through a sieve into a clean basin; it will do three or four
times as well as it did at first, i. e. if it has not burned: but,
Mem. the fat you have fried fish in must not be used for any
To know when the fat is of a proper heat, according to
what you are to fry, is the great secret in frying.
To fry fish, parsley, potatoes, or any thing that is watery,
your fire must be very clear, and the fat quite hot ; which you
may be pretty sure of, when it has done hissing, and is still.
We cannot insist too strongly on this point : if the fat is not
very hot, you cannot fry fish either to a good colour, or firm
To be quite certain, throw a little bit of bread into the pan ;
if it fries crisp, the fat is ready; if it burns the bread, it is
The fire under the pan must be clear and sharp, otherwise
the fat is so long before it becomes ready, and demands such
attendance to prevent the accident of its catching fire,* thai
the patience of cooks is exhausted, and they frequently, from
ignorance or impatience, throw in what they are going to fry
before the fat is half hot enough. Whatever is so fried will
be pale and sodden, and offend the palate and stomach not
less than the eye.
Have a good light to fry by, that you may see when you
have got the right colour : a lamp fixed on a stem, with a
loaded foot, which has an arm that lengthens out, and slides
up and down like a reading candlestick, is a most useful
appendage to kitchen fireplaces, which are very seldom light
enough for the nicer operations of cookery.
After all, if you do not thoroughly drain the fat from what
* If this unfortunately happens, be not alarmed, but immediately wet a basket of
ashes and throw them down the chimney, and wet a blanket and hold it close all
round the fireplace ; as soon as the current of air is stopped, the fire will be exlin
guished : with a CHARCOAL STOVE there is no danger, as the diameter of the pan
exceeds that of the fire.
you hare fried, especially from those things that are fuli
dressed in bread crumbs,* or biscuit powder, &c., your cook-
ing- will do you no credit.
The dryness of fish depends much upon its having been
fried in fat of a due degree of heat ; it is then crisp and dry-
in a few minutes after it is taken out of the pan : when it is
not, lay it on a soft cloth before the fire, turning it occasion-
ally, till it is. This will sometimes take 15 minutes : therefore,
always fry fish as long as this before you want them, for fear
you may find this necessary.
To fry fish, see receipt to fry soles, (No. 145) which is the
only circumstantial account of the process that has yet been
printed. If the cook will study it with a little attention, she
must soon become an accomplished frier.
Frying, though one of the most common of culinary
operations, is one that is least commonly performed per-
And as now there is nought on the fire that is spoiling.
We '11 give you just two or three hints upon broiling ;
How oft you must turn a beefsteak, and how seldom
A good mutton chop, for to have 'em both well done ;
And for skill in such cookery your credit 't will fetch up,
If your broils are well-seasoned with good mushroom catchup."
CLEANLINESS is extremely essential in this mode of
Keep your gridiron quite clean between the bars, and
bright on the top: when it is hot, wipe it well with a
linen cloth : just before you use it, rub the bars with clean
mutton-suet, to prevent the meat from being marked by the
Take care to prepare your fire in time, so that it may bum
quite clear : a brisk and clear fire is indispensable, or you
cannot give your meat that browning which constitutes the
* When you want a great many BREAD carwBS, divide your loaf (which should
be two days old) into three equal parts ; take the middle or crumb piece, the top and
bottom will do for table : in the usual way of cutting, the e.rust is wasted.
OATMEAL is a very satisfactory, and an extremely economical substitute for bread
8*6 No. 145.
perfection of this mode of cookery, and gives a relish to food
it cannot receive any other way.
The chops or slices should be from half to three-quarters
of an inch in thickness ; if thicker, they will be done too
much on the outside before the inside is done enough.
Be diligently attentive to watch the moment that any thing
is done : never hasten any thing that is broiling, lest you
make smoke and spoil it.
Let the bars of the gridiron be all hot through, but yet not
burning hot upon the surface : this is the perfect and fine
condition of the gridiron.
As the bars keep away as much heat as their breadth
covers, it is absolutely necessary they should be thoroughly
hot before the thing to be cooked be laid on them.
The bars of gridirons should be made concave, and termi-
nate in a trough to catch the gravy and keep the fat from
dropping into the fire and making a smoke, which will spoil
Upright gridirons are the best, as they can be used at any
fire without fear of smoke ; and the gravy is preserved in the
trough under them.
N.B. Broils must be brought to table as hot as possible ;
set a dish to heat when you put your chops on the gridiron,
from whence to the mouth their progress must be as quick
When the fire is not clear, the business of the gridiron
may be done by the Dutch oven or bonnet.
THERE is nothing in which the difference between an
elegant and an ordinary table is more seen than in the dressing
of vegetables, more especially greens. They may be equally
as fine at first, at one place as at another ; but their look and
taste are afterward very different, entirely from the careless
way in which they have been cooked.
They are in greatest perfection when in greatest plenty,
i. e. when in full season.
By season, I do not mean those early days, that luxury in
the buyers, and avarice in the sellers, force the various vege-
tables ; but that time of the year in which by nature and
common culture, and the mere operation of the sun and cli-
mate, they are in most plenty and perfection.
Potatoes and pease are seldom worth eating before mids\im-
iner ; unripe vegetables are as insipid and unwholesome as
As to the quality of vegetables, the middle size are pre-
ferred to the largest or the smallest ; they are more tender,
juicy, and full of flavour, just before they are quite full-
grown. Freshness is their chief value and excellence, and 1
should as soon think of roasting an animal alive, as of boiling
a vegetable after it is dead.
The eye easily discovers if they have been kept too long;
they soon lose their beauty in all respects.
Roots, greens, salads, &c. and the various productions of
the garden, when first gathered, are plump and firm, and have
a fragrant freshness no art can give them again, when the}
have lost it by long keeping ; though it will refresh them a
little to put them into cold spring water for some time before
they are dressed.
To boil them in soft water will preserve the colour besk
of such as are green ; if you have only hard water, put to it
a tea-spoonful of carbonate of potash.*
Take care to wash and cleanse them thoroughly from dust,
dirt, and insects : this requires great attention. Pick off all
the outside leaves, trim them nicely, and, if not quite fresh
gathered and have become flaccid, it is absolutely necessary
to restore their crispness before cooking them, or they will
be tough and unpleasant : lay them in a pan of clean water,
with a handful of salt in it, for an hour before you dress them.
" Most vegetables being more or less succulent, their full
proportion of fluids is necessary for their retaining that state-
of crispness and plumpness which they have when growing.
On being cut or gathered, the exhalation from their surface
continues, while, from the open vessels of the cut surface,
there is often great exudation or evaporation ; and thus their
natural moisture is diminished, the tender leaves become
flaccid, and the thicker masses or roots lose their plumpness.
This is not only less pleasant to the eye, but is a real injury
to the nutritious powers of the vegetable ; for in this flaccid
and shrivelled state its fibres are less easily divided in chew-
ing, and the water which exists in vegetable substances, in
the form of their respective natural juices, is directly nutri-
* Pe&rlash is a sub-carbonate, and will answer the purpose. It is a commou.
artiste in the kitchen of the American housekeeper. A.
tious. The first care in the preservation of succulent vege-
tables, therefore, is to prevent them from losing their natural
moisture." Suppl. to Edin. Encyclop. vol. iv. p. 335.
They should always be boiled in a sauce-pan by them-'
selves, and have plenty of water; if meat is boiled with
them in the same pot, they will. spoil the look and taste of
If you wish to have vegetables delicately clean, put on
your pot, make it boil, put a little salt in it, and skim it per-
iectly clean before you put in the greens, &c. ; which should
not be put in till the water boils briskly : the quicker they
boil, the greener they will be. When the vegetables sink,
they are generally done enough, if the water has been kept
constantly boiling. Take them up immediately, or they
will lose their colour and goodness. Drain the water from
them thoroughly before you send them to table.
This branch of cookery requires the most vigilant attention
If vegetables are a minute or two too long over the fire,
they lose all their beauty and flavour.
If not thoroughly boiled tender, they are tremendously in-
digestible, and much more troublesome during their residence
in the stomach, than under-done meats.*
To preserve or give colour in cookery, many good dishes
are spoiled; but the rational epicure who makes nourish-
ment the main end of eating, will be content to sacrifice the
shadow to enjoy the substance. Vide 06s. to No. 322.
Once for all, take care your vegetables are fresh : for as
ihe fishmonger often suffers for the sins of the cook, so the
cook often gets undeservedly blamed instead of the green-
Vegetables, in this metropolis, are often kept so long, thai
no art can make them either look or eat well.
Strong-scented vegetables should be kept apart ; leeks, or
celery, laid among cauliflowers, &c. will quickly spoil them.
" Succulent vegetables are best preserved in a cool, shady,
and damp place.
" Potatoes, turnips, carrots, and similar roots, intended to
be stored up, should never be cleaned from the earth adhe-
ring to them, till they are to be dressed.
" They must be protected from the action of the air and
* " CAULIFLOWERS and other vegetables are often boiled only crisp to preserve
their beauty. For the look alone they had better not be boiled at all, and almost as
well for the use, as in this crude state they are scarcely digestible by the strongest
stomach. On the other hand, when over-boiled, they become vapid, and in a state
similar to decay, in which they afford no sweet purifying juices to the body, but load
it with a mass of mere feculent matter." Domestic Management, 12mo. 1813.
frost, by laying them in heaps, burying them in sand or earth.
&c., or covering them with straw or mats.
" The action of frost destroys the life of the vegetable, and
it speedily rots." Suppl. to Edin. Encyclop. vol. iv. p. 335.
MEM. When vegetables are quite fresh gathered, they
will not require so much bo ; ling, by at least a third of the
time, as when they have been gathered the usual time those
are that are brought to public markets.
THIS department of the business of the kitchen requires
considerable experience, and depends more upon practice
than any other. A very few moments, more or less, will
thoroughly spoil fish ;* which, to be eaten in perfection, must
never be put on the table till the soup is taken off.
So many circumstances operate on this occasion, that it is
almost impossible to write general rules.
There are decidedly different opinions, whether fish should
be put into cold, tepid, or boiling water.
We believe, for some of the fame the Dutch cooks have
acquired, they are a little indebted to their situation affording
them a plentiful supply of fresh fish for little more than the
trouble of catching it ; and that the superior excellence of
the fish in Holland, is because none are used, unless they
are brought alive into the kitchen (mackerel excepted, which
die the moment they are taken out of the water). The
Dutch are as nice about this as Seneca says the Romans!
were ; who, complaining of the luxury of the times, says,
* When the cook has large dinners to prepare, and the time of serving uncertain,
she will get more credit by FRIED (see No. 145), or stewed (see No. 164), than by
BOILED fish. It is also cheaper, and much sooner carved (see No. 145).
Mr. Ude, page 338 of his cookery, advises, " If you are obliged to wait after the
fish is done, do not let it remain in the water, but keep the water boiling, and put
the fish over it, and cover it with a damp cloth ; when the dinner is called for, dip
the fish again in the water, and serve it up."
The only circumstantial instructions yet printed for FRYING FISH, the reader will
find in No. 145 ; if this be carefully and nicely attended to, you will have delicious
t They had salt-water preserves for feeding different kinds of sea-fish ; those in
the ponds of Lucullus, at his death, sold for 25,000/. sterling. , The prolific power of
fish is wonderful : the following calculations are from Petit, Block, and Leuwen-
M They are come to that daintiness, that they will not eat a
fish, unless upon the same day that it is taken, that it may
taste of the sea, as they express it."
On the Dutch flat coast, the fish are taken with nets : on
our rocky coast, they are mostly caught by bait and hook,
which instantly kills them. Fish are brought alive by land
to the Dutch markets, in water casks with air-holes in the
top. Salmon, and other fish, are thus preserved in rivers, in
a well-hole in the fishing-boat.
All kinds of fish are best some time before they begin to
spawn ; and are unfit for food for some time after they have
Fish, like animals, are fittest for the table when they are
just full grown ; and what has been said in Chapter V. re-
specting vegetables, applies equally well to fish.
The most convenient utensil to boil fish in, is a turbot-
kettle. This should be 24 inches long, 22 wide, and 9 deep.
It is an excellent vessel to boil a ham in, &c. &c.
The good folks of this metropolis are so often disappointed
by having fish which has been kept too long, that they are
apt to run into the other extreme, and suppose that fish will
not dress well unless it is absolutely alive. This is true of
lobsters, &c. (No. 176), and may be of fresh-water fish, but
certainly not of some sea-fish.
Several respectable fishmongers and experienced cooks
have assured the editor, that they are often in danger of
losing their credit by fish too fresh, and especially turbot and
cod, which, like meat, require a certain time before they are
in the best condition to be dressed. They recommend them
to be put into cold water, salted in proportion of about a
quarter of a pound of salt to a gallon of water. Sea-water
is best to boil sea-fish in. It not only saves the expense of
salt, but the flavour is better. Let them boil slowly till done :
the sign of which is, that the skin of the fish rises up, and
the eyes turn white.
It is the business of the fishmonger to clean them, &c. but
the careful cook will always wash them again.
Garnish with slices of lemon, finely scraped horseradish,
fried oysters (No. 183), smelts (No. 173), whitings (No. 153),
or strips of soles, as directed in No. 145.
A salmon of 20 pounds weight contained
A middling-sized pike 148,000
A mackerel 546.681
A cod 9,344,000
See Cours Gastronomiqucs, 18mo. 1806, p. 341,
88 FISH SAUCES.
The liver, roe, and chitterlings should be placed so that
the carver may observe them, and invite the guests to par-
take of them.
N.B. FISH, like meat, requires more cooking in cold than
in warm weather. If it becomes FROZEN,* it must be thawed
by the means we have directed for meat, in the 3d chapter
of the Rudiments of Cookery.
[Fish are plenty and good, and in great variety, in all the
towns and cities on the extensive coast of the United States.
Some of the interior towns are also supplied with fish pecu-
liar to the lakes and rivers of this country. A.]
The melted butter (No. 256) for fish, should be thick enough
to adhere to the fish, and, therefore, must be of the thickness
of light batter, as it is to be diluted with essence of anchovy
(No. 433), soy (No. 436), mushroom catchup (No. 439).
Cayenne (No. 404), or Chili vinegar (No. 405), lemons or
lemon-juice, or artificial lemon-juice, (see No. 407*), &c.
which are expected at all well-served tables.
Cooks, who are jealous of the reputation of their taste,
and housekeepers who value their health, will prepare these
articles at home : there are quite as many reasons why they
should, as there are for the preference usually given to home-
baked bread and home-brewed beer, &c.
N.B. The liver of the fish pounded and mixed with but-
ter, with a little lemon-juice, &c. is an elegant and inoffensive
relish to fish (see No. 288). Mushroom sauce extempore
(No. 307), or the soup of mock turtle (No. 247), will make
an excellent fish sauce.
On the comparatively nutritive qualities of fish, see N.R.
to No. 181.
* Fish are very frequently sent home frozen by the fishmonger, to whom an ice
Iiou.se is now as necessary an appendage (to preserve fish,) as it is to a confectioner
BROTHS AND SOUPS, 89
BROTHS AND SOUPS.
THE cook must pay continual attention to the condition of
her stew-pans* and soup-kettles, &c. which should be exa-
mined every time they are used. The prudent housewife
will carefully examine the condition of them herself at least
once a month. Their covers also must be kept perfectly
clean and well tinned, and the stew-pans not only on the
inside, but about a couple of inches on the outside : many
mischiefs arise from their getting out of repair; and if not
kept nicely tinned, all your good work will be in vain ; the
broths and soups will look green and dirty, taste bitter and
poisonous, and will be spoiled both for the eye and palate,
and your credit will be lost.
The health, and even life of the family, depends upon this,
and the cook may be sure her employers had rather pay the
tinman's bill than the doctor's ; therefore, attention to this
cannot fail to engage the regard of the mistress, between
whom and the cook it will be my utmost endeavour to pro-
mote perfect harmony.
If a servant has the misfortune to scorch or blister the tin-
ning of her pan,j which will happen sometimes to the most
careful cook, I advise her, by all means, immediately to" ac-
quaint her employers, who will thank her for candidly men-
tioning an accident ; and censure her deservedly if she con-
Take care to be properly provided with sieves and tammy
cloths, spoons and ladles. Make it a rule without an exception,
never to use them till they are well cleaned and thoroughly
dried, nor any stewpans, &c. without first washing them out
with boiling water, and rubbing them well with a dry cloth
and a little bran, to clean them from grease, sand, &c., or
any bad smell they may have got since they were last used :
never neglect this.
Though we do not suppose our cook to be such a naughty
* We prefer the form of a stew-pan to the soup-pot ; the former is more convenient
to skim : the most useful size is 12 i nches diameter by 6 inches deep : this we would
have of silver, or iron, or copper, lined (not plated) with silver.
t This may be always avoided by browning your meat in the frying-pan ; it is thfi
browning of the meat that destroys the stew-pan.
90 BROTHS AND SOUPS.
slut as to wilfully neglect her broth-pots, &c., yet we may
recommend her to wash them immediately, and take care
they are thoroughly dried at the fire, before they are put by,
and to keep them in a dry place, for damp will rust and de-
stroy them very soon : attend to this the first moment you
can spare after the dinner is sent up.
Never put by any soup, gravy, &c. in metal utensils ; in
which never keep any thing longer than is absolutely neces-
sary for the purposes of cookery ; the acid, vegetables, fat,
&c. employed in making soups, &c. are capable of dissolving
such utensils ; therefore stone or earthen vessels should be
used for this purpose.
Stew-pans, soup-pots, and preserving pans, with thick and
round bottoms (such as sauce-pans are made with), will wear
twice as long, and are cleaned with half the trouble, as those
whose sides are soldered to the bottom, of which sand and
grease get into the joined part, and cookeys say that it is
next to an impossibility to dislodge it, even if their nails are
as long as Nebuchadnezzar's. The Editor claims the credit
of having first suggested the importance of this construction
of these utensils.
Take care that the lids fit as close as possible, that the
broth, soup, and sauces, &c. may not waste by evaporation.
They are good for nothing, unless they fit tight enough to
keep the steam in and the smoke out.
Stew-pans and sauce-pans should be always bright on the
upper rim, where the fire does not burn them ; but to scour
them all over is not only giving the cook needless trouble,
but wearing out the vessels. See observations on sauce-
pans in Chapter I.
Cultivate habits of regularity and cleanliness, &c. in all
your business, which you will then get through easily and
comfortably. I do not mean the restless spirit of Molidusta*
" the Tidy One," who is anon, anon, Sir, frisking about in a
whirlpool of bustle and confusion, and is always dirty, under
pretence of being always cleaning.
Lean, juicy beef, mutton, or veal, form the basis of broth;
procure those pieces which afford the richest succulence, and
as fresh killed as possible.*
Stale meat will make broth grouty and bad tasted, and fat
meat is wasted. This only applies to those broths which are
required to be perfectly clear : we shall show hereafter (in
* In general, it has been considered the best economy to use the cheapest and most
inferior meats for soup, &c., and to boil it down till it is entirely destroyed, and
hardly worth putting into the hog- tub. This is a false frugality: buy good pieces ot ;
meat, and only stew them till they are done enough to be eaten.
BROTHS AND SOUPS. 91
No. 229), that fat and clarified drippings may be so combined
with vegetable mucilage, as to afford, at the small cost of one
penny per quart, a nourishing and palatable soup, fully ade-
quate to satisfy appetite and support strength : this will open
a new source to those benevolent housekeepers, who are
disposed to relieve the poor, will show the industrious classes
how much they have it in their power to assist themselves,
and rescue them from being objects of charity dependent on
the precarious bounty of others, by teaching them how they
may obtain a cheap, abundant, salubrious, and agreeable ali-
ment for themselves and families.
This soup has the advantage of being very easily and very
soon made, with no more fuel than is necessary to warm a
room. Those who have not tasted it, cannot imagine what
a salubrious, savoury, and satisfying meal is produced by the
judicious combination of cheap homely ingredients.
Scotch barley broth (No. 204) will furnish a good dinner
of soup and meat for fivepence per head, pease soup (No.
221) will cost only sixpence per quart, ox-tail soup (No. 240)
or the same portable soup (No. 252), for fivepence per quart,
and (No. 224) an excellent gravy soup for fourpence half-
penny per quart, duck-giblet soup (No. 244) for three-
pence per quart, and fowls' head soup in the same manner
for still less (No. 239), will give you a good and plentiful
dinner for six people for two shillings and twopence. See
also shin of beef stewed (No. 493), and a-la-mode beef (No.
BROTH HERBS, SOUP ROOTS, AND SEASONINGS.
Scotch barley (No. 204),