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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1839

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1649
HERBS, CONDIMENTS, AND AUXILIARIES

given. In all cases where it is intended the mirepoix should form foundation for braising, sufficient vegetables should be used to lake a substantial bed upon which to place the bird, joint, etc.

Mustard (To mix).—Mustard is usually prepared for use by simply mixing it smoothly with cold water: and it is generally considered of right consistency when sufficiently moist to drop slowly from the spoon. A saltspoonful of salt added to each tablespoonful of mustard not only improves the flavour, but it also prevents the mustard from becoming so quickly dry. If desired, the pungency may be greatly increased by mixing a little chilli vinegar and cayenne with the mustard, the flavour of the whole being softened by the addition of a good pinch of sugar. On the other hand, when a very mild flavour of mustard is liked, it may be obtained by using cream or milk, preferably the former, instead of water. In any case it should be mixed in small quantities, as it quickly loses its flavour and fresh appearance.

Panade or Panada.—Put ½ a pint of water, 1 oz. of butter, and a good pinch of salt into a small stewpan. When boiling, stir in gradually 4 ozs. of sifted flour, and work vigorously with a wooden spoon over the fire until the panada leaves the sides of the stewpan clear. Spread on a plate, and when cool, use as directed. Panada is used to bind together ingredients which themselves possess no adhesive properties.

Parsley, To blanch.—Well wash the parsley, pick it free from stalks, put it into a stewpan with some cold salted water, and when the boiling point is reached, strain it off and dry the parsley by squeezing it well in a clean cloth. The stalks of the parsley may be used for flavouring stocks and soups, for which purpose they answer quite as well as, if not better than, the leaves.

Parsley, To chop.—Parsley intended for garnish should always be blanched, but for ordinary purposes thorough washing of the sprigs, picked free from stalks, is all that is necessary. After drying well in a clean cloth, chop it finely, keeping the left hand pressed firmly on the point of the knife, whilst moving the handle up and down rapidly with the right. When fine enough, gather up the parsley in the corner of a clean cloth and hold it under the tap, or in a basin, squeezing with the fingers until the water running from it is clear and bright green: then wring dry, and use.

Parsley, To fry.—Remove some small sprigs from some fresh parsley, wash it in cold water, drain well, and press gently in a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible, otherwise the damp leaves may cause the hot fat to spurt up in an unpleasant, if not dangerous, manner. When the articles are fried, put the parsley in a wire basket into the fat, and fry about 1 minute, when it should be crisp. Or, when a frying-basket is not available, leave rather long stalks attached to the parsley, tie them together with string, and let a long end remain, by which the parsley can be held whilst frying.