THE innumerable small appetizers known as relishes, or hors-d’ œuvres, include all forms of pickles, and table-sauces, small sandwiches, and crusts garnished with highly seasoned meats, various preparations of cheese, and eggs; in short, any small, highly spiced or seasoned dish calculated to rouse or stimulate the appetite.
Relishes: Bouchées and Rissoles.
TIMBALES, PATTIES, BOUCHEES, RISSOLES, AND COCKSCOMBS.
Of the different forms of puff-paste shown in the above engraving, the largest ones are timbales, or small deep patties; the second largest are patties; the third in size are bouchées,
or small patties; the smallest are rissoles, or little turnovers; the dark figures at one side of the picture represent cockscombs, which are included in some of the more elaborate ragoûts, for which recipes are given elsewhere. Rissoles are baked and fried; timbales are baked in deep, smooth moulds, the bottom and sides of the mould being lined with plain paste, and the top being made of puff-paste. All these forms of pastry are made both in sweets and with delicate force-meats and ragoûts. They are served among the hot entrées when filled with forcemeats or ragoûts.
Make several slices of toast, and lay them on a platter; chop very fine or grate some bits of cold tongue, allowing two heaping tablespoonfuls for each slice of toast. Put the tongue into a saucepan. To each pint of tongue add a half-cupful of milk, a tablespoonful of butter, and a palatable seasoning of salt and pepper. Stir the tongue over the fire until it is hot, then pour it on the toast, and serve it at once.
Chop very fine half a pound of cold boiled or roasted ham, mix with it the yolk of a raw egg and enough cream or cream-sauce to moisten it a little, and season it highly with salt and cayenne. Toast as many small slices of bread as are required to hold the ham; arrange them in a dripping-pan; put a little mound of ham on each slice, and quickly brown the surface in a very hot oven, or before an open fire. Serve the ham toast either hot or cold.
Use the best Russian caviare, if it is obtainable; an American or German caviare is sometimes good, and less expensive than the Russian. The best caviare, when freshly made,
somewhat resembles oysters in taste; but the flavor of other sorts is indescribable. A mock-caviare can be made by boning half a dozen anchovies, and pounding them to a paste with a clove of garlic. Caviare is served with lemon-juice; or with salt, pepper, vinegar, and a little oil, mixed like a salad-dressing. After it is seasoned it is spread lightly upon delicate slices of toast; or it may be eaten with brown bread cut thin and buttered very slightly. At dinners caviare is placed upon the table with the relishes, or served after the oysters and soup.
SMOKED FISH FOR RELISHES.
Small strips of cured fish, either salted or smoked, are acceptable as a relish; or small fish which have been preserved in oil, such as anchovies or sardines, may be wiped dry with a towel, and served with vinegar or lemon-juice. Smoked eels, herring, halibut, sturgeon, tunny-fish, salt codfish, salmon, Finnan haddie, Yarmouth bloaters, or any dried fish may be served in this course; only it must be delicately prepared, in small pieces, and with some suitable garnish, so as to be an appreciable incentive to the enjoyment of the heavier dishes which succeed it. Sliced lemon is always a good garnish for any highly seasoned relish.
Mix together equal parts of good butter and grated ham or tongue; season rather highly with salt, cayenne, and mustard mixed with vinegar. Pack the mixture into little earthen jars; cover each jar with a piece of paper dipped in brandy, and then exclude the air by a tight cover, or a bladder wet and then tied over the top.
This butter may be made by the quantity, and kept in a cool, dry place. Its flavor may be changed by varying the ingredients and seasoning.
Very acceptable sandwiches can be made with the potted and devilled meats and game now sold in jars and tins. The bread should be quite free from crust, cut in thin small slices, and thinly spread with the best butter; a very thin layer of highly seasoned meat, game, or poultry, or some kind of spiced or salted fish, is put between two slices of buttered bread; the irregular edges are trimmed off, and the sandwiches kept cool until wanted for use. Any meat or fish intended for sandwiches should be chopped or grated before using it, and rather highly seasoned. Sardines make very good sandwiches.
Canapées are small slices of bread slightly hollowed out on the upper surface, and then fried golden brown in plenty of smoking-hot fat. The little hollow is filled with any highly seasoned meat, and the canapées served either hot or cold.
Bouchées are very small shells of puff-paste, filled with any highly seasoned mince or ragoût. They are served both hot and cold.
Rissoles are little turnovers of puff-paste, filled with highly seasoned mince, and fried like croquettes.
Cut cold lean veal, either baked or fried, into pieces an inch square. Measure sufficient vinegar to cover it; heat the vinegar scalding hot, adding to each pint one dozen whole cloves, half an inch of stick-cinnamon, a teaspoonful of salt, and a small red pepper or a dozen peppercorns; when the vinegar is scalding hot, pour it and the spices over
the veal, and let the veal stand in this pickle for at least twenty-four hours; it may then be used cold for luncheon or supper.
Chop four pounds of raw veal quite fine; mix with it half a pound of crackers rolled to large crumbs, three raw eggs, two teaspoonfuls of salt, two saltspoonfuls of pepper, and a quarter of a saltspoonful of powdered allspice; if the veal is perfectly lean, add a tablespoonful of butter; put this mixture into a smooth tin mould or pan just large enough to contain it. Set it in a moderate oven, and bake it for two hours. After the veal loaf is cooked, let it cool in the pan, and then turn it out. It is to be sliced, and served cold for luncheon or supper.
Have a large chicken or fowl plucked, singed, wiped with a wet towel, and drawn without breaking the intestines; cut off the head and feet, and divide it in four or five pieces, so that it can be packed closely in a saucepan; cover it with hot water, add a teaspoonful of salt and a level saltspoonful of pepper, cover the saucepan closely, and boil the chicken until the bones can be taken out, always taking care that there is broth enough to prevent burning. After the bones have been removed from the chicken, put it into a tin or earthen mould, or an ordinary dish of suitable size, from which it can be turned when cold; strain the broth, return it to the saucepan, place it over the fire, and dissolve gelatine in it; allow half a small box of gelatine to a quart of broth; soften the gelatine in enough cold water to cover it, while the chicken is being boiled, and then by stirring it with the hot broth for a few moments it will entirely dissolve; season the broth palatably with salt and a very little cayenne, and pour it over the chicken in the mould; as soon
as the chicken is quite cold, it can be turned out of the mould and sliced as desired. Any acid jelly, or spicy pickle, makes a good garnish for jellied chicken. Jellied cranberries are excellent with the chicken.
Pluck and singe a chicken, wipe it with a wet towel, draw it without breaking the intestines, cut it in joints, and boil it until quite tender in just enough water to cover it, with a level tablespoonful of salt, two blades of mace, and a teaspoonful each of whole cloves and peppercorns. When the chicken is tender, remove all the bones, and put the meat loosely in a jar. To enough of the broth to half fill the jar, add an equal quantity of vinegar and all the spice; let this pickle get scalding hot, and then pour it over the chicken. When the pickle is cold, cover the jar. The chicken will be fit to use after six hours.
PEANUTS ROASTED WITH SALT.
This side of Mason and Dixon's line, these favorite nuts are not half well estimated. That a whole dinner--and not a bad one--can be made of them, may not have occurred to the reader who is unfamiliar with the author's peanut menu.
The trial is suggested, of carefully removing the shells and skins, and roasting the nuts like the almonds described in the next recipe. If wine is used with them, it should be sherry or Madeira; or the salted nuts may be eaten with celery, or plain lettuce salad, or with cheese and crackers.
After shelling almonds, pour boiling water upon them, and let them remain in it until the skins begin to loosen, which will be soon. Rub the almonds in a clean towel, to remove
the skins; put the blanched almonds into a pan, with enough butter to prevent burning (very little will suffice), and put the pan into a quick oven. Watch the almonds, and shake the pan frequently, so that they may brown equally. When they are delicately and evenly colored, take them up, let them cool, and then dust a little salt over them, and use them as a relish at luncheon or dinner, or serve them as a course with some fine sherry or Madeira.
WALNUTS AND WINE.
Where nuts and wine are served as a course, the nuts should be fine English walnuts, carefully peeled, and old Madeira should accompany them if possible; that is, this combination is absolutely acceptable. Salt should be on the table for the nuts, or, after they are taken from the shells, they can be dipped in the glass of wine before they are eaten. Other combinations are: filberts and sherry or Madeira; salted almonds and sherry; salted chestnuts--the large French or Italian nuts, either boiled or baked, and peeled--and a good Chianti or a claret; or Girard boiled chestnuts with an Italian wine, Baroli; or hickory-nuts and sherry; or a variety of nuts, with olives and sherry; or paper-shell almonds and sherry. A favorite American combination is nuts, raisins, apples, and cider: this belongs with the old-fashioned American Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner of roast turkey, chicken-pie, sweet-potatoes, steamed squash, oyster or chicken salad, celery, cranberry-jelly, squash, pumpkin, and mince pies, and plum-pudding. A good after-dinner "bite" is the Girard nut sandwich. Filberts might be used for this sandwich. English filberts should be kept in their husks, damp, or packed in salt, so that the kernels will be soft. If the husks look mouldy, put the nuts in a colander, and shake them over the fumes of a little burning sulphur before sending them to the table.
GIRARD BOILED CHESTNUTS.
A most delicious hot relish is made of boiled Italian chestnuts, served with fresh butter. After washing the chestnuts, cut through the stem end of the shells with two cuts, crossing each other, so that the shells can be easily stripped off; tie the nuts in a napkin, and boil them just tender in salted boiling water; then take them up, turn them into a fresh napkin laid in a salad-bowl, and serve the nuts hot, with fresh butter and salt. If served at dinner, a good Bordeaux wine should accompany them, or Baroli.
THE GIRARD NUT SANDWICH.
Use very thin home-made bread, cut free from crust, and lightly buttered. Upon each slice lay the thinnest possible slice of Gruyere cheese; then peel as many fresh walnuts as will cover a slice, lay them upon the cheese, and sprinkle a very little salt over the nuts; lay another thin shaving of cheese on the nuts, and more very thin buttered bread; press the slices of bread close together, to hold the nuts in place, and serve the sandwiches with a fine sherry. This may make an after-dinner relish, or be served with the green salad, dressed with plain French salad-dressing, as a course.
The ordinary American factory cheese is excellent for rarebits, because it grates easily, melts quickly, and blends smoothly with the other ingredients. To make a rarebit, mix the following ingredients in a saucepan, and then stir them over the fire until they are smoothly melted together; meantime prepare two slices of toast, and lay them on a hot dish. When the rarebit is quite smooth, pour it on the toast, and serve it at once. The proper ingredients for a rarebit are: quarter of a pound of cheese grated, two ounces of
butter, two tablespoonfuls of ale, a saltspoonful each of salt and dry mustard, a quarter of a saltspoonful of pepper, and a dust of cayenne.
A very good rarebit is made by substituting for the ale the yolks of two raw eggs, beaten in half a cupful of milk. This rarebit is mixed and cooked like the first, and is very tender and delicate.
A golden buck is a Welsh rarebit with a poached egg laid on it.
A Yorkshire rarebit is a golden buck with a slice of fried or broiled bacon laid upon the poached egg.
All the rarebits may be made at the table in a chafing-dish, if the cheese is grated and the toast prepared in the kitchen. The more quickly they are eaten after they are cooked, the better they are.
CHEESE STRAWS AND CRUSTS.
Cheese crusts and cheese straws make an acceptable accompaniment for any green salad, or for celery. To prepare cheese straws, sift six ounces of flour on the pastry-board, make a hole in the centre, into which put the yolk of a raw egg or two tablespoonfuls of cream, three heaping tablespoonfuls of any dry rich cheese, grated, an equal quantity of butter, half a level teaspoonful of salt, quarter of a saltspoonful of white pepper, a dust of cayenne, and a very little grated nutmeg. Mix these ingredients with the tips of the fingers to a smooth paste, which can be rolled out an eighth of an inch thick. If the cream and butter do not furnish moisture enough to form the paste, add a very little cold milk or water. When the paste is rolled out, cut it in small strips about six inches long, with a sharp knife or with the pastry-wheel; lay the strips or
straws on a buttered baking-pan, in straight rows, a little apart, and set the pan in a moderate oven; the straws will cook within a few minutes, and must be watched carefully, because, if they are allowed to brown, their flavor will be spoiled; they need to bake only long enough to slightly harden them, but not to become at all brown. When they are done, let them cool on the pan, and then transfer them to the dish on which they are to be served, taking care to lift them by slipping under them the flexible blade of a long; thin knife, for they are very brittle.
Cheese crusts are small slices of bread covered with grated cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned in a hot oven.
Grate half a pound of any dry, rich cheese. Butter a dozen small paper cases, or little boxes of stiff writing-paper, like those shown farther on in the picture of soufflé cases. Put over the fire a thick saucepan containing a gill of water; add two tablespoonfuls of butter, and, when the water boils, stir in one heaping tablespoonful of flour, and beat the mixture until it cleaves away from the sides of the saucepan; then stir in the grated cheese; remove the paste thus made from the fire, and let it partly cool; meantime separate the yolks from the whites of three eggs, and beat them until the yolks foam and the whites make a stiff froth; then first stir the yolks with the paste, and next lightly mix in the whites; put the mixture at once into the buttered paper cases, filling them only half full, as they rise very high while being baked; and bake them in a moderate oven for about fifteen minutes: as soon as the puffs are done, put the cases on a hot dish covered with a folded napkin, and serve them very hot. Served with celery they will make a course at a regular dinner, after the game; or they may replace a sweet dessert at a plain dinner.
Grate two pounds of old cheese: pound it in a mortar to a smooth paste with a quarter of a pound of butter, a saltspoonful of powdered mace, a teaspoonful of salt, and a glass of sherry; pack the cheese in earthen jars, cover it with clarified butter,--which is butter melted at a gentle heat, and poured carefully away from the sediment,--and keep it in a cool place.
Easter morning would be incomplete, for the children at least, without the brightly colored eggs typical of the day. There are many ways of coloring the eggs, the easiest being the boiling of them with various colored dyes sold in small packages at the chemists'. An old-fashioned method was to tie each egg in a piece of figured chintz or calico, which would leave its imprint on the egg after it was exposed to the action of boiling water. Another good way to produce a variegated reddish-purple color was to boil with the eggs the skins of red onions. To color the eggs with original designs, a provincial method was to trace figures upon the shells of raw eggs with a bit of hard tallow candle, thus covering the part of the shell which was desired white, and then to put the eggs in boiling dye-water. Sometimes the eggs are entirely dyed, and then designs are engraved upon them with a sharp knife or a strong trussing or darning needle. When the prepared dye-stuffs are not available, varied colors may be produced by using the following-named chemicals, boiling a small quantity with the eggs: Red, Brazil wood; yellow, Persian berries, or a very little tumeric; brown, a strong dye of tumeric; claret color, logwood; black, logwood and chromate of potash; blue, a mixture of powdered indigo, crystals of sulphate of iron,
and a little dry slacked lime. The eggs should always be boiled for ten minutes at least.
Put half a dozen eggs over the fire in cold water, let the water heat, and boil the eggs for ten minutes after the water begins to boil; then put them for a moment into a bowl of cold water so that they can be handled; break the shell in every direction by tapping the eggs upon the table, and then peel it off.
TURKEY, GEESE, AND DUCK EGGS.
Put the eggs into a bowl filled with boiling water for five minutes, keeping the bowl covered tight and in a hot place; then pour off the first water, replace it with more boiling water, and let them stand for five minutes longer; serve them like ordinary boiled eggs; or, actually boil the eggs for five minutes: either of these methods will cook the eggs medium hard. From ten to fifteen minutes boiling will cook the eggs hard, according to their size. Duck eggs will cook in less time than turkey or goose eggs.
Break in separate cups as many eggs as are required to cover the bottom of a shallow dish the size of the steamer. Butter the dish, slip the eggs on it; put a small bit of butter and a little salt and pepper on each, and set the dish in the steamer for three minutes or longer, until the eggs are cooked to the required degree. A colander set over a kettle of boiling water will serve for steaming the eggs if it can be closely covered.
Make as many small slices of toast as there are eggs, lay them on a platter, butter them, and on each one put an
egg, first broken into a cup; set the dish before the fire where the heat will strike the eggs, and let them cook to the required degree; when the eggs are done, squeeze over them the juice of a sour orange, season them lightly with salt and cayenne, and serve them hot.
This form of cooking eggs is a modification of baking them. Small earthen dishes are used, each one holding an egg; the dishes are buttered, an egg put into each one without mixing the white and yolk, and a little salt and pepper dusted over the eggs; the dishes are then placed upon the back of the stove, or in a moderate oven, until the whites of the eggs are set; the dishes are then sent to the table, and the eggs eaten from them. When the eggs are cooked in the oven, they should be covered with a buttered paper to prevent the browning of the surface.
POACHED EGGS WITH HAM.
Have ready about a quarter of a pound of cold boiled ham, in one piece, trimmed free from fat; make a dish of very delicate buttered toast; break half a dozen eggs into separate cups, without breaking the yolks; put over the fire a frying-pan half full of boiling salted water, add half a cupful of vinegar to it, slip the eggs gently into it without breaking them, and cook them to the required degree; while the eggs are being cooked, grate the ham; when the eggs are done, take them up on a skimmer, slip each one on a slice of toast, lay a tablespoonful of grated ham on each egg, and serve them at once.
Plain poached eggs are served on toast without the addition of the grated ham.
Eggs poached in gravy are very good.
FRIZZLED BEEF AND EGGS.
Put a quarter of a pound of sliced dried beef in a frying-pan over the fire, with milk or water enough to cover it, and let it cook slowly for five minutes; then pour off the liquid, and add in its place a tablespoonful of butter and six raw eggs; stir the beef and eggs together over the fire, season them palatably with salt and pepper, and serve them as soon as they are cooked to the desired degree.
Usually ham is fried as an accompaniment for eggs, the eggs being cooked in the pan after the ham is done; but eggs can be fried in drippings, lard, or butter. Have ready in the frying-pan enough fat to half cover the eggs; break the eggs in separate cups or saucers, and slip them into the hot fat; if the eggs are to be cooked hard, either dip the hot fat up over them with a spoon, or turn them entirely over in it without breaking the yolks; when the eggs are cooked to the desired degree, dust over them a little pepper and salt, and serve them.
This is a favorite dish for luncheons or breakfasts. The eggs are broken into a frying-pan containing about a teaspoonful of butter for each egg, and a palatable seasoning of salt and pepper; the eggs are then stirred over the fire until they are done to the desired degree, and then served hot. The eggs may be scrambled at the table, in a chafing-dish.