pieces of butter on the top, and bake for 10 or 15 minutes in a moderate oven. Garnish with fried parsley.
Time.—½ an hour. Average Cost, 2s. 6d. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable at any time.
528.—LOBSTERS, TO BOIL. (Fr.—Homards.)
Ingredients.—¼ of a lb. of salt to each gallon of water.
Method.—Buy the lobsters alive, and choose those that are heavy and full of motion, which is an indication of their freshness. When the shell is encrusted, it is a sign they are old: medium-sized lobsters are the best. Have ready a stewpan of boiling water, salted in the proportion mentioned above, put in the lobsters and keep them boiling quickly from 20 to 45 minutes, according to their size, and do not forget to skim well. If boiled too long, the meat becomes thready, and if not done enough, the spawn is not red. Rub the shells over with a little butter or sweet oil, which must be wiped off again.
Time.—Small lobster, 20 minutes to ½ an hour; large ditto, ½ to ¾ of an hour. Average Cost, medium size, 1s. to 3s. 6d. Seasonable all the year, but best from June to September.
To Choose Lobsters.—This shell-fish, if it has been cooked alive, as it ought to have been, will have a stiffness in the tail, which, if gently raised will return with a spring. Care, however, must be taken in thus proving it, for if the tail is pulled straight out, it will not return. In order to be good, lobsters should be weigthy for their bulk: if light, they will be watery; those of the medium size are always the best. They should be broad across the tail. The coral is red. The spawn is sometimes sold uncooked at 3d. per ounce, and is then dark green, but it becomes red on cooking. It should be rubbed through a sieve with a little butter. It is used to colour sauces for cutlets, etc. Small-sized lobsters are cheapest, and answer very well for sauces.
529.—LOBSTER, COQUILLES OF. (Fr.—Coquilles de Homard.)
Ingredients.—1 lobster, mushrooms, butter, white sauce (No. 222), salt, pepper, nutmeg, short crust paste, parsley.
Method.—Line some small shell-shaped moulds with light paste crust. After pricking the paste with a fork fill the lined moulds with uncooked rice or dried peas, and bake them in a moderate oven a golden-brown. When done, take out the rice or peas, and place the pastry shells on a sieve. Cut the meat of the lobster (preserved lobster of a reliable brand will do) into small dice, put it in a stewpan with some chopped mushrooms and butter, allowing 8 mushrooms and ½ an oz. of butter to every ½ lb. of lobster. Stir over the fire until thoroughly hot, then moisten with white sauce. Season with pepper, salt, a little grated nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne. Keep the mixture hot in a bain-marie so that it is ready for use when required. Warm the baked shells in the oven, fill them with the mixture, strew over a little panurette (a preparation of grated rusks, used instead of lobster coral for decoration), or some fried breadcrumbs; the former, however, makes the shells more effective. Dish up on small plates, and garnish with a sprig or two of parsley. A little anchovy-essence added to the mixture will improve the flavour considerably.