Open main menu

Page:The White House Cook Book.djvu/64

This page needs to be proofread.


  • * *

THE usual custom among professional cooks is to entirely im- merse the article to be cooked in boiling fat, but from in- convenience most households use the half -frying method of frying in a small amount of fat in a frying pan. For the first method a shallow iron frying kettle, large at the top and small at the bottom, is best to use. The fat should half fill the kettle, or an amount sufficient to float whatever is to be fried; the heat of the fat should get to such a degree that, when a piece of bread or a tea- spoonful of the batter is dropped in it, it will become brown almost instantly, but should not De so hot as to burn the fat. Some cooks say that the fat should be smoking, but my experience is, that is a mistake, as that soon ruins the fat. As soon as it begins to smoke it should be removed a little to one side, and still be kept at the boiling point. If fritters, crullers, croquettes, etc., are dropped into fat that is too hot, it crusts over the outside before the inside has fully risen, making a heavy, hard article, and also ruining the fat, giving it a burnt flavor.

Many French cooks prefer beef fat or suet to lard for frying pur- poses, considering it more wholesome and digestible, does not impart as much flavor, or adhere or soak into the article cooked as pork fat. In families of any size, where there is much cooking required, there are enough drippings and fat remnants from roasts of beef, skimmings from the soup kettle, with the addition of occasionally a pound of suet from the market, to amply supply the need. All such remnants and skimmings should be clarified about twice a week, by boiling them all together in water. When the fat is all melted, it should be strained with the water and set aside to cool. After the fat on the top has hardened, lift the cake from the water on which it lies, scrape off all the dark particles from the bottom, then melt over


�� �