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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/264

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HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT

pan, fry the asparagus for 8 minutes, add the sauce, and a seasoning of salt and pepper and a little spinach greening if a deep tint is desired. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then pass through a fine strainer or tammy cloth; re-heat, add the lemon-juice, and use as required.

Time.—From 40 to 45 minutes. Average Cost, 1s. 3d. to 1s. 6d. Quantity, ½ a pint.

176.—BEARNAISE SAUCE. (Fr.Sauce Béarnaise.)

Ingredients.—2 shallots, peeled and chopped finely, a few fresh tarragon leaves, 1 gill of French wine vinegar, 3 yolks of eggs, ½ a teaspoonful of Mignonette pepper, a little salt, ½ a gill of Béchamel sauce, 3 ozs. of butter, ½ a teaspoonful of chopped parsley and tarragon leaves.

Method.—Put the vinegar, shallots, and whole tarragon leaves in a stewpan, cover it, and let the liquor reduce to about one-eighth of the original quantity. Remove from the fire, cool a little, add the sauce and re-heat, then stir in the yolks of the eggs, and season with salt and Mignonette pepper. Whisk the whole over the fire, and incorporate the butter by degrees. This sauce must on no account be allowed to boil when once the eggs are added. Pass it through a tammy-cloth. Return to another stewpan, and whisk again over hot water or in a bain-marie. Add the chopped parsley and a few chopped tarragon leaves, and serve as directed.

Time.—35 to 45 minutes. Average Cost, 10d. Quantity, ½ a pint.

177.—BÉCHAMEL, or FRENCH WHITE SAUCE. (Fr.Sauce Béchamel.)

Ingredients.—1½ ozs. of flour, 2 ozs. of butter (or of corresponding quantity of white roux), 1¼ pints of milk (or white stock), 1 small onion or shallot, 1 small bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaf), 10 peppercorns, ½ a bay-leaf, 1 small blade of mace, seasoning.

Method.—Put the milk on to boil with the onion or shallot, the bouquet-garni, peppercorns, mace, and bay-leaf. Melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook a little without browning, stir in the hot milk, etc., whisk over the fire until it boils, and let it simmer from 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and pass through a sieve or tammy-cloth, return to the stewpan, season lightly with a pinch of nutmeg, ½ a pinch of cayenne, and ½ a teaspoonful of salt. The sauce is then ready for use.

Time.—40 to 50 minutes. Average Cost, 7d. with milk. Sufficient for 1 boiled fowl.

Mace (Fr. fleur de muscade).—The dried aril or fleshy net-like membrane which surrounds the shell of the nutmeg, which when ripe is of a bright scarlet colour. Its general properties are the same as those of the nutmeg, and it possesses an extremely aromatic and fragrant odour, and a hot and acrid taste. Mace is prepared by separating it from the nut when gathered, and curing it by pressure and exposure to the sun. It is largely used as a condiment.