Monday, September 19, 2011

A Regency Monday Dinner

Today dinner is from the cookery pages of The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner. On the menu for Monday’s dinner:

First course: Maigre or Vegetable Gravy Soup
Second course: Baked fowls, Parsley-and-butter, Cauliflower, Mash potato with Onions.
Third course: Baked Rice Pudding


FIRST COURSE:
MAIGRE, or VEGETABLE GRAVY SOUP.
INGREDIENTS:
3oz butter, 4oz onion, I turnip, 1 carrot, head celery, 4 quarts water, crust of bread, berries of allspice, black pepper, mace, cayenne.
MODE:
Put into a gallon stew-pan three ounces of butter; set it over a slow fire; while it is melting, slice four ounces of onion; cut in small pieces one turnip, one carrot, and a head of celery; put them in the stewpan, cover it close, let it fry till they are lightly browned; this will take about twenty-five minutes: have ready, in a sauce-pan, a pint of pease, with four quarts of water; when the roots in the stew-pan are quite brown, and the pease come to a boil, put the pease and water to them; put it on the fire; when it boils, skim it clean, and put in a crust of bread about as big as the top of a twopenny loaf, twenty-four berries of allspice, the same of black pepper, and two blades of mace; cover it close, let it simmer gently for one hour and a half; then set it from the fire for ten minutes; then pour it off very gently (so as not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the stew-pan) into a large basin; let it stand (about two hours) till it is quite clear: while this is doing, shred one large turnip, the red part of a large carrot, three ounces of onion minced, and one large head of celery cut into small bits; put the turnips and carrots on the fire in cold water, let them boil five minutes, then drain them on a sieve, then pour off the soup clear into a stew-pan, put in the roots, put the soup on the fire, let it simmer gently till the herbs are tender (from thirty to forty minutes), season it with salt and a little Cayenne, and it is ready.


SECOND COURSE:
CAPONS or FOWLS
Must be killed a couple of days in moderate, and more in cold weather, before they are dressed, or they will eat tough: a good criterion of the ripeness of poultry for the spit, is the ease with which you can then pull out the feathers; when a fowl is plucked, leave a few to help you to ascertain this.
They are managed exactly in the same manner, and sent up with the same sauces as a turkey, only they require proportionably less time at the fire.
A full-grown five-toed fowl, about an hour and a quarter.
A moderate-sized one, an hour.
A chicken, from thirty to forty minutes.
STUFFING
Mince a quarter of a pound of beef suet (beef marrow is better), the same weight of bread-crumbs, two drachms of parsley-leaves, a drachm and a half of sweet marjoram or lemon-thyme, and the same of grated lemon-peel and onion chopped as fine as possible, a little pepper and salt; pound thoroughly together with the yelk and white of two eggs. Fill the craw of the fowl, &c.; but do not cram it so as to disfigure its shape.
PARSLEY and BUTTER
Wash some parsley very clean, and pick it carefully leaf by leaf; put a tea-spoonful of salt into half a pint of boiling water: boil the parsley about ten minutes; drain it on a sieve; mince it quite fine, and then bruise it to a pulp.
The delicacy and excellence of this elegant and innocent relish depends upon the parsley being minced very fine: put it into a sauce-boat, and mix with it, by degrees, about half a pint of good melted butter.
Cut two ounces of butter into little bits, that it may melt more easily, and mix more readily; put it into the stew-pan with a large tea-spoonful (i. e. about three drachms) of flour, (some prefer arrow-root, or potato starch), and two table-spoonfuls of milk.


do not put so much flour to it, as the parsley will add to its thickness: never pour parsley and butter over boiled things, but send it up in a boat.
CAULIFLOWER
Choose those that are close and white, and of the middle size; trim off the outside leaves; cut the stalk off flat at the bottom; let them lie in salt and water an hour before you boil them.
Put them into boiling water with a handful of salt in it; skim it well, and let it boil slowly till done, which a small one will be in fifteen, a large one in about twenty minutes; take it up the moment it is enough, a minute or two longer boiling will spoil it.
MASHED POTATOES with ONIONS
When your potatoes are thoroughly boiled, drain them quite dry, pick out every speck, &c., and while hot, rub them through a colander into a clean stew-pan. To a pound of potatoes put about half an ounce of butter, and a table-spoonful of milk: do not make them too moist; mix them well together.
Prepare some boiled onions by putting them through a sieve, and mix them with potatoes. In proportioning the onions to the potatoes, you will be guided by your wish to have more or less of their flavour.
THIRD COURSE:
RICE PUDDINGS BAKED, or BOILED
Wash in cold water and pick very clean six ounces of rice, put it in a quart stew-pan three parts filled with cold water, set it on the fire, and let it boil five minutes; pour away the water, and put in one quart of milk, a roll of lemon peel, and a bit of cinnamon; let it boil gently till the rice is quite tender; it will take at least one hour and a quarter; be careful to stir it every five minutes; take it off the fire, and stir in an ounce and a half of fresh butter, and beat up three eggs on a plate, a salt-spoonful of nutmeg, two ounces of sugar; put it into the pudding, and stir it till it is quite smooth; line a pie-dish big enough to hold it with puff paste, notch it round the edge, put in your pudding, and bake it three quarters of an hour: this will be a nice firm pudding.
If you like it to eat more like custard, add one more egg, and half a pint more milk; it will be better a little thinner when boiled; one hour will boil it. If you like it in little puddings, butter small tea-cups, and either bake or boil them, half an hour will do either: you may vary the pudding by putting in candied lemon or orange-peel, minced very fine, or dried cherries, or three ounces of currants, or raisins, or apples minced fine.
If the puddings are baked or boiled, serve them with white-wine sauce, or butter and sugar.


Tomorrow Mary Eaton joins us in the kitchen to deliver a healthy family meal.


Sandie
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