TO BOIL NEW POTATOES.
Do not have the potatoes dug long before they are dressed, as they are never good when they have been out of the ground for some time. Well wash them, rub off the skins with a coarse cloth, and put them in boiling water salted. Let them boil until tender; try them with a fork, and when done pour the water away from them; let them stand by the side of the fire with the lid of the saucepan partly removed, and when the potatoes are thoroughly dry, put them in a hot vegetable dish, with a piece of butter the size of a walnut; pile the potatoes over this and serve. If the potatoes are too old to have the skins rubbed off; boil them in their jackets; drain, peel and serve them as above, with a piece of butter placed in the midst of them. They require twenty to thirty minutes to cook. Serve them hot and plain, or with melted butter over them.
Take the quantity needed, pare off the skins and lay them in cold water half an hour; then put them into a saucepan with a little salt; cover with water and boil them until done. Drain off the water and mash them fine with a potato masher. Have ready a piece of butter the size of an egg, melted in half a cup of boiling hot milk and a good pinch of salt; mix it well with the mashed potatoes until they are a smooth paste, taking care that they are not too wet. Put them into a vegetable dish, heaping them up and smooth over the top, put a small piece of butter on the top in the centre, and have dots of pepper here and there on the surface as large as a half dime.
Some prefer using a heavy fork or wire beater, instead of a potato masher, beating the potatoes quite light and heaping them up in the dish without smoothing over the top.
Mash them the same as the above, put them into a dish that they are to be served in, smooth over the top and brush over with the yolk of an egg, or spread on a bountiful supply of butter and dust well with flour. Set in the oven to brown; it will brown in fifteen minutes with a quick fire.
MASHED POTATOES. (Warmed Over.)
To two cupfuls of cold mashed potatoes add a half cupful of milk, a pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of butter, two tablespoonfuls of flour and two eggs beaten to a froth. Mix the whole until thoroughly light; then put into a pudding or vegetable dish, spread a little butter over the top and bake a golden brown. The quality depends upon very thoroughly beating the eggs before adding them, so that the potato will remain light and porous after baking, similar to sponge cake.
Prepare the potatoes as directed for mashed potato. While hot, shape in balls about the size of an egg. Have a tin sheet well buttered, and place the balls on it. As soon as all are done, brush over with beaten egg. Brown in the oven. When done, slip a knife under them and slide them upon a hot platter. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
POTATOES Á LA CRÊME.
Heat a cupful of milk; stir in a heaping tablespoonful of butter cut up in as much flour. Stir until smooth and thick; pepper and salt, and add two cupfuls of cold boiled potatoes, sliced, and a little very finely chopped parsley. Shake over the fire until the potatoes are hot all through, and pour into a deep dish.
NEW POTATOES AND CREAM.
Wash and rub new potatoes with a coarse cloth or scrubbing-brush; drop into boiling water and boil briskly until done, and no more; press a potato against the side of the kettle with a fork; if done, it will yield to a gentle pressure; in a saucepan have ready some butter and cream, hot, but not boiling, a little green parsley, pepper and salt; drain the potatoes, add the mixture, put over hot water for a minute or two, and serve.
Peel good-sized potatoes, and slice them as evenly as possible. Drop them into ice-water; have a kettle of very hot lard, as for cakes; put a few at a time into a towel and shake, to dry the moisture out of them, and then drop them into the boiling lard. Stir them occasionally, and when of a light brown take them out with a skimmer, and they will be crisp and not greasy. Sprinkle salt over them while hot.
FRIED RAW POTATOES.
Peel half a dozen medium-sized potatoes very evenly, cut them in slices as thin as an egg-shell, and be sure to cut them from the breadth, not the length, of the potato. Put a tablespoonful each of butter and sweet lard into the frying pan, and as soon as it boils add the sliced potatoes, sprinkling over them salt and pepper to season them. Cover them with a tight-fitting lid, and let the steam partly cook them; then remove it, and let them fry a bright gold color, shaking and turning them carefully, so as to brown equally. Serve very hot.
Fried, cold cooked potatoes may be fried by the same recipe, only slice them a little thicker.
Remark.—Boiled or steamed potatoes chopped up or sliced while they are yet warm never fry so successfully as when cold.
SCALLOPED POTATOES. (Kentucky Style.)
Peel and slice raw potatoes thin, the same as for frying. Butter an earthen dish, put in a layer of potatoes, and season with salt, pepper, butter, a bit of onion chopped fine, if liked; sprinkle a little flour. Now put another layer of potatoes and the seasoning. Continue in this way till the dish is filled. Just before putting into the oven, pour a quart of hot milk over. Bake three-quarters of an hour.
Cold boiled potatoes may be cooked the same. It requires less time to bake them; they are delicious either way. If the onion is disliked it can be omitted.
This mode of cooking potatoes is now much in vogue, particularly where they are wanted on a large scale, it being so very convenient. Pare the potatoes, throw them into cold water as they are peeled, then put them in a steamer. Place the steamer over a saucepan of boiling water, and steam the potatoes from twenty to forty minutes, according to the size and sort. When the fork goes easily through them, they are done; then take them up, dish and serve very quickly.
Choose some mealy potatoes that will boil exceedingly white; pare them and cook them well, but not so as to be watery; drain them, and mash and season them well. Put in the saucepan in which they were dressed, so as to keep them as hot as possible; then press them through a wire sieve into the dish in which they are to be served; strew a little fine salt upon them previous to sending them to table. French cooks also add a small quantity of pounded loaf sugar while they are being mashed.
HASTY COOKED POTATOES.
Wash and peel some potatoes; cut them into slices of about a quarter of an inch in thickness; throw them into boiling salted water, and, if of good quality, they will be done in about ten minutes.
Strain off the water, put the potatoes into a hot dish, chop them slightly, add pepper, salt, and a few small pieces of fresh butter, and serve without loss of time.
FAVORITE WARMED POTATOES.
The potatoes should be boiled whole with the skins on in plenty of water, well salted, and are much better for being boiled the day before needed. Care should be taken that they are not over cooked. Strip off the skins (not pare them with a knife) and slice them nearly a quarter of an inch thick. Place them in a chopping-bowl and sprinkle over them sufficient salt and pepper to season them well; chop them all one way, then turn the chopping-bowl half way around and chop across them, cutting them into little square pieces the shape of dice. About twenty-five minutes before serving time, place on the stove a saucepan (or any suitable dish) containing a piece of butter the size of an egg; when it begins to melt and run over the bottom of the dish, put in a cup of rich sweet milk. When this boils up put in the chopped potatoes; there should be about a quart of them; stir them a little so that they become moistened through with the milk; then cover and place them on the back of the stove, or in a moderate oven, where they will heat through gradually. When heated through, stir carefully from the bottom with a spoon and cover tightly again. Keep hot until ready to serve. Baked potatoes are very good warmed in this manner.
Cut cold raw potatoes into shavings, cubes, or any small shape; throw them, a few at a time, into boiling fat and toss them about with a knife until they are a uniform light brown; drain and season with salt and pepper. Fat is never hot enough while bubbling—when it is ready it is still and smoking, but should never burn.
Take eight or ten good-sized cold boiled potatoes, slice them end-wise, then crosswise, making them like dice in small squares. When you are ready to cook them, heat some butter or good drippings in a frying pan; fry in it one small onion (chopped fine) until it begins to change color and look yellow. Now put in your potatoes, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, stir well and cook about five minutes, taking care that you do not break them. They must not brown. Just before taking up stir in a tablespoonful of minced parsley. Drain dry by shaking in a heated colander. Serve very hot.
Pare and slice the potatoes thin; cut them if you like in small fillets about a quarter of an inch square, and as long as the potato will admit; keep them in cold water until wanted, then drop them into boiling lard; when nearly done, take them out with a skimmer and drain them, boil up the lard again, drop the potatoes back and fry till done; this operation causes the fillets to swell up and puff.
POTATO CROQUETTES. No. 1.
Wash, peel and put four large potatoes in cold water, with a pinch of salt, and set them over a brisk fire; when they are done pour off all the water and mash them. Take another saucepan, and put in it ten tablespoonfuls of milk and a lump of butter half the size of an egg; put it over a brisk fire; as soon as the milk comes to a boil, pour the potatoes into it, and stir them very fast with a wooden spoon; when thoroughly mixed, take them from the fire and put them on a dish. Take a tablespoonful and roll it in a clean towel, making it oval in shape; dip it in a well-beaten egg, and then in bread crumbs, and drop it in hot drippings or lard. Proceed in this manner till all the potato is used, four potatoes making six croquettes. Fry them a light brown all over, turning them gently as may be necessary. When they are done, lay them on brown paper or a hair sieve, to drain off all fat; then serve on a napkin.
POTATO CROQUETTES. No. 2.
Take two cups of cold mashed potatoes, season with a pinch of salt, pepper and a tablespoonful of butter. Beat up the whites of two eggs, and work all together thoroughly; make it into small balls slightly flattened, dip them in the beaten yolks of the eggs, then roll either in flour or cracker crumbs; fry the same as fish-balls.
POTATOES Á LA DELMONICO.
Cut the potatoes with a vegetable cutter into small balls about the size of a marble; put them into a stewpan with plenty of butter and a good sprinkling of salt; keep the saucepan covered, and shake occasionally until they are quite done, which will be in about an hour.
FRIED POTATOES WITH EGGS.
Slice cold boiled potatoes and fry in good butter until brown; beat up one or two eggs, and stir into them just as you dish them for the table; do not leave them a moment on the fire after the eggs are in, for if they harden they are not half so nice; one egg is enough for three or four persons, unless they are very fond of potatoes; if they are, have plenty and put in two.
Potatoes are either baked in their jackets or peeled; in either case they should not be exposed to a fierce heat, which is wasteful, inasmuch as thereby a great deal of vegetable is scorched and rendered uneatable. They should be frequently turned while being baked and kept from touching each other in the oven or dish. When done in their skins, be particular to wash and brush them before baking them. If convenient, they may be baked in wood-ashes, or in a Dutch oven in front of the fire. When pared they should be baked in a dish and fat of some kind added to prevent their outsides from becoming burnt; they are ordinarily baked thus as an accessory to baked meat.
Never serve potatoes, boiled or baked whole, in a closely covered dish. They become sodden and clammy. Cover with a folded napkin that allows the steam to escape, or absorbs the moisture. They should be served promptly when done and require about three-quarters of an hour to one hour to bake them, if of a good size.
BROWNED POTATOES WITH A ROAST. No. 1.
About three-quarters of an hour before taking up your roasts, peel middling-sized potatoes, boil them until partly done, then arrange them in the roasting-pan around the roast, basting them with the drippings at the same time you do the meat, browning them evenly. Serve hot with the meat. Many cooks partly boil the potatoes before putting around the roast. New potatoes are very good cooked around a roast.
BROWNED POTATOES WITH A ROAST. No. 2.
Peel, cook and mash the required quantity, adding while hot a little chopped onion, pepper and salt; form it into small oval balls and dredge them with flour; then place around the meat about twenty minutes before it is taken from the oven. When nicely browned, drain dry and serve hot with the meat.
Boiled, steamed and baked the same as Irish potatoes; generally cooked with their jackets on. Cold sweet potatoes may be cut in slices across or lengthwise, and fried as common potatoes; or may be cut in half and served cold.
Boiled sweet potatoes are very nice. Boil until partly done, peel them and bake brown, basting them with butter or beef drippings several times. Served hot. They should be a nice brown.
BAKED SWEET POTATOES.
Wash and scrape them, split them lengthwise. Steam or boil them until nearly done. Drain, and put them in a baking dish, placing over them lumps of butter, pepper and salt; sprinkle thickly with sugar, and bake in the oven to a nice brown.
Hubbard squash is nice cooked in the same manner.