1950s Archive

Classes in Classic Cuisine

Spring Vegetables

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Serve vegetables and sauce together.

Pommes Nouvelles (New Potatoes)

Scrub the skin from tiny new potatoes, parboil them in salted water. CO cover for 2 or 3 minutes and drain them well. For each cup of potatoes, heat well 2 tablespoons good beef or goose fat. Cook the potatoes until they arc tender and golden brown all over. Drain the potatoes and pour off the fat from the pan. Return the potatoes to the pan, add 1 tablespoon butter for each cup of potatoes and cook, rolling the potatoes in the butter as it melts. When the potatoes are well coated with butter, season them with a little salt and sprinkle them with finely chopped parsley.

If desired, butter may be used instead of goose or beef fat, but in this case the butter must first be Clarified (that is, melted and the clear butter poured off the milky sediment at the bottom of the pan), or the potatoes will stick to the pan and break.

Oseille Purée (Sorrel Purée)

Wash thoroughly 3 pounds sorrel, drain it, and in only the water that clings to the leaves, cook it over a hot fire for 15 or 20 minutes, or until it is very soft. This is called “melted” sorrel. Drain the sorrel, pressing out as much water AS possible. Rub it through a sieve. This recipe makes 2 cups sorrel purée, which may be seasoned with butter and salt, or used like spinach and other vegetable purees.

Oseille Braisée (Braised Sorrel)

Make 3 cups sorrel puree (above), using 5 pounds sorrel. In a casserole melt 3 tablespoons butter, add 2 tablespoons flour and cook the mixture until it begins to color. Add the sorrel purée, ½ teaspoon salt. 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ cup stock. Stir the mixture well and bring it to the boiling point. Cover the pan with a piece of buttered paper, adjust the lid and braise the sorrel in a moderate oven (350° F.) for about 1 hour. Remove the casserole from the oven and beat in 2 beaten eggs. Bring the mixture back to the boiling point over direct heat, but do not allow it to boil. Correct the seasoning with salt and add either 1 tablespoon butter or 2 tablespoons cream or 2 tablespoons natural gravy from the meat the braised sorrel is to accompany.

Vegetables Primeurs (Mixed Spring Vegetables)

Cook 1 ½ cups peeled carrots cut in dice or small balls with 1 tablespoon butter and a little sugar, shaking the pan occasionally until the carrots are lightly browned. Peel and trim 2/3 cup small white spring turnips and 10 to 12 tiny spring onions, and brown them in the same way. As each vegetable is browned, remove it to another saucepan. Then add to the combined vegetables 3 springs each of parsley and chervil tied in a faggot and 4 leaves green lettuce, shredded, 2 cups shelled peas, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and enough chicken stock barely to cover the vegetables. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables for 30 minutes, or until they are lender. Discard the faggot. Slightly thicken the liquid that remains with 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoons cold water (or stock) or with beurre manié made by mixing 1 ½ tablespoons butter with 1 teaspoon flour. Bring the mixture to a boil and serve immediately.

To use this combination of vegetables for a stew, remove the meat and the sauce from the casserole when they are half done, wash the casserole and return the meat to it, reserving the gravy. Brown the vegetables in the butter and sugar and combine them with the peas. Put the vegetables on top of the meat and strain the sauce over them. Continue to cook the stew until the meat is tender and the vegetables are done.

Spring Soup

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Add 3 leeks, cleaned and chopped, and 1 onion, chopped, and cook the vegetables until they begin to take on color. Add 2 potatoes. 1 sliced Carrot, ½ tablespoon salt and 2 quarts water. Bring the liquid to the boil and cook it for about 15 minutes. Add ¼ cup rice and the tender tipper pans of 12 stalks of asparagus, cut in pieces. and cook for 25 minutes longer. Add 1 pound fresh, washed spinach, coarsely chopped, and cook the soup for 10 or 15 minutes longer. Correct the seasoning with salt and a little pepper, and finish the soup with ½ cup cream.

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