MANY young marrieds, hosts of business girls and vast numbers of small families, eat their meals in dinettes from tables just big enough to accommodate the individual covers, salts and peppers, relishes and the like. There’s no room for an array of platters, vegetable dishes or serving equipment on a large scale, and half the time there isn’t space to store such luxuries between meals.
They get along very well, nevertheless, by adapting service and menus according to their modem style of living. Plate dinners are a popular and sensible move, the only difference being that they’re "dished up’’ in the kitchen direct from cooking utensils to serving plates. Cuts out the middlemen.
Such meals are equally if not more appetizing than any other. They come to the table piping hot or nicely chilled as tincase demands, and you don’t have to endure the lukewarmness which often happens with a more elaborate way of doing things. If you plan them ahead of time, you can make them present an attractive picture as well as a delicious blend of flavors.
Miniature casseroles and baking dishes are designed for individual requirements, and are a great convenience in simplified menus. You can get charming ones of ovenproof glass, pottery or earthenware, and you can fill them with an endless variety of good things to eat. The base of these ramekin mixtures is a plain white sauce, and you’re well away if you know the principle of concocting a smooth, well-seasoned one. Melt your butter, stir in the flour until thoroughly blended, season and add the warmer! milk slowly, stirring all the time until the mixture is thickened. Many people always use a double boiler as a precaution against lumping. It isn’t really necessary though, provided you have the heat low and stir constantly during and after the addition of the liquid.
Make your variations from this point with meat, fish, eggs, cheese, vegetables or appropriate combinations of such savory foods. These, calleri solids as opposed to the co-operating liquid, may be added to the sauce and the whole thing turned into the buttered dishes. Or sometimes sauce and solids are arranged in alternate layers. Buttered crumbs make a suitable and stylish cap in either cast*.
When it comes to the matter of baking, a wire rack such as you see in the illustration is quite a convenience. Does away with any danger of tipping, and makes it easy to slip half a dozen in or out of the oven. Failing that, you could set them side by side in a shallow pan. In serving, all that's necessary is to lift them onto a plate and bring them to the table. If the dish is reasonably small and the plate a dinner size, vegetables or relishes can accompany the ramekin. Saves dishwashing as well as table space
A cold meal can have its one hot dish in this way, and there’ll be no swapping of temperatures to detract from the excellence of the food. For Sunday night suppers, a ramekin, salad or greens and rolls, or bread and butter, are often served in this simplified fashion.
It isn’t only in the main course that these small-scale baking dishes serve a good purpose. They'll do well for desserts
a pudding, a soufflé or an individual deep fruit pie. Nor is it merely on small tables for small families that they’re useful. They're smart enough for any setting, excellent for buffet meals, and the very thing for fireside suppers. Their contents can be adapted to any or all of these, so they’d still be popular even if they were not so eminently practical.
Ramekin of Chicken and Asparagus
2 Tablesptxmfuls of butter 2 Tablespoon fuis of flour 1 Cupful of milk % Cupful of cooked, diced chicken
4 Cupful of cooked ham. cut in small pieces
1 Cupful of cooked or canned asparagus. cut in small pieces Salt and pepper
Melt the butter, blend in the flour, and gradually add the milk. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the prepared chicken, ham and asparagus. When thoroughly heated, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve in heated individual dishes garnished with fresh parsley.
Individual Salmon Savories
' Cupful of flaked salmon
(fresh, canned or smoked)
1 2 Cupful of sliced celery 1 •_> Cupful of thinly sliced onion
1 Cupful of canned or cooked peas
1 Hard-cooked egR 1 Cupful of thin white sauce 1 Tablespoonful of minced parsley
1 s Teaspoonful of paprika Salt and pepper to taste Buttered bread crumbs
Parboil the celen' and onion for a few minutes in a small amount of salted water.
Drain and combine with the flaked salmon, the peas, the chopped hard-cooked egg and the white sauce. Add the minced parsley, the paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Coat the bottom and sides of buttered individual ramekin dishes with buttered bread crumbs and fill with the creamed mixture. Sprinkle more buttered crumbs over the top and place in a hot oven. 425 to 450 deg. Fahr., until nicely browned—about ten to fifteen minutes.
Celery, Cheese and Spaghetti Ramekin
1 Cupful of medium white sauce
1 Cupful of grated cheese
2 Cupfuls of diced celery
2 Tablespoonfuls of grated onion
1 Cupful of cooked spaghetti Buttered bread crumbs
Season the white sauce to taste with salt and pepper and add the grated cheese. Heat only until melted. Combine the diced celery, grated onion and cooked spaghetti, and almost fill buttered individual baking dishes with the mixture. Pour the cheese sauce over this, and sprinkle the surface with buttered bread crumbs. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 deg. Fahr., until heated through and nicely browned on the top—twenty to thirty minutes.
Ramekin of Baked Eggs and Chipped Beef
4 Tablespoon fuis of butter
4 Tablespoonfuls of flour
2 Cupfuls of milk
,'i Pound of chipped beef Seasonings to taste
4 or 5 Eggs
Buttered bread crumbs
Melt the butter, blend in the flour, and gradually add the milk. Cook over hot water, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the chipped beef, and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Place two to three tablespoon-
fuls of the sauce in each of four or five buttered individual baking dishes, break an egg into each and cover with the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle sifted, buttered bread crumbs over the top, and bake in a fairly hot oven—400 deg. Fahr. — for twenty minutes. Serve at once.
Crab and Noodle Medley
2\;2 Cupfuls of cooked, fine noodles
1 Three-oz. tin of crab meat or lobster
)4, Cupful of butter
1 Small package of pimiento cream cheese
1 Cupful of rich milk or cream
Combine the noodles, which have been cooked until tender, in boiling salted water, drained and rinsed, with the flaked crab meat. Melt the butter and cheese over hot water, and combine with the noodle and fish mixture. Place in individual baking dishes and pour the rich milk over the top. Bake for about twenty minutes or until nicely browned in a fairly hot oven—400 deg. Fahr.
l Tablespoonful of gravy powder
1 Cupful of warm water
1 Teaspoonful of lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste
2 Cupfuls of minced cooked veal
1 Tablespoonful of chopped
parsley or pimiento
Combine the gravy powder with the warm water, bring to boiling point and add to the beaten eggs, stirring during the addition. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine with the minced veal and parsley or pimiento, mix well and turn into greased individual baking dishes. Set these in a pan of hot water and bake in a moderate oven, 350 deg. Fahr., until the mixture is set—about half an hour. Serve hot in the
baking dishes, or, unmolded, on a warmed
Ramekin of Onion, Ham and Tomato
1 Pound of onions
3 2 Cupful of minced cooked ham
2 Tablespoonfuls of butter 2 Tablespoonfuls of flour
1 Cupful of tomato juice 1 Teaspoonful of salt Pepper and paprika Grated cheese
Peel the onions and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Cut in lengthwise sections, and arrange these sections in buttered individual baking dishes. Over these spread the minced cooked ham. Melt the butter, blend in the flour and
gradually add the tomato juice. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the salt, and pepper and paprika to taste. Pour this sauce over the onions and ham. and sprinkle the surface with grated cheese. Bake in a moderate oven—350 deg. Fahr, —until the cheese is nicely browned.
2 Cupfuls of cooked, minced chicken
2 Tablespoon fuis of melted
1 Cupful of milk Y> Cupful of chicken broth
3 Egg yolks, beaten
1 Tablespoonful of finely chopped parsley
H Cupful of soft bread crumbs
1 Teaspoonful of salt
1 Teaspoonful of condiment
Combine all the above ingredients in the order given and turn into greased individual baking dishes. Place in a pan of hot water and bake until set about thirty minutes —in a moderate oven of 350 deg. Fahr. Serve unmolded with tomato sauce to which the whites of the three eggs, poached until firm and coarsely chopped, have been added.
Steamed Rhubarb Pudding
2 Cupfuls of rhubarb, cut in
1 Cupful of sugar
2 Cupfuls of flour 1 Cupful of finely ground suet . yA Teaspoonful of salt About )->2 Cupful of water
Combine the rhubarb and sugar and allow to stand while the crust is being made. Mix the flour, suet and salt thoroughly, add the water gradually to make a smooth dough which will mil. Line individual baking dishes with one half of the rolled dough, fill with the rhubarb and sugar mixture and cover with the remaining rolled dough, fitting the tops snugly and pressing the edges together. Steam, or cook in a pan of hot w'ater in a moderate oven—350 deg. Fahr, for two hours. Brown the crust in a hot oven—425 to 450 deg. Fahr.—and serve hot.
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