Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweet French Salad Dressing

Mix well a scant teaspoonful of granulated sugar, the same of dry mustard, half a teaspoonful salt, as much black pepper and paprika mixed, put in the bottom of a deep small bowl, and stir for two minutes. Wet with claret vinegar, adding it gradually, and stirring smooth. Make as thick as cream. Add twenty drops tabasco, twenty drops onion juice, the strained juice of half a lemon, and half a teaspoonful of brandy, rum or whiskey. Mix well, then add, tablespoonful at a time, a gill of salad oil, stirring hard between spoonfuls. Put in more vinegar, more oil—the seasoning suffices for half a pint of dressing. Stir till it thickens—it should be like an emulsion when poured upon the salad.

Keep on ice. The oil and vinegar will separate, but the dressing can be brought back by stirring hard.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", 1913

Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple French Soup

2 carrots
1 turnip
1 leek
1 stick celery
1/2 cabbage
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
6 peppercorns
3 quarts water

Scrape and cut up carrots and turnip. Slice the leek, and cut celery into dice. Shred the cabbage. Put into the jar with the water, and place in a moderate oven, or on the top of a closed range. If it is necessary to use a gas ring, turn very low and stand jar on an heat-resistant pad. Bring to the boil slowly and then simmer for 2-1/2 hours.

From "The Healthy Life Cook Book", 2d ed., by Florence Daniel, 1915.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The French Way of Cooking Cabbage

Chop cold boiled white cabbage and let it drain till perfectly dry: stir in some melted butter to taste; pepper, salt and four tablespoonfuls of cream; after it is heated through add two well-beaten eggs; then turn the mixture into a buttered frying pan, stirring until it is very hot and becomes a delicate brown on the under side.

Place a hot dish over the pan, which must be reversed when turned out to be served.

From "The Whitehouse Cookbook", 1887, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette

Monday, July 27, 2009

French Oil-Vinegar Salad Dressing

One tablespoon of vinegar; three tablespoons of olive oil; one saltspoon (1/4 teaspoon) of pepper, and one saltspoon (1/4 teaspoon) of salt. (This is half a spoon too much pepper for Americans.) Add a trifle of onion, scraped fine, or rubbed on the salad bowl, if it is desired at all. Pour the oil, mixed with the pepper and salt, over the salad; mix them well together; then add the vinegar, and mix again. Serve on a leaf of crisp lettuce.

From "Favorite Dishes", by Carrie V. Shuman, 1893

Monday, June 22, 2009

French Prune Soufflé.

Cook 1/2 pound of prunes until soft; remove the stones and cut the prunes into small pieces. Mix with some chopped nuts and the yolks of 3 eggs well beaten with 3 tablespoonfuls of pulverized sugar. Add 1 teaspoonful of vanilla and the whites of the eggs beaten stiff. Put in a pudding-dish and bake in a moderate oven for ten minutes and serve.

From "365 Foreign Dishes, A Foreign Dish for every day in the year", 1908

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Orleans Bouillabaisse

While time endures New Orleans will plume itself upon this dish which drew from Thackeray a world-famous tribute. "In New Orleans you can eat a Bouillabaisse, the like of which was never eaten in Marseilles or Paris." Which is much, very much, from the laureate of Bouillabaisse, as native to Marseilles. The reason of superiority is not far to seek—it lies in the excellence and flavor of the fish native to the Gulf of Mexico. Lacking Pompano, Red Snapper, and Redfish, even Milly could not quite do her knowledge justice. But she made shift with what the market offered, choosing generally halibut, with fresh cod, or bluefish, or sea trout. Two kinds of fish in equal quantity are imperative. The better, finer and firmer the fish, the better the Bouillabaisse.

Cut each sort in six equal slices, saving trimmings, heads, etc. Boil them in three pints of water, with a sliced onion, and a bouquet of herbs, until reduced to one pint. Remove fish-heads and herbs, then strain the stock, and set aside until needed. Meantime rub the fish over very well with salt and pepper, then with a mixture made by mincing very fine three bay leaves, three sprigs each of thyme and parsley, three cloves of garlic, and six allspice pounded to powder. Rub the mixture in well and thoroughly—here is the key to success. The seasoning must go through and through the fish.

Put into a very wide pan, two tablespoonfuls of olive oil, heat it gently, add two mild onions, chopped and let them cook a little without browning. Now lay in the fish, slice by slice, so one slice does not touch another, cover the pan, and let the slices smother for about ten minutes, turning them once, so as to cook each side partly. Take up, lay separately in a large dish, pour half a bottle of white wine into the pan, and stir hard. Add six large, fresh tomatoes, sliced very thin, let boil a few minutes, then half a lemon, also in very thin slices, and a pint of the fish stock strained. Season well, with salt, pepper, and Cayenne—here the palate is guide. Boil all together until reduced almost one half, then lay in the fish slices, taking care they do not touch, and boil briskly for five minutes. While the boiling goes on, chop fine a pinch of saffron, put it in a small, deep dish, and mix smooth with a spoonful of the boiling liquor. Dissolve the saffron very well, and when the fish has cooked its allotted five minutes, spread the saffron on top of the fish.

Fry in butter as many slices of toast as you have slices of fish—lay the fish on the toast, pour the sauce over it, and serve immediately, very hot.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", by Martha McCulloch Williams, 1913.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Potatoes au Cochon

Slice two hot, meaty potatoes; cut the slices into squares; put them in a saucepan, and add scalded cream enough to cover them, salt, and white pepper. Cut into very small pieces half an ounce of fat, boiled, salt pork; add a tablespoonful to the potato; simmer until thoroughly blended together; pour the contents of the dish into a small au gratin dish (or vegetable baker); grate a little Parmesan cheese over it; add a small bit of butter; place in the oven a moment to brown, and serve in the same dish.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Veal Cutlets

French cooks cut them thinner than the English, and trim them into rounds of the size of a tea-cup; they must be brushed over with egg, and sprinkled with salt, white pepper, mushroom powder, and grated lemon peel; put them into a _sauté_ pan and fry of a very light brown; pieces of bread, smoked meat or tongue cut of the same size as the cutlets, and prepared in the same manner, are laid alternately in the dish with them; they should be served without sauce and with a _purée_ of mushrooms or spinach in the centre of the dish.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Stewed Carrots

Take 2 bunches French carrots, clean and trim; put in a saucepan with salt, pepper, 1 teacup of water, 2 tablespoons of butter, 8 lumps of sugar, cover and boil for half an hour. Then remove the lid and place where they will simmer slowly till all the water has cooked away, leaving nothing but the butter.

Editor's note: These are great!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eggs a la Paysanne

6 eggs
1/2 cupful of cream
2 tablespoonfuls of grated onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoonful of salt
1 saltspoonful of pepper

Add the onion and the garlic, mashed, to the cream; pour it in the bottom of a baking dish, break on top the eggs, dust with salt and pepper, stand the baking dish in a pan of water and cook in the oven until the eggs are "set." Serve in the dish in which they are cooked.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sauce Perigueux

4 tablespoonfuls of butter
1/2 pint of stock
1 glass of white wine
1/2 teaspoonful of salt
2 tablespoonfuls of flour
1 bay leaf
2 chopped truffles
1 saltspoonful of pepper
1 teaspoonful of kitchen bouquet

Chop the truffles and put them with the bay leaf and wine in a saucepan on the back of the stove. Rub half the butter and flour together, add the stock, stir until boiling and add one teaspoonful of kitchen bouquet, the salt and pepper, and then the truffles; cook ten minutes, add the remaining quantity of butter and use at once.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Clam Soup, French Style

Mince two dozen hard shell clams very fine. Fry half a minced onion in an ounce of butter; add to it a pint of hot water, a pinch of mace, four cloves, one allspice and six whole pepper corns. Boil fifteen minutes and strain into a saucepan; add the chopped clams and a pint of clam-juice or hot water; simmer slowly two hours; strain and rub the pulp through a sieve into the liquid. Return it to the saucepan and keep it lukewarm. Boil three half-pints of milk in a saucepan (previously wet with cold water, which prevents burning) and whisk it into the soup. Dissolve a teaspoonful of flour in cold milk, add it to the soup, taste for seasoning; heat it gently to near the boiling point; pour into a tureen previously heated with hot water, and serve with or without pieces of fried bread—called croutons in kitchen French.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sauce Bearnaise

Reduce a gallon of strong, clear soup to a quart by constant boiling. Beat up the yolks of four eggs; pour them into a buttered saucepan, and add gradually—whisking all the time—the reduced soup, a tablespoonful of strong garlic vinegar (or, if preferred, plain vinegar, and the expressed juice of garlic or shallots), pepper, salt, and a little lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon.

Care must be exercised not to add the soup while hot to the eggs, or it will curdle, and yet do not add it cold.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cafe Parfait

Coffee used to flavor parfait makes a dessert that appeals to many. When hot coffee is not included in the meal on a warm day, this beverage need not be omitted altogether, for it may be used to flavor the dessert.

(Sufficient to Serve Six)

* 1/4 c. ground coffee
* 1 c. milk
* 1 c. sugar
* 3 c. thin cream
* 3 eggs
* 1 c. heavy cream

Scald the coffee and milk together for about 20 minutes, strain, and add the sugar and thin cream. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Beat the eggs and add them to the warm mixture. Cook together until the eggs have thickened and then cool. Whip the heavy cream, fold this into the custard, and freeze. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

French Words in Cooking

Aspic:—Savory jelly for cold dishes.
Au gratin:—Dishes prepared with sauce and crumbs and baked.
Bouchées:—Very thin patties or cakes, as name indicates—mouthfuls.
Baba:—A peculiar, sweet French yeast cake.
Bechamel:—A rich, white sauce made with stock.
Bisque:—A white soup made of shell fish.
To Blanch:—To place any article on the fire till it boils, then plunge it in cold water; to whiten poultry, vegetables, etc. To remove the skin by immersing in boiling water.
Bouillon:—A clear soup, stronger than broth, yet not so strong as consommé, which is "reduced" soup.
Braisé:—Meat cooked in a closely covered stewpan, so that it retains its own flavor and those of the vegetables and flavorings put with it.
Brioche:—A very rich, unsweetened French cake made with yeast.
Cannelon:—Stuffed rolled-up meat.
Consommé:—Clear soup or bouillon boiled down till very rich, i.e. consumed.
Croquettes:—A savory mince of fish or fowl, made with sauce into shapes, and fried.
Croustades:—Fried forms of bread to serve minces or other meats upon.
Entrée:—A small dish, usually served between the courses at dinner.
Fondue:—A light preparation of melted cheese.
Fondant:—Sugar boiled and beaten to a creamy paste.
Hollandaise Sauce:—A rich sauce, something like hot mayonnaise.
Matelote:—A rich fish stew, with wine.
Mayonnaise:—A rich salad dressing.
Meringue:—Sugar and white of egg beaten to sauce.
Marmade:—A liquor of spices, vinegar, etc., in which fish or meats are steeped before cooking.
Miroton:—Cold meat warmed in various ways, and dished in circular form.
Purse:—This name is given to very thick soups, the ingredients for thickening which have been rubbed through a sieve.
Poulette Sauce:—A bechamel sauce, to which white wine and sometimes eggs are added.
Ragout:—A rich, brown stew, with mushrooms, vegetables, etc.
Piquante:—A sauce of several flavors, acid predominating.
Quenelles:—Forcemeat with bread, yolks of eggs highly seasoned, and formed with a spoon to an oval shape; then poached and used either as a dish by themselves, or to garnish.
Remoulade:—A salad dressing differing from mayonnaise, in that the eggs are hard boiled and rubbed in a mortar with mustard, herbs, etc.
Rissole:—Rich mince of meat or fish rolled in thin pastry and fried.
Roux:—A cooked mixture of butter and flour, for thickening soups and stews.
Salmi:—A rich stew of game, cut up and dressed, when half roasted.
Sauter:—To toss meat, etc., over the fire, in a little fat.
Soufflé:—A very light, much whipped-up pudding or omelette.
Timbale:—A sort of pie in a mold.
Vol au vents:—Patties of very light puff paste, made without a dish or mold, and filled with meat or preserves, etc.

Mushrooms a la Bordelaise

Drain 1 can of mushrooms; chop 6 shallots very fine and sauté in 1 tablespoonful of butter. Add the chopped mushrooms; sprinkle with salt, pepper, some chopped parsley and 1 minced bay-leaf. Let cook ten minutes with 1/2 glass of sherry wine. Serve hot on slices of French toast.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poulet en Casserole Bourgeoise

The chicken is trussed; the breast is covered with strips of bacon and put into a deep, thick saucepan. It is colored in the oven, and when nearly done is transferred to a casserole. It is now moistened with some chicken-stock and a little white wine. This moistening is used in the basting, and after being freed of fat, added to the sauce.

A few minutes before the fowl is done bouquets of fresh vegetables are added to the chicken, in individual heaps, and the chicken is then served, either with a sauce, or else with an addition of butter. It should be carved in sight of the guests.

Friday, February 13, 2009

French Waffles

Sift 3 cups of flour with 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of baking-powder and 1/2 teaspoonful of salt. Beat the yolks of 3 eggs; add a tablespoonful of melted butter and 2 cups of warm milk. Add the beaten whites and stir in the flour, making a light batter. Grease the waffle irons and fill with the batter.

Bake until a delicate brown. Remove to a hot dish. Serve hot with powdered sugar on top.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Veal Souffle

Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of butter. Mix with 2 tablespoonfuls of flour until smooth; add 1 cup of milk; let boil up. Then add 1 cup of minced veal, some parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Stir in the yolks of 2 eggs. Remove from the fire; let cool. Beat the whites to a stiff froth; add to the meat. Put in a buttered baking-dish and bake twenty minutes. Serve at once.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Put into a saucepan about four pounds of different varieties of fish, including one lobster. The fish should be cleaned and cut into small square pieces; the lobster should be cut in sections, leaving the shell on. Add a bunch of parsley, three sliced tomatoes, one large whole clove of garlic, chopped fine, three bay-leaves, half a dozen cloves, one teaspoonful of saffron, three sliced onions, one cupful of olive-oil, salt and pepper to season, and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, and simmer for thirty minutes.

Line a soup tureen with thin slices of toasted bread, pour the contents of the sauce over it, and serve in soup plates, with both forks and spoons.

Endive Salad

Endive is wholesome and delicate. If the curled endive be prepared, use only the yellow leaves, removing the thick stalks and cutting the small ones into thin pieces; the smooth endive stalk as well must be cut fine. It may be mixed with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and a potato mashed fine, or with sour cream mixed with oil, vinegar and salt. When mixed with the last dressing it is usually served with hot potatoes. Endive may also be used as spinach.

Prune Soufflé

Cook 1/2 pound of prunes until soft; remove the stones and cut the prunes into small pieces. Mix with some chopped nuts and the yolks of 3 eggs well beaten with 3 tablespoonfuls of pulverized sugar. Add 1 teaspoonful of vanilla and the whites of the eggs beaten stiff. Put in a pudding-dish and bake in a moderate oven for ten minutes and serve.

French Chocolate Biscuits

Beat the yolks of 6 eggs with 10 ounces of powered sugar; add 1 ounce of powdered French chocolate. Mix well with 4 ounces of flour and the whites beaten stiff with a pinch of salt; add 1 tablespoonful of vanilla extract. Bake on wafer sheets in small cakes to a light brown.

Parisian Chicken

Clean and season 2 spring chickens. Put them in a saucepan with 3 tablespoonfuls of butter; cover and let simmer until brown. Add 1/2 can of mushrooms, chopped parsley, and 1 glass of wine; let all cook until done. Put on a platter and pour over 1 cup of hot cream. Serve, garnished with croutons.

French Stuffed Partridge

Clean, singe and draw young partridges. Season and stuff each bird with chopped oysters well seasoned, and sprinkle with parsley. Put a small piece of butter in each bird; place the birds in a baking-pan; cover with thin slices of bacon; add a little hot water and bake in a hot oven until done. Serve with toast.

French Venison Pie

Cut venison in very small pieces and stew, highly seasoned, until tender. Line a deep pie-dish with a rich pie-paste and bake. Then fill with the venison. Add a glass of port wine, a pinch of cloves and mace to the sauce and bits of butter rolled in flour. Pour the sauce over the venison and cover with the paste. Rub the top with a beaten egg and let bake until done.