Open main menu

Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1913

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the courses that are to follow. The soups should also vary in colour; and here the green of the spinach and pea soups, and the red of the tomato soup will be found useful when the dinner has a preponderance of white or brown dishes.

Fish.—When two kinds of fish are included in the course, it is usual to serve first that which is boiled, and generally a large fish, such as turbot, salmon or cod; cold salmon would be served after the hot fish. Some small fish should be selected to follow the large boiled one; and it must be prepared by some dry method as frying, grilling, or broiling. Should the service consist of grilled or fried fish, and lobster or oyster souffles, or fish dressed in small portions to be handed round instead of being served from the sideboard, the latter would follow the grilled fish. Considerable discretion must be exercised in selecting sauces to accompany the fish. It may happen that a green soup has been given to form a contrast to the white fish to follow, if this be so, a green sauce cannot be served with the fish, neither can a yellow one, if a sauce of that colour has been chosen to accompany the grilled or fried fish. And throughout the whole dinner the same care is necessary to avoid repetition.

Entries.—In the present day the term entrée is used to distinguish practically all kinds of made dishes, from the simple rissole of cold meat to the artistic productions for which this part of the dinner provides such ample scope. As entrée are always handed, they come more under the direct observation of the guest than any other part of the service, consequently it is upon the dishes forming this course that the taste and skill of the cook is largely bestowed. Tasteful dishing and a little artistic decoration is desirable, but over-ornamentation is in bad taste, and should be studiously avoided. What has been said about order of service and variety in colour in reference to fish also applies here. All such light dishes as rissoles, croquettes, quenelles, and kromeskis come before the more substantial entreé of fillets and cutlets. Whether a brown or white entrée should be served first depends partly on the dish to follow, but in a greater measure on the composition of the respective dishes. For instance, if the dishes selected are sweetbread, and chicken cooked in a rich brown sauce, as Chicken à la Maréngo, the sweetbread, being more delicate in flavour, would be more likely to be appreciated if it preceded the highly-flavoured than if it followed it. Hot entries are always served before cold ones; and an entrée of any small bird, such as quails, would be served before a more substantial entree of poultry, game or Sauces are usually served in the dish poured round the entrée in many cases, poured over it in some few. The exception to this rule is when soufflés and other mixtures are served in china or paper cases, and the accompanying sauce is served in a sauce-boat. As entrées form, from an artistic point of view. the most important part of the repast, it is advisable, when arranging a dinner, to select suitable