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- Simple Italian Cookery - 5/10 -
Take one tablespoon of flour, and one tablespoon of butter. Put them into a saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until they have become a golden-brown color. Then add, a little at a time, one pint of milk; stir constantly until the sauce is as thick as custard, and is white in color. If it grows too thick, a little more milk may be added; or if it is too thin, a tiny lump of butter rolled in flour will thicken it.
Now take the cold Indian meal and cut it into squares about two inches across. Take a baking-dish of medium depth, butter well, then put in a layer of squares of Indian meal close together, to entirely cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle over it grated cheese; then pour on the top enough meat sauce to cover the layer (about two tablespoons), then on the top of this add a layer of Bechamel sauce. Then put another layer of the squares of Indian meal, sprinkle with grated cheese as before, add meat sauce, then Bechamel sauce, and continue in this way until the baking-dish is full, having for the top layer the Bechamel sauce. Put the dish into a moderate oven, and bake until it is a golden brown on top.
POLENTA CAKE (_Migliaccio di Farina Gialla_)
2 cups of coarse Indian meal 1/2 cup of raisins 1/2 teaspoon of salt 3 teaspoons of sugar (granulated) 3 tablespoons of lard
Mix the salt, sugar, and raisins with the Indian meal in a bowl, then pour in boiling water, a little at a time, and stir well with a wooden spoon until you have a stiff paste and no dry meal remains sticking to the bottom of the bowl.
Then take a cake-tin and grease it well with one-half of the lard. Then turn out the Indian meal into the pan, and even it out with the wooden spoon. Spread on the top of this the rest of the lard, softened slightly so as you can spread it easily. Cook in a slow oven until a golden brown. Serve hot.
GNOCCHI OF FARINA (_Gnocchi di Semolina_)
1 pint of milk 1 egg 1/2 cup of farina Butter and cheese
Put the milk on, and when it boils add salt. Take a wooden spoon and, stirring constantly, add the farina little by little. Cook for ten minutes, stirring constantly. Take off the fire and break into the farina one egg; mix very quickly, so that the egg will not have time to set. Spread the farina onto the breadboard about the height of a finger. Allow it to cool, then cut it into squares or diamonds about two or three inches across. Butter well a baking-dish, and put in the bottom a layer of the squares of farina; sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan cheese (or Gruyere), and put here and there a small dab of butter. Then put in another layer of the squares of farina; add cheese and butter as before. Continue in this way until your baking-dish is full, having on the top layer butter and cheese.
Bake in a hot oven until a brown crust forms. Serve in the baking-dish.
GNOCCHI OF POTATO
Take six medium-sized potatoes and put them on to boil in their skins. When they are done, peel them and pass them through a fine colander. Add a little salt. Take one cup of flour, and mix on the bread-board with the potatoes until they form a paste. Roll this paste with the hands into a sausage about the thickness of three fingers. Cut this roll across into pieces about an inch long. Press these pieces lightly with the finger or the handle of the knife, so they will take little cup-shaped forms. Leave these to one side, and put two quarts of salted water on to boil. When it boils add the gnocchi a few at a time, until all are in the water. When the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, take them out with the skimmer. Put them into a platter a few at a time, adding each time gravy and cheese, and covering them well. Put a layer of grated cheese sprinkled on top. Serve with meat, or as a first course.
GNOCCHI OF MILK--A DESSERT
1 cup of milk 1 level tablespoon of powdered starch 2 or 3 drops of vanilla extract 2 yolks of eggs 2 tablespoons of sugar
Put all these ingredients together into a saucepan and mix together with a wooden spoon for a few moments. Then put onto the back of the stove where it is not too hot, and cook until the mixture has become stiff. Cook a few moments longer, stirring always; then turn out onto a bread-board and spread to a thickness of a finger and a half. When
cold, cut into diamonds or squares the width of two fingers. Butter a baking-dish, and put the squares into it overlapping each other. Add a few dabs of butter here and there. Put another layer of the squares in the dish, more dabs of butter, and so on until the dish is full. Brown in the oven.
ROUX FOR SAUCES
Roux is necessary to thicken and give body to sauces. Put one tablespoon of flour and one of butter into a saucepan and cook until the flour has lost any raw taste. Then put the saucepan on the back of the stove and add slowly the stock or milk, one cup for every tablespoon of butter or flour, and stir until smooth. For white sauces take care the flour does not color; for dark sauces let it brown, but take care it does not burn.
AGRO DOLCE SAUCE
Take two tablespoons of sugar (brown or white), one-half a cup of currants, a quarter of a bar of grated chocolate, one tablespoon of chopped candied orange, one of lemon-peel, one of capers, and one cup of vinegar. Mix well together and let soak for two hours; pour it over venison or veal, and simmer for ten minutes.
BECHAMEL SAUCE NO. 1
Put two ounces of butter and two tablespoons of flour into a saucepan and stir for five minutes. Pour one and one-half pints of boiling milk gradually in, beating well with a whisk. Add some nutmeg, a few peppercorns, a pinch of salt, and some chopped mushrooms. Cook for one-quarter of an hour, and rub through a fine sieve.
BECHAMEL SAUCE NO. 2
Mix three tablespoons of butter and three of flour to a smooth paste, put some peppercorns, one-half an onion, one-half a carrot sliced, a small piece of mace, two teacups of white stock, a pinch of salt and of grated nutmeg, in a stew-pan; simmer for one-half an hour, stirring often, then add one teacup of cream; boil at once, and strain and serve.
TOMATO SAUCE NO. 1
Take ten fresh tomatoes, remove the skins, cut them up; put them into a saucepan and boil them until soft. Then pass them through a sieve. Put their juice into a saucepan with one heaping tablespoon of butter or one-half tablespoon of good lard, salt and pepper, and boil again, adding water if the sauce becomes too thick. This sauce can be kept in a bottle for several days. It can be used for macaroni, etc., in place of the tomato paste.
TOMATO SAUCE NO. 2
Mince one-quarter of an onion, one-half a stalk of celery, a few leaves of sweet basil, and a bunch of parsley up fine. Add one-half cup of olive-oil, a pinch of salt and one of pepper, and cut eight or nine tomatoes into slices. Boil until the sauce is as thick as cream, stirring occasionally, then strain through a sieve and serve.
TOMATO SAUCE NO. 3
Take four pounds of tomatoes, cut them in two, and put them into a two-quart saucepan with two wine-glasses of water, two saltspoons of salt, one of pepper, cover the saucepan, and boil for forty minutes, stirring often to prevent burning; then strain. Make a roux in another saucepan with one ounce of butter and three-quarters of an ounce of flour. Cook for three minutes, mixing well. Take roux off the fire, and pour the tomatoes into it a little at a time, stirring to keep it smooth. Add two wineglasses of stock, put on the fire, and cook for twenty minutes, stirring all the time.
Take eight ounces of butter, one tablespoon of salt, one of pepper, and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon over the fire until the butter is half melted, then take it off and continue to stir until it is quite liquid. By taking the butter off the stove before it is all melted it will have a pleasant taste of fresh cream; this is all lost otherwise.
Put two tumblers of white roux and one of chicken jelly into a saucepan, reduce, and add three yolks of eggs mixed with two ounces of butter and the juice of one-half lemon. Before it boils take the saucepan off the fire, and add one tumbler of thick tomato sauce (see
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