Toast should be made of stale bread, or at least of bread that has been baked a day. Cut smoothly in slices, not more than half an inch thick; if the crust is baked very hard, trim the edges and brown very evenly, but if it happens to burn, that should be scraped off. Toast that is to be served with anything turned over it, should have the slices first dipped quickly in a dish of hot water turned from the boiling tea-kettle, with a little salt thrown in. Cold biscuits cut in halves, and the under crust sliced off, then browned evenly on both sides, make equally as good toast. The following preparations of toast are almost all of them very nice dishes, served with a family breakfast.
Put over the fire a quart of milk, put into it a tablespoonful of cold butter, stir a heaping teaspoonful of flour into half a gill of milk; as soon as the milk on the fire boils, stir in the flour, add a teaspoonful of salt; let all boil up once, remove from the fire, and dip in this slices of toasted bread. When all are used up, pour what is left of the scalded milk over the toast. Cover and send to the table hot.
Heat a pint of milk to boiling and add a piece of butter the size of an egg; stir a tablespoonful of flour smoothly into a cup of rich cream, and add some of the boiling milk to this; heat it gradually and prevent the flour from lumping; then stir into the boiling milk and let it cook a few moments; salt to taste. After taking from the fire stir in a beaten egg; strain the mixture on to toast lightly buttered.
To one egg thoroughly beaten, put one cup of sweet milk and a little salt. Slice light bread and dip into the mixture, allowing each slice to absorb some of the milk; then brown on a hot buttered griddle or thick-bottomed frying pan; spread with butter and serve hot.
Cut four or five hard-boiled eggs into slices. Put a piece of butter half the size of an egg into a saucepan and when it begins to bubble add a finely chopped onion. Let the onion cook a little without taking color, then stir in a teaspoonful of flour. Add a cupful of milk and stir until it becomes smooth; then put in the slices of eggs and let them get hot. Pour over neatly trimmed slices of hot buttered toast. The sauce must be seasoned to taste with pepper and salt.
CHEESE TOAST. No. 1.
Toast thin slices of bread an even, crisp brown. Place on a warm plate, allowing one small slice to each person, and pour on enough melted cheese to cover them. Rich new cheese is best. Serve while warm. Many prefer a little prepared mustard spread over the toast before putting on the cheese.
CHEESE TOAST. No. 2.
Put half an ounce of butter in a frying pan; when hot add gradually four ounces of mild American cheese. Whisk it thoroughly until melted. Beat together half a pint of cream and two eggs; whisk into the cheese, add a little salt, pour over the crisp toast, and serve.
The two above recipes are usually called “Welsh Rarebit.”
Select the large ones, used for frying, and first dip them in beaten egg, then in either cracker or bread crumbs and cook upon a fine wire gridiron, over a quick fire. Toast should be made ready in advance, and a rich cream sauce poured over the whole. After pouring on the sauce, finely cut celery strewn over the top adds to their delicacy.
Or wash oysters in the shell and put them on hot coals, or upon the top of a hot stove, or bake them in a hot oven; open the shells with an oyster-knife, taking care to lose none of the liquor. Dip the toast into hot, salted water quickly and turn out the oyster and liquor over the toast; season with salt and pepper and a teaspoonful of melted butter over each.
Oysters steamed in the shell are equally as good.
MUSHROOMS ON TOAST.
Peel a quart of mushrooms and cut off a little of the root end. Melt an ounce of butter in the frying pan and fry in it half a pound of raw minced steak; add two saltspoonfuls of salt, a pinch of cayenne and a gill of hot water; fry until the juices are extracted from the meat; tilt the pan and squeeze the meat with the back of the spoon until there is nothing left but dry meat, then remove it; add the mushrooms to the liquid and if there is not enough of it, add more butter; toss them about a moment and pour out on hot toast.
Some add a little sherry to the dish before removing from the fire.
Pare and stew a quart of ripe tomatoes until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and a tablespoonful of butter. When done, add one cup sweet cream and a little flour. Let it scald, but not boil; remove at once. Pour over slices of dipped toast, well buttered.
EGGS ON TOAST.
Various preparations of eggs can be served on toast, first dipping slices of well-toasted bread quickly in hot salted water, then turning over them scrambled, poached or creamed eggs, all found in the recipes among EGGS.
BAKED EGGS ON TOAST.
Toast six slices of stale bread, dip them in hot salted water and butter them lightly. After arranging them on a platter or deep plate, break enough eggs to cover them, breaking one at a time and slip over the toast so that they do not break; sprinkle over them salt and pepper and turn over all some kind of thickened gravy—either chicken or lamb, cream or a cream sauce made the same as “White Sauce;” turn this over the toast and eggs and bake in a hot oven until the eggs are set, or about five minutes. Serve at once.
Take a quarter of a pound of either boiled or fried ham, chop it fine, mix it with the yolks of two eggs, well beaten, a tablespoonful of butter, and enough cream or rich milk to make it soft, a dash of pepper. Stir it over the fire until it thickens. Dip the toast for an instant in hot salted water; spread over some melted butter, then turn over the ham mixture. Serve hot.
REED BIRDS ON TOAST.
Remove the feathers and legs of a dozen reed birds, split them down the back, remove the entrails, and place them on a double broiler; brush a little melted butter over them and broil the inner side thoroughly first; then lightly broil the other side. Melt one quarter of a pound of butter, season it nicely with salt and pepper, dip the birds in it, and arrange them nicely on slices of toast.
MINCED FOWLS ON TOAST.
Remove from the bones all the meat of either cold roast or boiled fowls. Clean it from the skin, and keep covered from the air until ready for use. Boil the bones and skin with three-fourths of a pint of water until reduced quite half. Strain the gravy and let it cool. Next, having skimmed off the fat, put it into a clean saucepan with half a cup of cream, three tablespoonfuls of butter, well mixed with a tablespoonful of flour. Keep these stirred until they boil. Then put in the fowl finely minced, with three hard-boiled eggs, chopped, and sufficient salt and pepper to season. Shake the mince over the fire until just ready to serve. Dish it over hot toast and serve.
HASHED BEEF ON TOAST.
Chop a quantity of cold roast beef rather fine and season it well with pepper and salt. For each pint of meat add a level tablespoonful of flour. Stir well and add a small teacupful of soup-stock or water. Put the mixture into a small stewpan and, after covering it, simmer for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, toast half a dozen slices of bread nicely and at the end of the twenty minutes spread the meat upon them. Serve at once on a hot dish. In case water be used instead of soup-stock, add a tablespoonful of butter just before spreading the beef upon the toast. Any kind of cold meat may be prepared in a similar manner.
VEAL HASH ON TOAST.
Take a teacupful of boiling water in a saucepan, stir in an even teaspoonful of flour, wet in a tablespoonful of cold water, and let it boil five minutes; add one-half teaspoonful of black pepper, as much salt and two tablespoonfuls of butter, and let it keep hot, but not boil. Chop the veal fine and mix with it half as much stale bread crumbs. Put it in a pan and pour the gravy over it, then let it simmer ten minutes. Serve this on buttered toast.
CODFISH ON TOAST. (Cuban Style.)
Take a teacupful of freshened codfish picked up fine. Fry a sliced onion in a tablespoonful of butter; when it has turned a light brown, put in the fish with water enough to cover it; add half a can of tomatoes, or half a dozen of fresh ones. Cook all nearly an hour, seasoning with a little pepper. Serve on slices of dipped toast, hot. Very fine.
Plain creamed codfish is very nice turned over dipped toast.
HALIBUT ON TOAST.
Put into boiling salted water one pound of fresh halibut; cook slowly for fifteen minutes, or until done; remove from the water and chop it fine; then add half a cup of melted butter and eight eggs well beaten. Season with salt and pepper.
Place over the fire a thick-bottomed frying pan containing a tablespoonful of cold butter; when it begins to melt, tip the pan so as to grease the sides; then put in the fish and eggs and stir one way until the eggs are cooked, but not too hard. Turn over toast dipped in hot salted water.
CHICKEN HASH WITH RICE TOAST.
Boil a cup of rice the night before; put it into a square, narrow bread-pan, set it in the ice-box. Next morning cut it in half inch slices, rub over each slice a little warm butter and toast them on a broiler to a delicate brown. Arrange the toast on a warm platter and turn over the whole a chicken hash made from the remains of cold fowl, the meat picked from the bones, chopped fine, put into the frying pan with butter and a little water to moisten it, adding pepper and salt. Heat hot all through. Serve immediately.
Cut six apples into quarters, take the core out, peel and cut them in slices; put in the saucepan an ounce of butter, then throw over the apples about two ounces of white powdered sugar and two tablespoonfuls of water; put the saucepan on the fire, let it stew quickly, toss them up, or stir with a spoon; a few minutes will do them. When tender cut two or three slices of bread half an inch thick; put in a frying pan two ounces of butter, put on the fire; when the butter is melted put in your bread, which fry of a nice yellowish color; when nice and crisp take them out, place them on a dish, a little white sugar over, the apples about an inch thick. Serve hot.