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Italian Cook Book, The

100

FRIED EGG-PLANTS

(Melanzane fritte)

Egg-plant or, as they are also called, mad-apples are an excellent vegetable which may be used as dressing or as a dish by itself. Small or middle-sized egg-plants are to be preferred, as the big ones have sometimes a slightly bitter taste.

Remove the skin, cut into cubes, salt and leave them in a plate for a few hours. Then wipe them to remove the juice that they have thrown out, dip in flour and fry in oil.

101

STEWED EGG-PLANTS

(Melanzane in umido)

Remove the skin, cut them into cubes and place on the fire with a piece of butter. When this is all absorbed, complete the cooking with tomato sauce (No. 12).

102

EGG-PLANTS IN THE OVEN

(Melanzane al forno)

Skin five or six egg-plants, cut them in round slices and salt them so that they throw out the water that they contain. After a few hours dip in flour and frying oil.

Take a fireproof vase or baking tin and place the slices in layers, with grated cheese between each layer, abundantly seasoned with tomato sauce (No. 12).

Beat one egg with a pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of tomato sauce, a teaspoonful of grated cheese and two of crumbs of bread, and cover the upper layer with this sauce. Put the vase in the oven and when the egg is coagulated, serve hot.

103

DRESSING OF CELERY

(Sedano per contorno)

The following are three ways to prepare celery to be served as seasoning or seasoning for meat dishes. For the first two make the pieces about four inches long, and two inches for the third. The stalk must be skinned, cut crosswise and left attached to the rib of the celery. Boil it in water moderately salted not over five minutes and remove dry.

1. Put the celery to brown in butter, then complete the cooking with brown stock (No. 13) and sprinkle with grated cheese when serving.

2. Put in saucepan a piece of butter and a hash made with ham and a middle sized onion, chopped fine. Add two cloves and make it boil. When the onion is browned add soup stock or hot water with bouillon cubes and complete the cooking. Then rub everything through a sieve and put the gravy in a plate with the celery, seasoning with pepper only, as the salt is already in the ham and serve with the gravy.

3. Dip the celery in flour and in the paste for frying (No. 58) and fry in fat or oil. Or else dip in flour and then in beaten egg, wrap in bread crumbs and fry.

104

ARTICHOKES WITH SAUCE

(Carciofi in salsa)

Remove the hard leaves of the artichokes, cut the points and skin the stalk. Divide each artichoke into four parts or six if they are big, and put them on the fire with butter in proportion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Shake the saucepan to turn them and when they have absorbed a good part of the melted butter, pour in some broth to complete the cooking. Remove them dry, and in the gravy that remains put a pinch of chopped parsley, one or two teaspoonfuls of cheese grated fine, lemon juice, more salt and pepper if needed, and, mixing the whole, make it simmer for a while. Then remove the sauce from the fire and add one or two yolks of egg, according to the quantity and put back on the fire with more broth to make the sauce loose. Put the artichokes in the sauce this second time to heat them and serve especially as a side-dish for boiled meat.

105

STUFFED ARTICHOKES

(Carciofi ripieni)

Cut the stalk at the base, remove the small outside leaves and wash the artichokes. Then cut the top and open the internal leaves so that you can cut the bottom with a small knife and remove the hairy part if it is there. Keep aside the small interior leaves to put them with the stuffing. This, if to be used, for example, for six artichokes, must be composed of the above small leaves, 1/8 lb. of ham more lean than fat, one fourth of a small onion, just a taste of garlic, some leaves of celery or parsley, a pinch of dry mushrooms, softened in water, a crumb of bread and a pinch of pepper, but no salt.

First chop the ham, then grind everything together and with the hash fill the artichokes, and put them to cook standing on their stalks in a saucepan with some oil, salt and pepper. Some prefer to give the artichokes a half cooking in water before stuffing it, but it is hardly advisable, because in this way they lose part of their special flavor.

106

ARTICHOKES STUFFED WITH MEAT

(Carciofi ripieni di carne)

For six artichokes, make the following stuffing:

¼ lb. lean veal.
Two slices of ham, more fat than lean.
The interior part of the artichokes.
One fourth of onion (small).
Some leaves of parsley.
One pinch of softened dried mushrooms.
One small crumb of bread rolled and sifted.
One pinch of grated cheese.

When the artichokes have been browned with oil alone, pour a little water and cover with a moistened cloth kept in place by the cover. The steam that surrounds the artichokes cooks them better.

107

PEAS WITH ONION SAUCE

(Piselli alla francese)

The following recipe is good for one of fresh peas. Take two young onions, cut them in half, put some stems of parsley in the middle and tie them. Then put them into the fire with a piece of butter and when they are browned, pour over a cup of soup stock. Make it boil and when the onions are softened rub them through a sieve together with the gravy that you will then put on the fire with the peas and two whole hearts of lettuce. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer. When the peas are half cooked add another piece of butter dipped in a scant tablespoonful of flour and pour in some broth, if necessary. Before sending to the table put in two yolks of eggs dissolved in a little broth.

II

The following recipe is simpler than the preceding, but not so delicate. Cut an onion in very thin slices and put it on the fire in a saucepan with a little butter. When it is well browned add a pinch of flour, mix and then add according to the quantity, a cup or two of soup stock or water with bouillon cubes and allow the flour to cook. Put in the peas, season with salt and pepper and add, when they are half cooked, one or two whole hearts of lettuce. Let it simmer, seeing that the gravy is not too thick.

Before serving remove the lettuce.

108

PEAS WITH HAM

(Piselli col prosciutto)

Cut in two one or two young onions, according to the quantity of the peas and put them on the fire with oil and one thick slice of ham cut into small cubes. Brown until the ham is shrivelled; then put the peas in, season with a pinch of pepper and very little salt, mix and complete the cooking with broth, adding a little butter.

Before serving, throw the onion away.

109

PEAS WITH CORNED BEEF

(Piselli con la carne secca)

Put on the fire a hash of corned beef, garlic, parsley and oil, season with a little salt and pepper and when the garlic is browned, put the peas in. When they have absorbed the sauce, complete the cooking with broth or, failing that, with water.

110

STUFFED TOMATOES

(Pomodori ripieni)

Select ripe middle-sized tomatoes, cut them in two equal parts and scoop out the inside seeds. Season with salt and pepper and fill the tomatoes with the following hash, in such a way as to make the stuffing come over the edge of the half tomato:

Make a hash with onion, parsley and celery, put it on the fire with a piece of butter and when it is browned, put in a small handful of dried mushrooms previously softened in water and chopped very fine: add a tablespoonful of bread crumbs soaked in milk, season with salt and pepper and let the compound simmer, moistening with water if necessary. When you take from the fire add, when it is still lukewarm, grated cheese and a beaten yolk (or two) of egg, but seeing that the compound does not become too liquid.

When the tomatoes are filled, take them in the oven with a little butter and oil mixed together and serve them as a side-dish for roast beef or steak.

The stuffed tomatoes can be made simpler with a hash of garlic and parsley mixed with bread crumbs, salt and pepper and seasoned with oil when they are in the saucepan.

111

CAULIFLOWER WITH BALSAMELLA

(Cavolfiore colla balsamella)

Remove from a good sized cauliflower the external leaves and the green ribs, make a deep cut crosswise in the stalk and cook it in salted water. Then cut it in sections and brown with butter, salt and pepper. Put it in a baking tin, throw over a small pinch of grated cheese, cover with the balsamella (No. 54) and brown the surface.

Serve this cauliflower as an entremets or as a side-dish with boiled chicken or a stew.

112

STUFFED CABBAGE

(Cavolo ripieno)

Take a big cabbage, remove the hard outside leaves, cut the stem off even with the leaves and give it half cooking in salt water. Put it upside down to drain, then open the leaves one by one until the heart is exposed and on this put the stuffing. Bring up all the leaves, close them and tie with thread crosswise.

The stuffing can be made with milk veal stewed alone, or with sweetbread or chicken liver, all chopped fine. To make it more delicate, add some balsamella (No 54) a pinch of grated cheese, one yolk of egg and a taste of nutmeg. Complete the cooking of the cabbage in the sauce of this stew, adding a little butter, on a low fire or in the oven kept low.

Instead of filling the whole cabbage, the larger leaves may be filled one by one, rolling and tying them.

113

SIDE-DISH OF SPINACH

(Spinaci per contorno)

After cooking the spinach in boiling water and chopping them fine, the spinach can be cooked in different ways:

1. With butter, salt and pepper, adding a little brown stock, if you have it, or a few tablespoonfuls of broth, or milk.

2. With onion sauce (onion chopped very fine) and butter.

3. With butter salt and pepper, adding a very small pinch of grated cheese.

4. With butter, a drop of olive oil and tomato sauce (No. 12) or tomato paste diluted with soup stock or water.


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