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And Then Potatoes, Grains,and Pasta

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press PDF

278

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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QUICK BREADS

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82

The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

QUICK BREADS

[All-purpose flour should be used in all these quick bread recipes except crêpes. See page xiii for further information.—Editor]

Reader’s Request

POPOVERS

10 to 12

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

⅞ cup milk [1 cup less 2 tablespoons]

1 tablespoon melted butter

[Preheat oven to 450°.] Heavily butter muffin tins or custard cups and put in the oven to get hot. Mix the flour and salt. Beat eggs until light, add milk and butter and add slowly to the flour. Stir until well blended. Beat 2 minutes with rotary beater if by hand, or 1 minute with an electric beater. Fill the cups one-third full. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º and bake 15 minutes more. Don’t peek!

Serve hot with marmalade.

A standard muffin recipe serves the same purpose as your basic roll or biscuit recipes.

STANDARD MUFFIN RECIPE

12 medium or 24 minis

2 cups sifted flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup milk

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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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Cheese and Eggs

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236

The Best From Helen Corbitt’s Kitchens

SWISS CHEESE SOUFFLÉ

For 8 to 10

[If you plan to serve this with Oriental Chicken [page 134], use American (Cheddar) cheese rather than Swiss and add ¼ teaspoon of White

Wine Worcestershire sauce.]

½ cup butter

6 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

2 cups grated Swiss cheese

8 eggs, separated [at room temperature]

1½ teaspoons dry mustard or 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Parmesan cheese (may be omitted)

[Preheat oven to 350°.] Melt the butter, add the flour and cook slowly until mixture foams. Do not brown. [Gradually] add the milk, [stirring constantly], and bring to a boil; use low heat to ensure the flour and milk being thoroughly cooked. The sauce should be smooth and thick. Remove from heat. Add the [Swiss] cheese and stir until blended. Cool slightly. Beat the egg yolks and add to the mixture.

Add the mustard, cayenne and salt. Let mixture cool until you can place your hand on the bottom of the container without feeling any heat. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. (Tip the bowl and if the whites do not slide out, they are ready.) Stir gently about one third of the egg whites into the mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites until well distributed. Pour into a 2 ½- or 3-quart buttered soufflé dish sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese or into two 1½quart ones. Bake for 30 minutes if you are going to eat at once, or place in a pan of hot water and bake 1 hour, and it will hold awhile.

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Vegetables and Cooked Fruits

Patty Vineyard MacDonald University of North Texas Press ePub

Vegetables and Cooked Fruits

One could spend a lifetime expounding on the vegetable kingdom. Personally, I like to cook vegetables just underdone; the “dressing up” that follows finishes the cooking. I find vegetables take on a blissful state if they are made “interesting.” These recipes are my most popular and flavorsome attention-getters, especially with the male half of the hungry horde.

Just a foreword: In selecting your fresh vegetables you should look for, first, clean vegetables, free from decay or bruised spots. Generally speaking, depend on your eyes rather than your fingers in judging vegetables. After you get them home, wash well, pare or shell, as the case may be, but never soak in water as vitamins and minerals will be lost.

Somewhere back in the days of the early Romans, recipe books advised cooks to add a dash of soda to green vegetables to keep them green, and unfortunately some people still think it necessary. It detracts from the flavor, changes the texture, and goodness knows what happens to the vitamins. Generally speaking, again, vegetables cooked in a small amount of water uncovered, turn out better, both in looks and taste—so don’t make vegetable cooking complicated.

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