One of the economies in cooking is in the proper seasoning of foods. This is the secret of many an attractive dish made from left-overs, or cheap meats. Every garden should contain a little patch of mint, parsley, sage, coriander, while those who have no garden could easily grow these in window boxes or pots. It is not an extravagance to have on hand plenty of pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, kitchen bouquet, and condiments of various kinds. A little of these goes a long way in seasoning, and many a dish which would be very flat and unattractive, by their judicious use is made savory and satisfying.
Garlic is also another seasoning which we use but little, but which is used most extensively throughout the Orient. If properly used it gives a delightful flavor to food. Very little is required. Indeed, often one needs to just rub the sides and bottom of the cooking vessel with the garlic before putting it on the fire. The salad dish may be treated the same way. However, very few would object to a little finely-minced garlic in almost any meat dish, and much in flavor is often gained thereby.
Most of the recipes which follow are quite new to Americans.
25. Mulligatawney Soup.
This is a very famous soup which has been associated with India since the beginning of the English regime. In India it is usually made with chicken, but beef or mutton do very nicely. Stew a pound of mutton. Scrappy mutton, such as neck or ribs, does very nicely. When meat is tender remove from soup.
Fry an onion with a teaspoonful of curry powder. When nicely browned stir into it a tablespoonful of peanut butter; also about a half cup of fresh cocoanut. Mix these up together to a smooth paste and add to the mutton broth. Also pick the mutton from the bones and add to the soup. If the peanut butter does not thicken it sufficiently, thicken with a little flour. Serve with rice. Sometimes the rice is boiled with the mutton, but usually it is boiled separately (No. 52). Lemon juice is usually served with this soup.
26. Tamales (Mexican).
Take a pound of meat. Mutton, chicken, or beef may be used. It must be cut in bits. If the meat has not sufficient fat, add crisco or butter, or whatever one uses. Stew until meat is very tender. Into this soup add a cup of tomato sauce or a cup of boiled and strained tomatoes highly seasoned. Then stir in enough cornmeal to thicken it as for mush. Cook for a few minutes and then turn all into a rice boiler or steamer, and cook until the cornmeal loses its raw taste. When a little cool, add a few raisins, ripe olives, almonds, or peanuts, the latter cut up fine. Make pretty hot with cayenne, and also add a little pimento. Mold into little rolls, and wrap each roll up in corn husks, tying each end, so that the mixture will not escape. Just before eating, steam up again, and serve hot. If one is in a hurry, a dish can be lined with corn husks, the mixture piled in, and corn husks placed over the top of the dish. This is called "tamale pie." If corn husks are not available, it is very good without them. The mixture can either be steamed in a bowl and turned out or it can be sliced cold and fried like mush. It is not necessary to add the raisins, olives, and nuts unless one wants to be rather luxurious.
At the table open up the rolls, remove the husks, and eat with tomato sauce. A good sauce for tamales is made by stewing tomatoes with a little onion and green pepper, straining and highly seasoning. Worcestershire sauce is always good in tamale sauce.
This tamale mixture is fine for stuffing green mango peppers. Indeed, it makes a fine forcemeat for most anything.
27. Koorma (Arabian).
Koorma is usually made from mutton or veal. Mince an onion, a little green ginger, and a tiny bit of garlic and add to a cup of buttermilk. Cover a pound of mutton with this and allow to stand for a while. The mutton may either be fresh or left-over. While the mixture is standing, fry a minced onion; add to it a little turmeric. Turn the buttermilk mixture into this. If the meat is uncooked, also add a little water, so that it may become tender; but this is unnecessary if cold mutton is used. Simmer slowly together until the meat gets tender and the curds dry. At the last a little cocoanut may be added, but this is not necessary. The gravy must be very little and very rich.
28. Spiced Beef.
This is a very nice way of keeping beef if the weather is hot and one has no ice. Cut the meat up, salt a little, turn it into a bowl, and just cover with vinegar. Sprinkle well with mixed spices. When ready to use, fry with tomatoes and onions. This may be kept for several days without ice, even in the hottest weather.
29. Irish Stew (Old English).
Equal parts of meat and potatoes. Half a pound of meat and half a pound of potatoes makes quite a good-sized dish. Cook the meat with a sliced onion in plenty of water until it is almost tender. Then add the potatoes; also a little mint or parsley, a tiny bit of green ginger, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, salt and plenty of pepper. Cook together until all are sufficiently cooked. At the last, if mutton has been used, add half a cup of milk. Thicken a little if desired, only perhaps it is best to cook it until potatoes begin to break, thickening it in that way.
30. Mesopotamia Stew.
Equal parts of meat and string beans. Fry together with or without an onion. When quite brown but not hard, season well in any way liked. In Mesopotamia, of course it is made very hot. Cover with water and cook slowly until beans are soft and meat is tender. Less meat may be used. Beans and meat should both be cut up fine for this stew.
31. French Stew.
Take a pound of beef cut in small pieces and fry it until brown. Remove and fry in the same pan the following vegetables: Three small radishes, three small carrots, three small onions, half a dozen potatoes, a little green ginger, a green chili or two, and three or four mint leaves. The ginger, chili, and mint leaves should be finely minced, but slice the other vegetables. When the vegetables are nicely browned, remove, make a little gravy in the pan; pour this gravy over the meat, add the vegetables, and cook very slowly together until the meat is tender. If liked, it may be made with only potatoes and onions and meat.
32. Turkish Stew.
Fry a pound of meat cut in small pieces. Remove from the pan. In the same pan fry eggplant, thinly sliced and rolled in batter and crumbs. Season as desired. Put a layer of the fried eggplant and a layer of the fried meat in a cooking vessel. Add a little water, and cook very slowly until meat is tender.
33. All Blaze.
This is an old English dish, and is fine for the fireless cooker. Mutton is best for this dish. One pound of mutton, cut in bits, one-half pound of potatoes (quartered), peas, beans, onions, carrots, or any vegetables one may have on hand. Put a layer of potatoes at bottom of the pan, then a layer of meat, then a layer of mixed vegetables. Repeat this, sprinkling salt and pepper over each layer and a little drippings. Put in a vessel with a very tight-fitting lid, so that no steam will escape, and steam or bake slowly for three or four hours.
34. Country Captain.
This is another English dish, and is a great favorite with the Indian cooks. Chicken is always used in India, but veal or mutton will do nicely. Cut up the meat, slice four or five onions in rings, and set aside. Fry the chicken quickly over a hot fire, then fry the onions. With the onions fry some green chilies and a little green ginger; add a cup or two of water and stew until chicken is tender. Do not thicken the gravy to this. Sprinkle fried onions over the platter when it is ready to serve.
35. Toad in Hole.
Make a batter just as you would for pancakes. Melt some butter or crisco in a baking dish and pour in half the batter. On this place a mixture of meat, potatoes, and onions prepared as for No. 29. Pour over this the remainder of the batter and bake or steam.
36. Minced Meat Patties.
Prepare the mince according to No. 9. Make a piecrust, not too rich. Roll out paste, cut out in circles about three inches in diameter. Put in each of these circles a tablespoonful of the curried mince, and turn over, pressing the edges closely together. Fry or bake.
37. Hamburg Cutlets.
Take a pound of Hamburg steak, a minced onion, a minced mango pepper, a leaf or two of mint or coriander, a little salt and pepper, and very few bread or cracker crumbs. Mix all together, mold in little oblong cakes, dip in a thin batter made of flour and water, and then in crumbs. Fry in fat or oil.
38. Potato Patties with Fish or Meat.
Take equal parts of cold mashed potatoes and flour. Work together into a paste and roll out in circles about four inches in diameter. Place in each of circles a spoonful of salmon or tuna; season rather highly, press edges together, and fry. Fine way to use cold mashed potatoes. Curried mincemeat may also be used for the filling.
39. Beef Olives.
Have the butcher cut a very thin round steak either of beef or veal. Cut this in pieces about three inches square, and pound with a saucer about a dessert-spoonful of flour into each of these pieces. Make a highly-seasoned forcemeat of breadcrumbs and onions and a little minced bacon. Place a spoonful of the stuffing on each square of meat, and roll in the form of a sausage. Wrap each roll with cord and tie. Fry the rolls, then remove and make a gravy in the pan. When gravy is made, add the rolls and stew gently until the rolls are tender.
40. Bird Nests.
Stew a pound of boiling meat with two sliced onions until the meat is tender. Remove the meat and onions, and when cold pass through the meat grinder. Season rather highly, add egg and breadcrumbs, and work all together as though for cutlets. If flour is worked well into it, no egg or crumbs will be required.
Boil six eggs until quite hard. When cold, remove the shells. Enclose each egg in the meat mixture. Roll in a thin batter, then in crumbs, and fry. When nicely browned, cut with a sharp knife through the center of each egg. Place on a platter, and pour over all a gravy made from the broth in which the meat was boiled. This makes twelve birds' nests.
A very attractive and delicious salad can be made by using veal or chicken instead of beef. The yolks of the eggs may be removed and deviled or highly seasoned. Serve with mayonnaise dressing instead of gravy.
41. Eggplant Patties.
Take two medium-sized eggplants, steam or bake until tender; then cut lengthwise into halves. Scoop out the pulp, cut the pulp in small bits and set aside. Keep the skins for the patties. Mince an onion, brown it in oil or crisco. When nicely browned, add a quarter of a pound of either cold or raw minced meat, a little green mango pepper, and the pulp which was removed from the eggplant. A little Worcestershire sauce or piccalilli improves this considerably. Fill the empty shells with this mixture. Cover with crumbs and bake. Large ripe cucumbers are good prepared the same way. Only they should be peeled before steaming, and the seeds should be carefully removed. If a gravy could be made of stock and poured over the patties it would be liked by many.
42. Spanish Steak.
Pound thoroughly by means of a saucer a half cup of flour with a pound of round steak. Then over a hot fire quickly fry the steak and remove.
In the same pan fry two good-sized onions, thinly sliced, and half a dozen good-sized tomatoes and one large mango pepper. If the pepper is mild, add cayenne pepper. When the onions begin to get soft and the tomatoes to dry, add the meat. Cook very slowly until meat is tender.
One can use canned tomatoes very nicely for this. Cook onions and tomatoes and peppers together, with plenty of oil or crisco until they begin to thicken. Then add the meat. This is also a very satisfactory way of reserving cold steak or any kind of cold meat. After the tomato and onion mixture is well cooked, add the cold meat and heat up all together.
43. Spanish Welsh Rarebit.
Fry in plenty of oil or butter or crisco a large sliced onion. When onion is partly done, add a tin of tomato soup or a cupful of stewed strained tomatoes. Cook for a little while together, then add half a pound of sharp cheese, three or four pimentos, and a small tin of mushrooms; also add a tablespoonful of Worcestershire sauce. Cook all together slowly for a while, then pour over toast or crackers. This is also called "rinktum ditty."
This is a very popular dish among the Mohammedans. Kabobs are usually cooked by the roadside and served piping hot to pedestrians. They are also cooked on the platform of railway stations and handed out to passengers on the train. Season a pound of minced meat with pepper and salt or any desired spices. Mix with a little flour to hold together. Make in the form of sausages by pressing around iron pins. Roast over a hot fire. These are delicious cooked at picnics. One can easily purchase the iron pins or have them made. They are usually about a foot long and a quarter of an inch thick. If the meat is fat they easily slip from the pins; if it is lean, it is best to grease the pins first.
Fry together a cup of Hamburg steak, a cup of sliced tomatoes, a cup of minced onions, and a cup of minced peppers. After they have fried until dry, add a cup of water and simmer all together for a while. Make quite hot and serve with boiled rice.
46. Spanish Eggs.
Fry the desired number of eggs very lightly in bacon fat. Just before removing from the pan pour over them a sauce made by adding a tablespoonful of Worcestershire sauce to any good catsup. Heat hastily together and serve. This is a fine meat substitute.