The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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To Cook Terrapins.—(Arganaut.)—Take 4 female terrapins, throw them into boiling water, boil till the? toe nails will remove easily, take them up, and when cold enough to handle, remove the shells, sand bag, the portion of the liver that contains the gall and cut them in quarters, or smaller, if desired. Take 1-2 pint of soup stock, melt it and have ready the hard boiled yolks of 8 eggs, pound them fine, let them boil a few minutes in the stock, then strain over the terrapins. Simmer 18 minutes, add 1 teaspoonful each of salt, cayenne pepper, powdered mace, cin­namon, allspice, 1-2 lb. of sweet butter, 1-2 pint of sherry, 1-2 spoonful of cloves, 2 tablespoonfuls of flour. If not thick enough add more flour; if too thick, thin with sherry. Cook till suffi­ciently tender. Add one pint more of sherrv and set away till next day. When wanted heat in a stew pan
Frying is, sometimes, a very convenient mode of cooking if done well; very agreeable as a change ; but, if badly-done, is one of the most offensive ways in which good victuals can be spoiled. It may be smoked for want of attention to the fire ; it may be .strong from the use of offensive dripping; it may be sodden in fat from want of sufficient briskness of fire to do it properly, or it may be scorched and dried outside and slack in the middle, if the fire is too fierce. All these errors are to be avoided.
The fire should be clear and brisk, and rather stronger than for broiling. The frying-pan should be thick in the bottom, that it may be less liable to burn. The fat should be sweet and fresh and clear; free from salt; either good lard or dripping, or, for somethings, oil or butter; these latter, though very delicious, are very extravagant; and there is scarcely any purpose for which good lard or dripping, if properly managed, will not answer equally well. If butter is used for frying, when the steaks are finely browned on one side, turn them and cover the pan, which will render them more juicy; pepper and salt as for broiling; when done, place them on a hot dish by the fire or in a corner of the stove, and add what remains in the pan, a little catsup and a little good gravy, which boil up for a moment or two, and pour over the steaks. This is the usual mode for lamb or mutton chops. Garnish with green pickles or scraped horseradish.
Lamb and mutton chops are sometimes egged and rolled in bread crumbs and parsley before frying.
Pork chops may be fried in the same manner, dipping them, after they are egged, in a mixture of chopped sage, onions and crumbs of bread, with pepper and salt.