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

3oz butter, 4oz onion, I turnip, 1 carrot, head celery, 4 quarts water, crust of bread, berries of allspice, black pepper, mace, cayenne.
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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