WARM DINNERS FOR HOT WEATHER EVENINGS
Here is a wide range of menus for warm dinners which may be prepared in the morning, thus relieving the housewife of exhausting summer afternoons spent in a hot kitchen.
Women and their Work
ESTELLE CARTER MACPHERSON
EVERY woman who does her own cooking, dreads the discomfort of preparing a hot meal in the summertime. Yet she feels that her husband expects one, at least on some of the days of the week. To help solve this problem I am passing on some menus I have worked out, which can be prepared and cooked, or partially cooked, in the morning, for serving at night. By following this method, the housekeeper may come in from an afternoon at bridge, tennis or motoring and, in the time it takes to freshen her toilet and arrange the table for dinner, the food will be ready.
It is possible with new potatoes, peas, etc., to have them ready to cook and boil them as wanted, but even so, they require watching, and the gas raises the temperature of the kitchen. So I generally advise cooking them in the morning. Peas lose their flavor if not cooked as soon as they are shelled. All vegetables, excepting corn and asparagus and possibly potatoes, are improved by a second heating, when it is carefully done. Well seasoned dishes have a better and more distinctive flavor if prepared in time to let the seasoning become well blended with the food.
The quantities given in these menus are for four people, but they may be halved for two, or added to for more than four. A small oven which fits on the top of the stove and requires but one gas jet to heat, is economical. In most instances the entire meal could be quickly and economically heated in one of them.
It would make this article too long were I to describe every part of each menu in detail. I will, therefore, confine myself to explaining the principal and the unusual dishes, and leave the reader to think out the best means of handling the rest. Potatoes can be cooked in their jackets in the morning and peeled when cold. Put them in a pan, with a little butter for buttered potatoes, cover and place in the oven for five minutes. Sprinkle minced parsley over them when serving. For mashed potatoes it is best to peel the potatoes before boiling. Drain them well and, when wanted, put in a covered pan, with two tablespoons of milk, heat, mash, season with butter and salt, and beat well. White sauce for creamed potatoes, should be prepared in the morning. Heat the sauce, then put in the potatoes.
Chicken is a favorite Sunday dinner.
Chicken a la Maryland is an ideal dish for reheating. It may be prepared on Saturday for Sunday dinner, the meat and vegetable pie, in the menu directly following this one, to be used for the Saturday evening dinner and prepared at the same time. Such parts of the chicken as are of little value in the first dish are used to advantage in the second.
Cream Bouillon Chicken a la Maryland Buttered Potatoes Hot Biscuit Corn Custard Cucumber Salad Delightful Melons
Cream Bouillon—Dissolve three beef cubes in 134 cups boiling water, add a small slice of onion minced fine and a pinch of quick tapioca. Let boil two minutes. Scald two cups of milk and blend with the beef mixture. Serve with three or four cubes of cold toast or crouton in each cup.
Chicken a la Maryland—Select a fair sized yellow-skinned young chicken. If small spring chickens are used, two will be required for four people. Dress, cut off
the backs, necks and drumsticks, leaving as much meat as possible on second joint of legs and wings to second joint. Place these parts with heart and gizzard in saucepan and cook a few minutes if they are to be kept over until following day. Flatten out the rest of the chicken with the flat side of the cleaver then chop in. four sections cutting through the • breast bone in both directions. If small chickens are used chop just once lengthwise. Rub the .pieces with salt, dip in egg, then in flour. Fry four slices of bacon cut in half rashers, when crisp lift out on broiler or paper to drain. Place the chicken in the bacon fat; an iron skillet is best to use. Let the chicken fry until brown on one side, turn, add a heaping teaspoon butter, cover tightly, let cook slowly until well browned all over turning as required. Add half cup hot water, place on simmerer and let steam until tender. Lift chicken from skillet, blend a heaping tablespoon flour with the fat, let brown, then add three-quarter cup hot water and three-quarter cup of rich milk, let thicken, stirring as required and seasoning with pepper and salt to taste. Pour the sauce into a shallow baking dish or casserole, and place the chicken on top of the gravy. When cool place in ice box.
Corn Custard—Requires one half can of corn or kernels of from four to six cobs of green corn according to size of cobs. Scald the corn with 134 cups milk and blend in one teaspoonful flour. Let cool. Beat one egg and add to mixture, add half teaspoonful of butter, salt and pepper to taste also a little sugar if corn is not sweet. Put in a shallow baking dish.
Cucumber Salad—Peel cucumbers, slice lengthwise in eights or quarters, sprinkle well with salt and place directly on ice in a shallow dish. Prepare lettuce, place in sealed jar and place on ice. Serve with vinegar or mayonnaise.
Hot Biscuits—Mix the biscuits, cut, place in pan ready for baking and put in ice box.
Delightful Melons—Select two small ripe melons, put on ice. Cut in small bits eight marshmallows and combine with the following: sliced candied ginger, walnuts, pineapple, peaches, cherries, bananas, oranges or combination of such fruits as it may be convenient to use. The ginger and cherries, either glace or maraschino, are the important ingredients which must not be omitted. There should be in all about 134 cups of the mixture; blend in a little lemon juice and sugar and place in refrigerator. Just before serving dinner, halve the melons, remove the seeds and fill the cavities with this mixture, top with whipped cream and cherries. Season the cream with lemon and sweeten. If the melons are not sufficiently sweet sprinkle a little sugar in them before filling them. A tiny bit of salt sprinkled over them will often improve the flavor. Place the melons in the refrigerator to keep cool until required.
Have the oven hot twenty minutes before the dinner hour. Place in it the biscuits and corn custard. Ten minutes later add the covered dish of chicken and the potatoes. Warm the bouillon. Mix the salad. The dinner is ready to serve. The slices of bacon should be placed on top of the chicken just before the dish is taken from the oven.
Crab or Shrimp Cocktail.
Meat and Vegetable Pie
Lemon Foam Pudding
Crab or Shrimp Cocktails—Shave fine sufficient white tender cabbage to make two cupsful. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add two to three cups of crab meat or shrimps. Moisten with mayonnaise dressing. Serve in cocktail cups or glasses.
Meat and Vegetable Pie—Cut one pound of veal in pieces, roll in flour, brown in one tablespoon dripping and butter. Use all butter if dripping is not on hand. Place in a stewing pan with the chicken backs, etc., left from Menu No. 1. Add the chicken stock, and water if required sufficient to cover the meat. Let simmer until meat is beginning to get tender, about three quarters of an hour. Add four stalks of celery cut in rings, one cup of diced carrots, four small onions and eight small potatoes. Let boil until potatoes are almost done, then add half cup green peas. Let boil two minutes and take from fire. Place all the solids in a deep baking dish, removing all bones and skin from the chicken. Add one cup of milk to the juice and blend in enough flour to thicken. Season well and pour over the solids. Mix biscuits, using one and one half cups of flour, three level teaspoonfuls baking powder, one eight teaspoon salt and sufficient rich milk to make a stiff dough. Pat the dough out to one and a half inches thick, do not roll if can be avoided; the pressure of a roller is apt to make it tough or heavy, cut the biscuit and place on a well floured plate. Put them in refrigerator until required. Twenty minutes before the dinner hour, heat the pie mixture to the boiling point on top of stove while the oven is heating. Stir and watch carefully that the gravy does not scorch. When boiling place the biscuits on top of pie to form the crust. Do not crowd them. The dish should be sufficiently deep so that biscuits reach just to the top. Place the baking dish inside a pie plate to avoid trouble if the gravy boils over. Bake until the biscuits are done. They will require a little longer baking than if they were cooked by themselves in a baking pan. Serve in the dish in which the pie was baked.
Lemon Foam Pudding—Make your favorite lemon pie mixture. Whip the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth. Turn the boiling mixture on to the eggs, beating lightly and slowly. Chill. Serve in individual dishes with lady fingers or cake fingers in each glass. Garnish with a mint cherry.
Stuffed Vegetable Marrow Butter Beans Combination Salad Banana Parfait Sponge Cake
Potato Puree—Peel three medium sized potatoes, cut into quarters. Peel and slice two medium sized onions. Boil in water just sufficient to cover until the onions are well cooked and potatoes a little mushy. Press through a colander and set aside. When wanted add two cups of rich milk, one teaspoonful butter. Heat to boiling point then add half teaspoonful, salt four dashes of pepper. Serve with minced parsley and dash of paprika in each plate.
Stuffed Vegetable Marrow—Select a small marrow or use half of a larger one. Peel the marrow and cut in half crosswise.
Remove the seeds and steam the marrow until it is tender. Brown together one tablespoon dripping, one tablespoon butter and two tablespoons flour. Add one cup rich milk and cook until the mixture forms a stiff paste. Season with half teaspoonful salt, half teaspoonful minced parsley, one eighth teaspoonful summer savory, pinch of thyme, quarter teaspoonful pepper. Remove from stove, then stir in one cup minced cooked meat, one cup of stale bread crumbs and one beaten egg. When the cooked marrow is cold, fill the seed cavity with the mixture, after first rubbing a little salt into the sides and bottom of cavity. Pass a flat string about the marrow to hold it together. When wanted, place a little butter in a baking dish and steam or bake the marrow in a slow oven for fifteen minutes. Remove the string after placing the marrow on a platter. Carve in rounds at the table and serve with white sauce. If half of a large marrow has been used, a crust of bread, moistened in water, may be utilized to hold the dressing in place at the cut end. Remove before serving.
Banana Parfait—Fruit parfaits in small quantities are easily made. Whip half pint cream to a stiff froth. Then whip into the cream two tablespoonsful sugar, one teaspoonful gelatine dissolved in 13^ tablespoonsful hot milk. Put the mixture in a wide mouthed quart sealer and place the sealer in any sort of can that will fit into the ice box of your refrigerator. Pack the jar about with ice and coarse salt. Use almost as much salt as ice. Let stand two hours. Mash two bananas, sprinkle over them two tablespoonsful sugar, juice of half a lemon. Add one teaspoonful gelatine dissolved in two tablespoonsful warm water and place in refrigerator to jelly. A cupful of crushed and sweetened strawberries or crushed peaches may be substituted for the bananas. When the cream mixture has stood for about two hours or until the cream is frozen on the sides of the bottle, scrape the cream away from the glass with a silver knife, turning it towards the centre. Be sure to mix in well the cream from the bottom of the bottle. Add the jellied fruit to the cream. Mix well. Pack in ice and let stand in refrigerator. It will require at least two hours longer to be well frozen. If care is taken the fruit may be added to the cream without removing the bottle from the can of ice and salt. Be sure to have the jar well sealed, to prevent the salt from getting into the parfait. To insure this, butter around cracks where cover joins sealer.
Fruit Cocktail or Canapé English Rolled Lamb Chops Hash—Browned Potatoes Broiled Tomatoes Cabbage and Celery Salad Gelatine Dessert
English Rolled Lamb Chops—Select large chops two inches thick. Have the butcher bone and roll them. A piece of kidney may form the centre of the roll if desired. Put the chops in a hot pan, turning as required until both sides are brown, remove from the fat and let cool. Season well. Place them in a baking dish. Ten to fifteen minutes in the oven or under a broiler will finish cooking them. Allow fifteen minutes if you wish them well done. Serve with mint sauce. These make an excellent substitute for roast loin of lamb.
The diced cooked potatoes may be placed ready in a dish for the oven, the tomatoes cut in half crosswise after being peeled, drained and placed ready for the oven in a buttered pan.
On a very warm day when you dislike the thought of cooking meat in any form why not have a “Sunshine Dinner?”
Iced Orange Juice served in small glass
Curried Eggs with Rice Green Peas
Lettuce and Tomato Salad Ice Cream and Cake or a Frozen Dessert
Curried Eggs with Rice—Steam one small cup of rice in double boiler until cooked. Season with salt and quarter teaspoonful butter. Remove the top of the boiler from the hot water, keep the rice covered tightly and set aside. Do not place in refrigerator. Boil from six tô eight eggs according to size of portions desired. One and one-half egg per person is generally sufficient. Put the eggs in a bowl and place under the cold water tap until cold enough to remove the shells. When cold place in refrigerator. Mix together one tablespoonful butter and 134 tablespoonsful flour. Scald two cups of milk. Pour the boiling milk slowly over the butter and flour, beating all the time until the mixture thickens. Season with quarter teaspoonful salt, dash of pepper, half teaspoonful curry powder, few grains of red pepper. Cover and put in refrigerator when cool.
When required put the rice on to steam up. Remove the lid from the double boiler and place the bowl of sauce on top of rice kettle to warm. Cut the eggs into quarters or slices. Put a little butter in centre of a large chop dish or platter, place the eggs on the butter and slide the dish under the gas jet to warm. Cover the eggs if the dish is to stand more than five minutes. To serve, place a ring of the heated rice around the eggs. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper, pour the sauce around them and place mounds of well drained and seasoned peas at each end of the dish. Garnish with parsley and a dash of paprika over the sauce.
Fish is always a good hot weather dish, but generally when the person cooking the fish has had to handle it and smell the odor of it cooking, she does not enjoy eating it. Halibut Supreme may be prepared in the morning or even the day before and be enjoyed by the cook and “all hands” at the dinner hour.
Grape Fruit Cocktail Halibut Supreme Buttered Potatoes Egg, Parsley and Lettuce Salad Deep Dish Rhubarb or Apple Pie with Whipped Cream
Halibut Supreme — Required: 1J4 pounds chicken halibut, sliced about 1 y2 inches thick; one cup tomatoes; four whole sprigs of parsley; one bay leaf, half cup onion cut fine, one cup scalded milk, half cup flour, fat for frying.
Cut the'halibut into portions and roll in the flour. Fry until lightly brown on each side. Be careful not to cook the fish so well that the pieces will break. Bacon dripping is the best fat to choose for fish. Place the browned fish in a shal-
low baking dish. Into the grease in the frying pan, put the onion and stir until cooked light yellow, add the tomato, bay leaf and parsley, cover, let simmer slowly. Blend one teaspoonful flour with the cup of milk and scald. When the onions are well cooked add the milk to the sauce, let boil up, then remove from the stove. Season well with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over and around the fish and when cool place in the refrigerator. A few minutes will heat the dish of fish and warm the previously cooked potatoes in a little butter.
Planked dishes always bring to mind the thought of cool streams and woodlands; camp-fire evenings and dreamless nights.
Puree of Fresh Vegetables
Hearts of Head Lettuce, Thousand Island Dressing
Strawberries or Sliced Peaches with Cream Cake
Baked Ham—The slice of ham should be cut about 134 to two inches thick and must be from the centre of the ham. 134 pounds will be sufficient for four people. Trim off the edges of the slice and cover both sides with a paste made of one and 134 tablespoonsful flour, % teaspoonsful mustard and sufficient mild vinegar to förm a stiff dough. Spread the paste on the ham with a knife. Place the slice of ham in a shallow baking dish and pour around it 1J4 cups of milk. The dish should be just large enough to hold the slice of ham. Cook in a medium oven for thirty minutes. A few minutes’ time while the potatoes are being mashed will suffice to warm the ham. Cover the baking dish and place over a gas jet for three or four minutes.
Menus Number I and VI, also Number II, with the exception of the biscuit for the top of the pie, can be utilized when house visitors are expected for a few days’ stay. Both the Chicken a la Maryland and the Halibut Supreme will keep well in the refrigerator for several days. For the Meat and Vegetable Pie it would be quite possible to mix the biscuits for the top of the pie a morning or two before the day they would be required. The refrigerator, of course, must be kept well supplied with ice to maintain a low enough temperature to insure the food from spoiling.