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Fish and Seafood

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

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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BEEF

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

Beef

155

BEEF

Previously Unpublished

[After you’ve cut beef tournedos or filet mignons from the larger part of a beef tender, what can you do with the smaller end?] At the Zodiac

Room this dish was prepared and served in individual small sauté pans.

HELEN CORBITT’S BEEF GRENADINS

For 4

Cut 1 pound of 1-inch cubes from the small end of a beef tenderloin and flatten each with the heel of your hand.

½ cup flour

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon butter

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ cup brandy

1 cup heavy cream

Lightly dredge the meat in a mixture of flour and paprika. Melt butter in a sauté pan and quickly sear the meat. Remove the grenadins to a warm platter and sprinkle with salt. Add brandy to the skillet, allowing it to warm, and then light it to burn off the raw alcohol taste.

Scrape the browned bits from the bottom and sides of the pan as you add the cream. Continue cooking over medium heat until it reduces to a rich smooth sauce, but do not boil. Return the grenadins to the sauce to reheat for a moment and serve with boiled noodles or rice.

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Dessert Sauces

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press ePub

Dessert Sauces

I like my grandmother’s hard sauce recipe the best, and break the rule of never serving two sauces for the same dish at one time. Rum Sauce hot and Hard Sauce cold over plum pudding is a delectable experience.

Reader’s Request

LEMON HARD SAUCE

1 cup

1/2 cup butter

1 cup granulated or 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Cream butter, beat in sugar and flavorings.

HARD SAUCE

1 cup

1/4 cup butter

1 cup fine granulated sugar

2 tablespoons brandy

A few grains of nutmeg

Cream butter in electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating continually. Add brandy and continue beating until light. Remove to a glass bowl or jar, sprinkle with nutmeg, and keep in a cool place for several hours before serving. Serve on hot puddings and pies.

SAUCE LAWRENCE

1-1/4 cups

1 cup Fudge Sauce [next page]

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Appetizers

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

Appetizers

21

Appetizers

The cocktail party has become the American way of turning everyone into a “Blithe Spirit.” How we do it depends entirely on the host—or hostess. Informality is its purpose, as munching on such oddments before or in place of a meal should keep conversation on the lighter and brighter things of the day.

Where to serve? Anywhere—the living room, the back porch, the kitchen; anywhere your guests or family choose to light.

If you are interested in its family tree, go to the Russian Zakouska.

Being a hearty race, before dinner the Russians gather around a sideboard in a room adjoining the dining room and partake of all kinds of special pastries, smoked fish and such, with much conversation and strong drink. The French Hors d’oeuvre, the Scandinavian

Smörgåsbord, the Italian Antipasto, all are offshoots of the Zakouska.

. . . I like to keep [the cocktail tidbit] as uncomplicated in flavor as possible, freshly made, cold and crisp—or hot—as the case may be. . . .

These few ideas, I think, will answer for all kinds of tastes, for the hostess who has time, or not much time; an unlimited budget, or just a few spare dimes. I think you should let guests pile as high and wide as they like, so very few of these ideas are to be spread on silly little squares of this and that by the hostess beforehand.

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This and That

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press ePub

This and That

There are always snippets of information left over at the end of every project of this size. Corbitt combined these and placed them at the backs of all but her last cookbook. It proved popular with earlier readers, so I am availing myself of the same opportunity. In an effort to make your hours in the kitchen more effective, here are hints my mother and friends, fine cooks all, have passed along to me. I’ve added a few of my own picked up during a gastronomically satisfying half-century spent in my own kitchens.—Editor

If you don’t own a rolling pin, use a chilled cylindrical bottle of wine to roll pastry.

Something always needs to be grated: chilled citrus fruit is easier to grate. The extra flavor of freshly grated nutmeg and Parmesan cheese make it worth your effort. Either can be grated easily in a hand-held Zyliss or on a Japanese fresh ginger grater. Hard cheeses are easier to grate when they’re at room temperature.

Cream cheese is always worked at room temperature.

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