OFF the ICE
HELEN G. CAMPBELL
Director, The Chatelaine Institute
IN THE LAST issue I promised to write next about refrigerator “cookery,” so, being a woman of my word, here goes.
April is as good a time to write as any, for the many dishes which come from your refrigerator are popular at every season. We like our chilled tomato juice any morning, and a frozen dessert is just as acceptable in midwinter as it is when served at tea on the porch.
And what a long list we have to consider—foods for every meal and for every course, dishes of many types and an infinite variety of flavors ! Well, to begin at the beginning, think of the possibilities of ice cubes. Not the ordinary ones, but ice cubes made of clear fruit juices to bring color, coolness and food value to fruit cocktails or fruit cups which begin or end a meal. A half grapefruit by itself is good, but set a cube of frozen rhubarb juice on top and it becomes a gala affair. And a simple glass of punch is all the better when a flavored cube slowly melts within, setting free its color as it dissolves. There is one thing, though, to remember. Don’t have the juice too sweet when you want to use it this way, for much sugar delays the freezing and the tartness is appealing to the taste.
Your early morning orange juice, or whatever variety of fruit or vegetable juice you prefer, is at its best when well chilled. If it comes from the refrigerator direct to your table, it is sparkling and refreshing—the very thing to start off the day, whatever the weather. Fruit, too, as appetizer or dessert, needs thorough chilling to bring out its flavor. And what is a salad without the cool crispness of the greens? Lettuce, cress and other leafy varieties retain their first freshness in the covered container which comes with most modem refrigerators or which can be bought as a separate unit. It holds other salad vegetables, too—celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers and whatever the season provides along this line. If fruit is to be used for this course, chill it first, for only then does it reach the peak of perfection.
Jellied dishes in all their variations require low temperature to “set” properly. You are independent of the weather when you have a refrigerator working for you, and menu planning is just so much easier. A little later in the season you may want your consommé lightly jellied instead of hot and sometimes for the main course you will serve the meat, fish or eggs in savory molds which can be varied by making use of whatever odds and ends you have on hand in your refrigerator.
When it comes to jellied salads, there are almost as many possibilities as there are foods and food combinations. They uiay be individual or family size, plain or full of vegetables or fruit, shaped to the lines and markings of your mold but never too stiff or indifferently flavored.
Desserts, thy name is legion! We naturally think first of the ice creams, mousses, sherbets and other types which may be prepared in the freezing compartment with no more effort than an occasional stirring. They are not merely party
foods any more, since refrigerators with a cold-control device have simplified the making and we have learned to take advantage of the even low temperature. Our first attempts when we tried to use our old recipes were nothing to boast about, but now we know how to get that smooth velvety texture which is quite as imjx>rtant as the flavor.
WHILE we are on the subject, let us consider the “do’s” and “don’t’s.” First, use a tested recipe adapted tothis method of freezing, then follow directions for combining the ingredients and for regulating the temperature of your refrigerator. An important point is to have everything alxiut the same degree of coldness. If, for instance, you add whipped cream to unchilled fruit pulp, the mixture may separate during the freezing. It is wise to chill even the bowl and other utensils you use.
The cream should not be too stiff, and herein lies a common mistake which results in graininess and ofttimes a buttery taste. Have it at the stage when it merely rounds up on the spoon, not piles up like a meringue. You should still be able to pour it. And when you are mixing the ingredients, fold in the prepared cream lightly and stop as soon as they are blended. Sweetened evaporated milk gives good results in dishes with pronounced flavor like chocolate, coffee or caramel. It is, of course, less expensive and in many recipes may be substituted, measure for measure, in the cream. Condensed milk is sometimes used, but only in a recipe which calls for it.
Avoid the use of too much sugar, as a very sweet mixture freezes slowly and is not so satisfactory. Unless you are making a syrup or custard as the base of the dish, confectioner’s or fruit sugar is preferable. Be careful, too, about substituting honey or corn syrup for sugar; these are frequently used, but it is better to have a recipe adapted for them.
Another point: If the recipe says fresh strawberries or peaches or some other fruit and you want to use the canned variety, make allowance for this extra sweetness and decrease the sugar. If it is the other way about, extra sugar will be required, but add it carefully-not too much.
Fruits are best crushed and not too juicy, as the extra liquid thins out the cream too much. All solid ingredients like fruit, nuts and so on should be cut into very small pieces, to blend the flavors more agreeably and allow you to cut and serve easily.
Some mixtures are thickened with gelatine to give body and smoothness and to prevent the frozen product melting too quickly. Only a little is required, and it is not usually necessary if whipped cream, beaten egg white or whipped evaporated milk is used. Sometimes, too, tapioca, marshmallows or junket are included to thicken and give variety.
To stir or not to stir? The recipe will answer your question, but as a rule it is only the thinner, less rich dishes such as sherbets and plain ice cream which need any attention. Additions made when the mixture is frozen to a mushy consistency should lx* chilled first. Work quickly and return to the refrigerator as scxm as possible.
Then there are the ice-box cakes which come under the heading of desserts, the Bavarian creams and similar dainties, the airy fruit sponges, the jellied desserts and the different combinations of fresh or canned varieties of fruits. To say nothing of the custards, junkets, blanc manges, fruit tapiocas, and many other puddings which are prepared on the stove but "finished off” in the refrigerator before serving.
And we must not forget the pastry dough which you may keep on hand for use whenever you want a pie for dessert, or the dough for cookies or rolls of many shapes and flavors, or the batter for waffles or griddle cakes. Think, too, of the many beverage ingredients-ginger ale, fruit juices, cocoa and other flavoring syrups which you can keep ready for making an endless variety of cooling drinks. And the salad dressings, the relishes and the sauces you can prepare beforehand.
All through the day you will bless your steady-going mechanical refrigerator for its convenience and for the opportunity it offers to provide new culinary science and more varied and interesting menus.
1 Cupful of sugar H Cupful of com syrup
2 Cupfuls of water 2 Bananas
1 Cupful of orange juice 2 Tablespoonfuls lemon juice 1 Cupful of whipping cream (if desired)
Boil the sugar, the corn syrup and one cupful of the water together until a soft ball forms when a little of the mixture is dropped into cold water — 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat,’add the remainder of the water, the orange juice, lemon juice and the bananas which have been pressed through a coarse sieve. Mix thoroughly and turn into the tray of the mechanical refrigerator. Freeze to a mush, stir thoroughly and continue freezing, stirring every half hour until the mixture is firm.
If a cream dessert is desired, freeze the fruit mixture to a mush, then fold in the cream which has been whipped until it will hold its shape, return to the freezing compartment and continue freezing until firm.
Caramel Nut Ice Cream
1 Cupful of granulated 1 Cupful of boiling water sugar 2 Cupfuls of evaporated milk
3 Eggs 1 Teaspoonful of vanilla
% Cupful of chopped salted peanuts
Place the sugar in a heavy pan and heat over slow heat until melted and light brown in color. Add the boiling water gradually, stirring during the addition. Beat the eggs, add one cupful of the milk and add gradually to the caramel mixture, stirring vigorously during the addition. Cook over boiling water until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon. Cool. Add the remaining cupful of milk, the vanilla and the chopped nuts. Turn into the tray of a mechanical refrigerator and freeze until firm. Stir two or three times during the freezing. This dessert is delicious if served with a chocolate sauce.
Frozen Cocoanut Tapioca
3 Tablespoonfuls of minute tapioca
2 Cupfuls of scalded milk
Y Teaspoonful of salt
Y Cupful of sugar
3 Tablespoon fuis of com syrup
2 Egg whites
2 Tablespoon fuis of sugar
1 Cupful of whipping cream
2 Teaspoonfuls of vanilla
1 Cupful of shredded cocoanut, toasted and crumbled
Add the tapioca to the scalded milk and cook over hot water, stirring frequently until the tapioca is clear. Strain the hot mixture through a fine sieve, stirring but not rubbing to force it through. Add the salt, sugar and syrup to the hot mixture and stir until dissolved. Cool and chill. Beat the egg whites until stiff and add the two tablespoon fuis of sugar. Whip the cream until it will hold its shape, and fold both egg whites and cream carefully into the chilled tapioca mixture. Add the vanilla and fold in the toasted cocoanut. Turn into the tray of the mechanical refrigerator and freeze.
Spring Fruit Salad
1 Cupful of fresh pineapple, cut in cubes
1 Cupful of fresh strawberries
2 Teaspoon fuis of chopped mint Y Cupful of French dressing to
which lime juice to taste has been added
Lettuce, mint, fruit salad dressing
Peel the oranges, removing all of the white membrane, separate into sections and cut each section into uniform pieces. Combine with the fresh pineapple cubes and the strawberries, which have been hulled and cut in halves if necessary. Add the limeflavored French dressing, which has been sweetened with powdered sugar if necessary, and let stand in the refrigerator for half an hour. Drain and serve on crisp lettuce, garnished with sprigs of fresh mint and accompanied by fruit salad dressing.
1 Tablespoonful of gelatine
Y Cupful of cold water
1 Cupful of hot pineapple juice
Y Cupful of sugar
Y Teaspoon ful of salt
Y Cupful of strained orange juice
Y Cupful of mild white vinegar 1 Cupful of orange pieces
lY Cupfuls of cooked pineapple, cut in small cubes 1 Cupful of raw, young carrot, coarsely grated Lettuce, mayonnaise
Soften the gelatine in the cold water for five minutes, add the hot pineapple juice and stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Combine with the orange juice and vinegar. Cool and set in the refrigerator to chill, When the mixture begins to set, add the prepared orange pieces, pineapple and grated carrot. Turn into one large mold or into individual ones, and place in the refrigerator until firm. Serve unmolded on crisp
lettuce or watercress accompanied by mayonnaise.
Crisp Green Salad
Wash lettuce, watercress, new green cabbage and tiny green onions and shake free from water. Place in a covered container in the refrigerator until very crisp and dry. Chill the salad bowl in the refrigerator. Make up a dressing, using one teaspoon ful of salt, one-quarter teaspoonful of white pepper, three tablespoon fuis of salad oil, one tablespoonful of vinegar. Combine these ingredients and beat well together. Chill until needed. Rub the inside of the salad bowl with a bit of crushed garlic, cut the lettuce, watercress and cabbage in fine shreds and the onions into paper-thin slices, and cut one or two firm tomatoes into uniform pieces. Put these materials into the salad bowl, pour the dressing over them and toss lightly with two forks until the dressing is nicely mixed with the greens. Serve at once with crisp crackers and nippy cheese.
Ginger Cream Mold
1 Tablespoonful of gelatine
3 Tablespoon fuis of cold water
1 Cupful of milk
2 Egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Y Cupful of sugar
1 Teaspoonful of vanilla
3 Tablespoonfuls of ginger syrup
Y Cupful of thinly sliced pre-
Y Pint of cream, whipped
Soak the gelatine in the cold water for five minutes. Scald the milk, add gradually to the slightly beaten egg yolks, add the salt and sugar, and cook over hot water, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Add the softened gelatine, stir until dissolved and strain. Cool and set in the refrigerator to chill. When the mixture begins to set, add the vanilla and the ginger syrup and fold in the sliced ginger and the whipped cream. Turn into a cold, wet mold and allow to chill in the refrigerator. Serve unmolded.
Ginger Ale Fruit Punch
1Y Cupfuls of granulated sugar
1Y Cupfuls of water
2 Cupfuls of orange juice
1 Cupful of pineapple juice
Juice of one grapefruit 4 or 5 Whole Cloves
Y Teaspoonful each of allspice,
cinnamon and nutmeg
3 Pints of ginger ale
Boil the sugar and water together for ten minutes, cool and mix with the fruit juices and the spices. Allow to stand in the refrigerator for one and one-half to two hours. Strain through cheesecloth, add the ginger ale and when thoroughly mixed, serve in tall glasses with orange ice cubes made by mixing orange juice with water and freezing in the ice cube tray of the refrigerator.
Molded Veal With Summer Salad
1 Knuckle of veal
1 Teaspoon ful of salt
Y Teaspoon ful of pepper
Y Teaspoon ful of paprika
Wipe the meat, place in a kettle with the sliced onion, cover with cold water, bring to boiling point and simmer until the meat drops from the bone. Remove the meat, strain the stock and boil until there are two cupfuls. Add the meat, which has been separated into fine shreds, and tum into a chilled loaf pan. Place in the refrigerator until firm. Unmold, cut in thin slices and serve with summer salad made as follows: Cut radishes and green pepper into paperthin slices, put in a dish of ice water, cover and leave in the refrigera tor until thoroughly chilled and crisp. Drain thoroughly and serve on crisp watercress with French dressing to which a little grated onion has been added.
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Delicious Apricot Cream Sauce
2 Egg yolks
34 Cupful of granulated sugar 34 Cupful of apricot juice Rind of half a lemon 1 Cupful of whipping cream
Beat the egg yolks, add the sugar, apricot juice and grated lemon rinds and cook slowly, stirring constantly until thick. Set
in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly and I just before serving combine with the cream which has been whipped until it is ven’ stiff. This is delicious with angel or sponge cake.
Almond Cheese Cookies
1 Package of white cream cheese
1 Cupful of butter
4 Tablespoon fuis of sugar
2 Cupfuls of pastry flour
1 Tablespoonful of milk Chopped blanched almonds
Cream the butter and cheese together until thoroughly blended. Work in the sifted flour, add the sugar and knead well. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Roll out very thin on a lightly floured board and cut in fancy shapes. Place on a baking sheet and brush the tops lightly with the egg, which has been beaten and thinned with the milk. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and a little sugar and bake in a hot oven—400 degrees Fahr.—for twelve to fifteen minutes.