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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1838

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1648
HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

frequently used: but better results may be obtained by adding to the egg 1 teaspoonful of salad-oil or clarified butter, 1 dessertspoonful of milk, ½ a saltspoonful of salt, and half this quantity of pepper. These ingredients being mixed together on a plate, the articles to be fried should be laid separately in the preparation, and coated thickly by means of a small brush. After being well drained on the point of a knife, they should be tossed lightly in plenty of breadcrumbs held in a sheet of paper. Before frying, the crumbs should be pressed firmly on with the blade of a knife.

Croûtes and Croutons.—Of these there are various kinds. The large croute, used as a support for an entrée, is usually cut according to the size of the dish in which it will be served. The size therefore varies, but the average may be taken as 6½ inches in length, about 4½ in breadth, and from 1½ to 2 inches in depth. Unless the crust of the bread can be utilized, there is considerable waste in the cutting. The small croûtes used for garnish or savouries should be cut out of slices of stale bread about ⅓ to ½ an inch in thickness. They may be cut round, oval, square, in triangles or heart-shaped, according to fancy. They are nicest when fried in clarified butter until lightly browned, but clarified fat does very well as a substitute. After frying, they should always be well drained, and kept hot and crisp in front of the fire, or in the mouth of the oven. Another excellent way of preparing croûtes is to dip them in good gravy or well-seasoned stock until saturated, and then place on a buttered baking-tin in the oven until crisp. To make croutons to be served with soup, cut some stale bread into dice, of an inch in size, fry them in hot butter or fat until lightly browned, drain them first in a gravy strainer and then on paper until quite free from grease.

Frying Batter.—Put 4 ozs. of flour and a saltspoonful of salt into a basin, add gradually ¼ of a pint of tepid water and 1 tablespoonful of salad oil or clarified butter, and mix into a smooth batter. If time permits, put it aside for about 1 hour, then just before using, stir in lightly two stiffly- whisked whites of eggs.

Glaze.—Put 4 quarts of good second stock into a stewpan, boil gently until reduced to about ½ a pint, skimming very frequently meanwhile. When reduced to about 1 pint, the stock should be transferred to a smaller stewpan. To make a little cheap glaze for immediate use, dissolve 1 or 2 sheets of gelatine in 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of good gravy: if necessary, add a few drops of liquid caramel, and when cold and on the point of setting, use as required.

Mirepolx.—A mirepoix is the foundation for flavouring sauces, braised meats, and a number of thick soups. It usually consists of equal quantities of onion and carrot, half the quantity of turnip, 1 or 2 slices of raw ham or bacon, a little butter, a bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, bayleaf), a few peppercorns, and 1 or 2 cloves. In recipes where the mirepoix occurs the exact quantities of the ingredients comprising it