Sunday, 31 October 2010

Salmon and Almond Casserole

From Try It You'll Like It, 1983

Flake and mash 1 can salmon
Add 1 cup cooked rice and 1 chopped fried onion
Dilute 1 can cream of mushroom soup with 1 can milk
Add to salmon and rice mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 of a packet of potato crisps in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add 1/3 to fish mixture and put in casserole. Cover with remaining crisps. Top with 1/2 cup halved blanched almonds (or flaked and toasted). Bake at 375F for 45 minutes.

You could leave out the crisps! You can toast flaked almonds by tossing them in a heavy bottomed frying pan for about two minutes (keep stirring).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

How to Cook Rice

My mother was taught how to cook rice by a Chinese man. This is his method.

One cup rice

Two cups water (or 2 1/2 for brown rice)

Bring to the boil and boil for a minute, stirring. Cover almost completely (leave a crack for the steam to escape). Turn the heat down as low as possible, and leave. White basmati rice takes 5 mins, brown rice takes longer. When the water's all been absorbed, and there are little dents in the top of the rice, it's done.

Halloween Pumpkin Soup

or Potage Andalouse
From The Constance Spry Cookery Book, 1956

2 lb pumpkin
6 oz potatoes
4 oz onions
1/2 lb tomatoes
2 pints water
1 1/2 oz rice
1/2 oz butter
1/2 gill cream (about a coffee-cup)

Peel and cut up pumpkin, potatoes, onions and chop the tomatoes. Put them into a (large) saucepan with 2 pints water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, about 20 mins. While the veg is cooking, cook the rice.

Put the cooked veg through a fine sieve (or whizz in a food processor), return to the pan and reheat. Add the rice, the butter and the cream. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

How to Cook the Rice
One cup rice

Two cups water (or 2 1/2 for brown rice)

Bring to the boil and boil for a minute, stirring. Cover almost completely (leave a crack for the steam to escape). Turn the heat down as low as possible, and leave. White basmati rice takes 5 mins, brown rice takes longer. When the water's all been absorbed, and there are little dents in the top of the rice, it's done.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sausages en Surprise, Trench Meat Pudding and so on

From Bombers and Mash, by Raynes Minns

Grill some sausages, let cool, and skin them.
Beat an egg into some mashed potato.
Wrap each sausage in the potato puree.
Egg and breadcrumb them and fry.

Sausage Pancakes
1lb small sausages
4oz flour
1/2 pint milk
1/2 oz custard powder (or an egg)
salt and pepper

Combine the flour and custard powder and mix to a smooth batter with the milk. Beat well for about 5 minutes, stir in the rest of the milk, set aside. Fry the sausages until golden brown, remove from the pan. Pour off the fat, leaving just enough in the pan to fry a pancake. When browned on both sides, roll up with a sausage inside and lay on a hot dish. Serve very hot with fried tomatoes.

Corned Beef Hash
One can mix corned beef, cooked potatoes, puree of tomatoes, cover the mixture with browned crumbs and bits of margarine, and bake int he oven. Fresh hot chutney is good with this.

Trench Meat Pudding
1/2lb steak
2oz shredded suet
2 cups oatmeal
2 small peeled onions
cold water as required

Chop steak and onions finely. Mix with suet and oatmeal. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix to a thick dough with cold water. Three-quarters fill a greased pudding basin. Cover with greased paper. Tie down securely. Steam for 3.5 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and brown gravy. (You could bake this in the oven instead of steaming it.)

To make gravy, melt 1oz beef dripping or margarine. Stir in 1/2 oz flour, then 1/2 pint stock. Stir until smooth and boiling.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

War-time Mayonnaise

From Bombers and Mash by Raynes Minns

1 tbsp custard powder (or flour)
2 tbsp milk powder
1 oz margarine
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 pint boiling water
Mix together the custard powder (flour), milk powder, mustard, pepper and salt. Warm the margarine, and blend it smoothly with the dry ingredients until soft and creamy. Gradually stir in the boiling water, then put it into a saucepan. Bring very slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Cook until the sauce is smooth and thick. When it is cool, beat in the vinegar. (I think I'd use flour rather than custard powder.)

What to Do with Leftover Porridge
Mix with breadcrumbs and form into cakes. Fry and serve with bacon.

Or you can always turn it into:

Porridge Fingers
Pour leftover porridge into a square plastic food saver and put in the fridge. Next day, turn it out, cut it into fingers, and fry. Eat with lemon juice and caster sugar. Delicious!

Bombers and Mash: The Domestic Front, 1939-45

Friday, 15 October 2010

Creamed Mushrooms with Spaghetti

From Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, Janet Hunt (1984 - co-published with the Vegetarian Society)

8 oz wholewheat spaghetti
4 cups mushrooms
2.5 tbsp polyunsaturated margarine or butter
1/3 cupful sour cream
squeeze of lemon juice
2 tsp chopped chives

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Cook for 10-12 mins until just tender.

Clean and trim the mushrooms and cut into small pieces. Melt the fat in a pan and saute the mushrooms for about 5 mins, sitrring frequently.

Pour in the sour cream and lemon juice and season generously. Continue cooking very gently for a few mins more - take care the mixture does not boil.

Drain the spaghetti and serve at once topped with the mushroom mixture and a sprinkling of chopped chives.

We were very keen on "polyunsaturated" margarine in the 80s. Can't remember why. And I wonder if the Vegetarian Society is still going? Or if anyone still eats wholewheat spaghetti?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Fish and Leek Pudding

From Kitchen Goes to War, a collection of recipes by "big names", quoted in Bombers and Mash, by Raynes Minns. (Her other book is We'll Eat Again.)

3/4lb flour
1 tsp baking powder
6oz chopped suet
2 thick slices of cod or other white fish
4 or 5 leeks

Line a 7-inch pudding basin with a light suet paste. for this mix the flour, the chopped suet and a little salt into a stiffish paste with water. Wash, trim and cut into cubes the fish. Cut the leeks into 2 inch pieces. Place fish and vegetables, well seasoned with salt and pepper, into the lined basin. Fill up with cold water. Cover with suet paste. Tie up securely with a pudding cloth and steam or boil two and a half or three hours.

Many wartime recipes involved "boiling or steaming for three hours" - odd when the nation was desperately trying to save fuel. Nobody in the UK boils suet puddings any more, though you can still get dried suet in packets, and you can buy ready-made puddings in tins. Boiled puddings made sense if you had a stove that was on all the time (an Aga or Rayburn), or if your only source of heat was an open fire (you cooked in a cauldron suspended over it).

The wartime housewife could have made a quick fish pie with these ingredients: make a white sauce, add the chopped fish and leeks, put in a pie dish, cover with pastry or a layer of mashed potato, cook in a hot oven for half an hour.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Petites Gougeres (Cheese Puffs)

This is from Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, by Janet Hunt (1984). She gives Imperial, Metric and American measurements (I wish everybody would do that).

2/3 cup water
1/4 cup margarine or butter
pinch dry mustard
3/4 cup wholewheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Gruyere

Heat the water in a saucepan, add the fat and bring to the boil.

Remove from heat and add all the flour at once, using a wooden spoon to stir.

Return to heat and continue cooking very gently, stirring until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

Off the heat make a well in the centre and add the eggs, beating thoroughly until the dough is smooth and glossy. Stir in the cheese.

Spoon 12 small balls of the mixture onto a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 400F/200C for 20-30 minutes or until puffed-up and crisp. Pierce sides and return to the oven (leaving door open) for 5 or 10 mins more.

Eat hot, or filled with any vegetable mixture.