
When, as sometimes happens, there is “nothing in
the house,” try the following:— Buy 6d of
chickens’ livers — these may be had at any
poulterer’s — wash them and dry them well.
Place 1oz of butter or clarified beef dripping in a small
stewpan; directly it melts add the livers, together with
a spoonful of minced shallot, and a teaspoonful of minced
parsley. Dust with pepper and salt and fry for five minutes.
Then add a gill of stock, or Bovril and
water, and stew for another three or four minutes. Dredge
in a little flour to thicken, and if possible add a spoonful
of sherry or port. This is unnecessary, but is a very
great improvement. Boil up; add a little more pepper and
salt if thought needful.
Dish upon a hot dish, garnish with a border
of mashed potatoes. For the latter, mash 1lb of freshly-boiled
potatoes with a wineglassful of absolutely boiling milk
and a bit of butter about the size of a walnut; whisk
till quite white and light, and then use as directed.
This, which is in a manner of speaking made entirely of
scraps, is yet very good. Take 4oz or 8oz of any sort
of cold meat, poultry, or game — a mixture of one
of these with a little chopped lean ham or bacon is perhaps
best. Have ready some freshly boiled mashed potatoes.
Spread a layer of these at the bottom of a pie dish, then
put a layer of the meat.
Cover this with a layer of freshly-fried
onions, then sprinkle with grated cheese and fried breadcrumbs.
Continue these layers until the dish is full. Moisten
with a little stock or gravy; strew the top very thickly
with fried onions and breadcrumbs, and grate over the
whole 1oz of cheese (any scraps of dried cheese will do
just as well as fresh for this); place a few bits of butter
here and there, and bake in a moderate oven until of a
golden-brown hue. Take out and serve at once. Fish may
be used in place of meat if liked.