Friday, September 23, 2011

Regency Meets Victorian Dinner in September - Thursday

Yes, I’m a day late with my Thursday dinner menu. I knew I should have had the whole week sorted before I started this little adventure.

Anyway, today we are joined by William Kitchiner and Mrs. Isabella Beeton both reknown for their recipes of the day.

On the course for Thursday we had:

First course: Curry, or Mullaga-Tawny Soup – William Kitchiner

Entrees: Vol-au-vent of Lobster, Scalloped Oysters, Tete De Veau en Tortue – Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Second course: Roast Suckling Pig, Asparagus, Fried Vegetable Marrow, Turnips in White Sauce. – Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Third course: Almond Cheesecakes – William Kitchiner



Cut four pounds of a breast of veal into pieces, about two inches by one; put the trimmings into a stew-pan with two quarts of water, with twelve corns of black pepper, and the same of allspice; when it boils, skim it clean, and let it boil an hour and a half, then strain it off; while it is boiling, fry of a nice brown in butter the bits of veal and four onions; when they are done, put the broth to them; put it on the fire; when it boils, skim it clean; let it simmer half an hour; then[223] mix two spoonfuls of curry, and the same of flour, with a little cold water and a tea-spoonful of salt; add these to the soup, and simmer it gently till the veal is quite tender, and it is ready; or bone a couple of fowls or rabbits, and stew them in the manner directed above for the veal, and you may put in a bruised eschalot, and some mace and ginger, instead of black pepper and allspice.




INGREDIENTS.—3/4 to 1 lb. of puff-paste No. 1208, fricasseed chickens, rabbits, ragouts, or the remains of cold fish, flaked and warmed in thick white sauce.

MODE.—Make from 3/4 to 1 lb. of puff-paste, by recipe No. 1208, taking care that it is very evenly rolled out each time, to insure its rising properly; and if the paste is not extremely light, and put into a good hot oven, this cannot be accomplished, and the vol-au-vent will look very badly. Roll out the paste to the thickness of about 1-1/2 inch, and, with a fluted cutter, stamp it out to the desired shape, either round or oval, and, with the point of a small knife, make a slight incision in the paste all round the top, about an inch from the edge, which, when baked, forms the lid. Put the vol-au-vent into a good brisk oven, and keep the door shut for a few minutes after it is put in. Particular attention should he paid to the heating of the oven, for the paste cannot rise without a tolerable degree of heat When of a nice colour, without being scorched, withdraw it from the oven, instantly remove the cover where it was marked, and detach all the soft crumb from the centre: in doing this, be careful not to break the edges of the vol-au-vent; but should they look thin in places, stop them with small flakes of the inside paste, stuck on with the white of an egg. This precaution is necessary to prevent the fricassee or ragoût from bursting the case, and so spoiling the appearance of the dish. Fill the vol-au-vent with a rich mince, or fricassee, or ragoût, or the remains of cold fish flaked and warmed in a good white sauce, and do not make them very liquid, for fear of the gravy bursting the crust: replace the lid, and serve. To improve the appearance of the crust, brush it over with the yolk of an egg after it has risen properly.

Time.—3/4 hour to bake the vol-au-vent.

Average cost, exclusive of interior, 1s. 6d.

Seasonable at any time.


INGREDIENTS.—1 lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, pounded mace, and cayenne to taste; bread crumbs.

MODE—Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it up into small square pieces; put the stock, cream, and seasoning into a stewpan, add the lobster, and let it simmer gently for 6 minutes.

Time.—45 minutes. Average cost, 2s. 6d.

Seasonable at any time.


INGREDIENTS.—Oysters, say 1 pint, 1 oz. butter, flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream; pepper and salt to taste; bread crumbs, oiled butter.

MODE.—Scald the oysters in their own liquor, take them out, beard them, and strain the liquor free from grit. Put 1 oz. of batter into a stewpan; when melted, dredge in sufficient flour to dry it up; add the stock, cream, and strained liquor, and give one boil. Put in the oysters and seasoning; let them gradually heat through, but not boil. Have ready the scallop-shells buttered; lay in the oysters, and as much of the liquid as they will hold; cover them over with bread crumbs, over which drop a little oiled butter. Brown them in the oven, or before the fire, and serve quickly, and very hot.

Time.—Altogether, 1/4 hour.

Average cost for this quantity, 3s. 6d.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.


INGREDIENTS.—Half a calf's head, or the remains of a cold boiled one; rather more than 1 pint of good white stock, No. 107, 1 glass of sherry or Madeira, cayenne and salt to taste, about 12 mushroom-buttons (when obtainable), 6 hard-boiled eggs, 4 gherkins, 8 quenelles or forcemeat balls, 12 crayfish, 12 croûtons.

MODE.—Half a calf's head is sufficient to make a good entrée, and if there are any remains of a cold one left from the preceding day, it will answer very well for this dish. After boiling the head until tender, remove the bones, and cut the meat into neat pieces; put the stock into a stewpan, add the wine, and a seasoning of salt and cayenne; fry the mushrooms in butter for 2 or 3 minutes, and add these to the gravy. Boil this quickly until somewhat reduced; then put in the yolks of the hard-boiled eggs whole, the whites cut in small pieces, and the gherkins chopped. Have ready a few veal quenelles, made by recipe No. 422 or 423; add these, with the slices of head, to the other ingredients, and let the whole get thoroughly hot, without boiling. Arrange the pieces of head as high in the centre of the dish as possible; pour over them the ragout, and garnish with the crayfish and croûtons placed alternately. A little of the gravy should also be served in a tureen.

Time.—About 1/2 hour to reduce the stock.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Average cost, exclusive of the calf's head, 2s. 9d.

Seasonable from March to October.



INGREDIENTS.—Pig, 6 oz. of bread crumbs, 16 sage-leaves, pepper and salt to taste, a piece of butter the size of an egg, salad oil or butter to baste with, about 1/2 pint of gravy, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice.

MODE —A sucking-pig, to be eaten in perfection, should not be more than three weeks old, and should be dressed the same day that it is killed. After preparing the pig for cooking, as in the preceding recipe, stuff it with finely-grated bread crumbs, minced sage, pepper, salt, and a piece of butter the size of an egg, all of which should be well mixed together, and put into the body of the pig. Sew up the slit neatly, and truss the legs back, to allow the inside to be roasted, and the under part to be crisp. Put the pig down to a bright clear fire, not too near, and let it lay till thoroughly dry; then have ready some butter tied up in a piece of thin cloth, and rub the pig with this in every part. Keep it well rubbed with the butter the whole of the time it is roasting, and do not allow the crackling to become blistered or burnt. When half-done, hang a pig-iron before the middle part (if this is not obtainable, use a flat iron), to prevent its being scorched and dried up before the ends are done. Before it is taken from the fire, cut off the head, and part that and the body down the middle. Chop the brains and mix them with the stuffing; add 1/2 pint of good gravy, a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and the gravy that flowed from the pig; put a little of this on the dish with the pig, and the remainder send to table in a tureen. Place the pig back to back in the dish, with one half of the head on each side, and one of the ears at each end, and send it to table as hot as possible. Instead of butter, many cooks take salad oil for basting, which makes the crackling crisp; and as this is one of the principal things to be considered, perhaps it is desirable to use it; but be particular that it is very pure, or it will impart an unpleasant flavour to the meat. The brains and stuffing may be stirred into a tureen of melted butter instead of gravy, when the latter is not liked. Apple sauce and the old-fashioned currant sauce are not yet quite obsolete as an accompaniment to roast pig.

Time.—1-1/2 to 2 hours for a small pig.

Average cost, 5s. to 6s.

Sufficient for 9 or 10 persons.

Seasonable from September to February.


INGREDIENTS.—To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt; asparagus.

MODE.—Asparagus should be dressed as soon as possible after it is cut, although it may be kept for a day or two by putting the stalks into cold water; yet, to be good, like every other vegetable, it cannot be cooked too fresh. Scrape the white part of the stems, beginning from the head, and throw them into cold water; then tie them into bundles of about 20 each, keeping the heads all one way, and cut the stalks evenly, that they may all be the same length; put them into boiling water, with salt in the above proportion; keep them boiling quickly until tender, with the saucepan uncovered. When the asparagus is done, dish it upon toast, which should be dipped in the water it was cooked in, and leave the white ends outwards each war, with the points meeting in the middle. Serve with a tureen of melted butter.

Time.—15 to 18 minutes after the water boils.

Average cost, in full season, 2s. 6d. the 100 heads.

Sufficient.—Allow about 50 heads for 4 or 5 persons.

Seasonable.—May be had, forced, from January but cheapest in May, June, and July.


INGREDIENTS.—3 medium-sized vegetable marrows, egg and bread crumbs, hot lard.

MODE—Peel, and boil the marrows until tender in salt and water; then drain them and cut them in quarters, and take out the seeds. When thoroughly drained, brush the marrows over with egg, and sprinkle with bread crumbs; have ready some hot lard, fry the marrow in this, and, when of a nice brown, dish; sprinkle over a little salt and pepper, and serve.

Time.—About 1/2 hour to boil the marrow, 7 minutes to fry it.

Average cost, in full season, 1s. per dozen.

Sufficient for 4 persons.

Seasonable in July, August, and September.


INGREDIENTS.—7 or 8 turnips, 1 oz. of butter, 1/2 pint of white sauce,

MODE.—Peel and cut the turnips in the shape of pears or marbles; boil them in salt and water, to which has been added a little butter, until tender; then take them out, drain, arrange them on a dish, and pour over the white sauce made by recipe No. 538 or 539, and to which has been added a small lump of sugar. In winter, when other vegetables are scarce, this will be found a very good and pretty-looking dish: when approved, a little mustard may be added to the sauce.

Time.—About 3/4 hour to boil the turnips.

Average cost, 4d. per bunch.

Sufficient for 1 side-dish. Seasonable in winter.



Blanch six ounces of sweet, and half an ounce of bitter almonds; let them lie half an hour in a drying stove, or before the fire; pound them very fine in a mortar, with two table-spoonfuls of rose or orange-flower water, to prevent them from oiling; set into a stew-pan half a pound of fresh butter; set it in a warm place, and cream it very smooth with the hand, and add it to the almonds, with six ounces of sifted loaf sugar, a little grated lemon-peel, some good cream, and four eggs; rub all well together with the pestle; cover a patty-pan with puff paste; fill in the mixture; ornament it with slices of candied lemon-peel and almonds split, and bake it half an hour in a brisk oven.

Fridays menu will be. up shortly.

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