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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/965

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RECIPES FOR COOKING VEGETABLES

1562.—POTATO BALLS. (Fr.Croquettes de Pommes de Terre.)

Ingredients.—Mashed Potatoes, salt and pepper to taste; when liked, a very little minced parsley, egg and breadcrumbs.

Method.—Boil and mash the potatoes (see Potatoes, Mashed, Recipe No. 1575), add a seasoning of pepper and salt, and, when liked, a little minced parsley. Roll the potatoes into small balls, cover them with egg and breadcrumbs, and fry in hot oil or dripping until light-brown. Let them drain on a cloth or paper, dish them on a napkin, and serve.

Time.—10 minutes to fry the balls. Seasonable at any time.

The potato.—The potato belongs to the family of the Solanaceae, the greater number of which grow in the tropics, and the remainder are distributed over the temperate regions of both hemispheres, but do not extend to the Arctic and Antarctic zones. The whole of the family possess valuable qualities; some species are narcotic, as the tobacco-plant, and others, as the henbane and nightshade, are deleterious. The roots partake of the properties of the plants, and are sometimes even more active. The tubers of such as produce them are amylaceous and nutritive, as in those of the potato. The leaves are generally narcotic, but they lose this principle in boiling, as in the case with the solanum nigrum, which is used as a vegetable when cooked.

1563.—POTATO CHIPS.

See Potatoes, Fried, Recipe No. 1569.

1564.—POTATO CROQUETTES.

See Potato Balls, Recipe No. 1562.

1565.—POTATOES, BOILED. (Fr.Pommes de Terre au Naturel.)

Ingredients—Potatoes, salt.

Method.—Choose potatoes of equal size, scrub them, peel them thinly, wash them in clean cold water, but do not let them remain in it for more than 10 minutes. Put them into a saucepan, with sufficient BOILING water to cover them, add a teaspoonful of salt to each quart of water, and boil GENTLY from 20 to 40 minutes, according to age and size. Ascertain when they are done by trying one with a skewer; if soft, drain off the water, put the saucepan by the side of the fire with the lid tilted, to allow the steam to escape, let them remain for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Time.—From 20 to 40 minutes. Average Cost, 1d. per lb. Seasonable at any time.

Note.—Opinions are divided as to whether potatoes should be put into cold or boiling water. Those who adopt the former method can give no reason for so doing, save that of its being an old custom, whereas many who have made a scientific study of the culinary treatment of this vegetable, assert, and with good reason, that the darker layer of potato immediately under the skin is composed almost entirely of gluten, a substance which, like albumen, when subject to the temperature of boiling water, at once hardens,