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Soups and Stews

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The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

CHICKEN BROTH À LA ZODIAC

A demitasse cup of this flavorful steaming broth was served to every diner in the Zodiac Room. It put the customers in the right frame of mind and quickly became our trademark. The broth was prepared when we simmered hens as a first step to other preparations.

[“Another Corbitt item was her absolute insistence that every lunch or dinner begin with a cup of steaming hot chicken broth, and woe to the person who did not relish and consume his chicken soup. Such a person absolutely did not belong in the Zodiac level of society.”

—Evelyn Oppenheimer, an old friend of Corbitt’s and, as a great supporter of letters, one for whom the University of North Texas

Press’ book series is named. She was delighted to learn that Corbitt’s book would be the first book in the Evelyn Oppenheimer Series.]

[For complete directions, see page 128; proceed to the point where you remove the chicken, strain the broth and serve.—Editor]

For a clearer broth, break two eggs into the pot of broth. Bring to a fast boil. Set aside until eggs float to the top. Strain through a fine sieve or through cheese cloth.

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And Then Potatoes, Grains,and Pasta

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The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

Reader’s Request

Hashed browned potatoes have always been a gastronomical delight for the man who eats away from home, because most housewives do not include them in their menu planning. . . . These potatoes were so popular at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, that I would be introduced as “The Hashed Browned Potatoes with Sour Cream Girl.”

HASHED BROWNED POTATOES

For 6

6 baked potatoes (bake at least the day before and refrigerate)

2 tablespoons soft vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons melted butter

¼ cup sour cream

Peel and grate the cold baked potatoes on the coarse side of a 4-sided grater. . . . Heat the shortening in a heavy griddle or frying pan.

Sprinkle potatoes lightly over the entire surface. Do not pack down.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the melted butter. Cook over low heat until brown underneath and loose from the pan. You can lift up the edge to see if they are ready without stirring them. When browned, turn once and cook until the second side is brown. Stack in layers on a hot serving dish with warmed sour cream spread between them. [“Mr. Stanley” Marcus is a fan of these special spuds.—Editor]

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Fish and Seafood

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Fish and Seafood

199

Fish and Seafood

I like fish. But when I suggest fish to housewives as a way to add variety to their menus, I usually am met with “I hate fish!” The Dutch theologian, Erasmus, said of fish on Fridays, “My heart is Catholic; my stomach is Lutheran.”

Delectable fish dishes can be served from the . . . kitchen—if the desire is great enough. But fish should be treated with respect; never overcooked, and always eaten when ready. It is not a “keep hot in the oven” dish.

And they say it is good food for thinking! Anyhow, catch (or buy) it and cook it; don’t keep it. Quick-frozen fish has the original flavor but as soon as it comes into the kitchen, cook it.

In buying fish, allow from ½ to ¾ pound per serving with the bone in—or ¼ pound boned. Wash it well inside and out and wipe dry.

When buying a whole fish in the market, be sure the fish looks you in the eye with a healthy stare. You cannot tell about one that has been skinned and boned, so smell it and cook as soon as possible after you buy or catch, or freeze it. Don’t overcook.

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Cakes and Icings

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Cakes and Icings

333

When Neiman Marcus had its Irish Fortnight I had this cake served at the opening ball. It met with raves and still does every time it is served.

. . . Being allergic to alcohol, I sometimes serve the cake with ice cream and hot Fudge Sauce [page 315] instead—and it is almost as welcome.

Not quite!

IRISH COFFEE LIQUEUR CHOCOLATE CAKE

¾ cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa, sifted

4 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons cold water

½ cup cold coffee

½ cup Irish Coffee Liqueur [or Kahlua]

1¾ cups thrice sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

[Preheat oven to 325º.] Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa and beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Dissolve baking soda in water, and combine with coffee and liqueur. Add to the batter alternately beginning with the flour. Add vanilla. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Turn into a greased and lightly floured 9-inch bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes.

GLAZE

1 cup Irish Coffee Liqueur

1 cup powdered sugar

Turn cake out onto a plate while still warm and prick or pierce all over with a skewer. Combine liqueur and sugar and spoon this glaze mixture all over cake until it is completely soaked. Cover with foil and store in refrigerator.

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Poultry and Stuffings

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The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

To cook a chicken (or turkey) to use either for fricasseeing or for salads, creaming, and such, you must remember to cook at low heat. A good rule to follow for:

SIMMERING A CHICKEN

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

4½- to 5-pound fowl, whole or cut up quart hot water piece celery slice of onion sprig of parsley whole carrot tablespoon salt

Clean the fowl and place in a kettle; add the hot water and other ingredients, bring to boiling point, cover tightly and let simmer over low heat until tender, about 1 ½ to 2½ hours, depending on the age of the fowl. Anyhow, cook it until it is tender, and all the time at low heat; turning up the gas won’t help. Let the meat of the chicken cool in the liquid. And when you remove the bird, use the stock left (you should have at least 2 cups) for Fricassee or for soup.

Fricassee Sauce for chicken is so easy; why do so many people try to make it difficult?

FRICASSEE SAUCE

For 4

3 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup cream (you may omit and use ½ cup more of the chicken stock)

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