Essentials of Cooking-Menus and Recipes


1.As practically every woman knows, a MENU , or bill of fare,consists of a certain number of dishes given in the order in which they are to be served; likewise, she knows that the dishes called for in a menu must be prepared according to a RECIPE, or receipt, which is the list of ingredients of a mixture giving the exact proportions to be used, together with proper directions for compounding. In all good recipes the items are tabulated in the order in which they are needed, so as to save time and produce good results. Items tabulated in this manner also serve to minimize the danger of omitting some of the ingredients of a recipe, for they can be easily checked up when they are given in the proper order.
2.In preparing recipes, the beginner in COOKING usually has difficultyin judging the size of a recipe. The experienced housewife will not follow a recipe exactly when she thinks it will produce more food than she needs to meet the requirements of her family; instead, she will reduce the quantities to suit her wants. Likewise, if a recipe will not provide enough, she will increase the quantities accordingly. Just how to judge whether or not a recipe will make what is wanted comes only with experience, but the beginner may be guided by the fact that it is never wise to prepare more than enough of one kind of dish, unless, of course, it can be used to good advantage as a left-over. On the other hand, if a recipe is for food that can be kept and used for another meal later, it often pays to make up more, so as to save time, fuel, and labor. In any event, it is always advisable to follow explicitly the directions that are given, for if the recipe is of the right kind they will be given so that success will result from carrying them out in detail.
3.In order that the beginner in COOKING may form a definite idea ofthe manner in which the dishes of a menu, or bill of fare, may be prepared so that they will be ready to serve in their proper order at meal time, there is here given a simple dinner menu, together with the recipes for preparing the dishes called for and the order in which they should be prepared. While these recipes are not intended to teach methods of COOKING, which are taken up later, the student is advised to prepare the menu for her own satisfaction and so that she will be able to report on the success she has had with each dish.

MENU
Pan-Broiled Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Creamed Peas
Cabbage Salad
Orange Fluff with Sauce

RECIPES

PAN-BROILED CHOPS
Buy the necessary number of pork, veal, or lamb chops, and proceed to cook them according to the directions previously given for pan broiling. Season with salt and pepper just before removing the chops from the pan.

MASHED POTATOES
Peel the desired number of potatoes, put to cook in a sufficient amount of boiling salted water to cover well, and cook until the potatoes are tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the fire and drain off the water. Mash the potatoes with a wooden or a wire potato masher, being careful to reduce all the particles to a pulpy mass in order to prevent lumps, or put them through a ricer. When sufficiently mashed, season with additional salt, a dash of pepper, and a small piece of butter, and add hot milk until they are thinned to a mushy consistency, but not too soft to stand up well when dropped from a spoon. Then beat the potatoes vigorously with a large spoon until they are light and fluffy.

CREAMED PEAS
Boil until they are soft, two cupfuls of fresh peas in 1 quart of water to which have been added 1 tablespoonful of salt and 2 of sugar, and then drain; or, use 1 can of peas, heat them to the boiling point in their liquid, and then drain. A part of the water in which the fresh peas were cooked or the liquid on the canned peas may be used with an equal amount of milk to make a sauce for the peas, or all milk may be used.

CABBAGE-SALAD DRESSING
3/4 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. mustard, if desired
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tb. butter
3 Tb. sugar
1 Tb. flour
Heat the water and the vinegar; melt the butter in a saucepan, add to it the flour, mustard, salt, and sugar, stir until well blended, and then pour in the hot liquid. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the formation of lumps. Pour over the cabbage while hot; allow it to cool and then serve on plates garnished with lettuce.

ORANGE FLUFF
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
5 Tb. corn starch
1 Tb. lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 egg whites
1 pt. boiling water
Mix the corn starch and sugar and salt, stir into the boiling water, and cook directly over the fire until the mixture thickens. Continue to cook, stirring constantly for 10 minutes, or place in a double boiler and cook 1/2 hour. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. When the corn starch is cooked, remove from the fire and mix thoroughly with the fruit juices. Pour over the beaten egg whites and stir slightly until the eggs and corn starch are mixed. Pour into sherbet glasses or molds wet with cold water and set aside until ready to serve.

SAUCE FOR ORANGE FLUFF
1 Tb. corn starch
3/4 c. boiling water
2 Tb. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. orange juice
1 Tb. lemon juice
Moisten the corn starch with a little cold water and stir in 1/2 cupful of the boiling water. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes. Cream the butter, add the sugar and egg yolks, beat the mixture with a fork, and add the remaining 1/4 cupful of boiling water. Stir this into the corn starch and cook until the eggs thicken slightly. Remove from the fire and add the orange and lemon juices. Serve cold over the orange fluff.
4.In the preparation of a meal, it is impossible to follow the order of service given in a menu, because of the different lengths of time required to prepare the different dishes. The order in which the menu here given should be prepared will therefore serve to show the way in which other meals may be planned or other menus carried out. Each recipe for this menu is planned to serve six persons, but it can be easily changed in case a different number are to be served. For instance, if there are only four in the family, two-thirds of each ingredient should be used; and if only three, just one-half of each. If eight are to be served, one-third will have to be added to each of the amounts. As has been pointed out, just a little thought will show how other numbers may be provided for.
5.In preparing the foods called for in this menu, the dessert, whichis the last thing given, should be prepared first, because time must be allowed for it to cool before serving. In fact, it may be prepared a half day before it is to be served. So as to allow sufficient time to mash the potatoes after they have boiled, they should be made ready to put on the stove about 3/4 hour before the meal is to be served. After the potatoes have been put on to boil, the peas, provided fresh ones are to be used, should be put on to cook, and then the sauce for them should be made. If canned peas are to be used, the sauce should be made after the potatoes have been put on the stove and the peas should be heated and combined with the sauce just before broiling the chops. The cabbage salad may then be prepared, and put in a cool place until it is to be served. The chops should be broiled last, because it is necessary that they be served immediately upon being taken from the fire.


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