Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Saucy Señoritas - wink, wink, nudge, nudge

The mystery that is SPANISH SAUCE.

I've had several readers inquire about this (well, 2...) so here it is. It is actually tastier than it appears in this photo. If you look at the photo in the Spinach Pudding post you can see it in the little jug.

Odd as it sounds, I would compare this to a vegetable gravy cross tomato sauce. But it's pretty good.



1 quart of stock
1 oz. of raw lean ham or bacon (obviously omitted if you are vegetarian)
2 oz. of butter
2 oz. of flour
1 carrot
1 onion
1 clove
4 peppercorns
a bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaf)
1/2 a gill of tomato pulp (I used instead some tomato paste)
1/2 a gill of sherry (optional)
2 mushrooms

METHOD. - Melt the butter in a stewpan, add the ham, cut into small pieces, fry for a few minutes, and then put in the vegetables slices, the herbs, and spices.
Stir these ingredients over a slow fire for about 5 minutes, then add the flour and brown it carefully.
Add the stock, tomato-pulp, and sherry (if used), stir the sauce until boiling, draw the saucepan to the side of the fire, let it boil slowly for about 1 hour, then skim off the fat, pass the sauce through a tammy-cloth, season, warm up, and serve quickly.

TIME. - About 1 1/2 hours. QUANTITY, about 1 pint.

I'm sure I didn't cook it for that long, and I just passed it through a sieve at the end. Pretty darn lickable though, and my sister ate some of the vegetables that were left in the strainer. She tells me they were good.

Something smells a bit fishy....


Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm strong to the finich 'cause I eats me spinach

Popeye ate his spinach and grew to be big and strong. Allegedly.

Early references to spinach in the Fleischer cartoons and subsequently in further stories of Popeye are attributed to the publication in 1870 of a study by Dr. E von Wolf which, because of a misprint, attributed to spinach ten times its actual iron content. The error was discovered in 1937 but not widely publicized until T.J. Hamblin wrote about it in the British Medical Journal in 1981.

The popularity of Popeye reportedly helped boost sales of the leafy vegetable. And speaking of which, spinach is delicious. But ever wondered what to do with your spinach to make it a meal? Spinach pudding is the way to go.


And so tasty that even Mr Fussy himself (my husband) ate it with no compunctions.


INGREDIENTS. - 2 lbs. of spinach
6 oz. of veal forcemeat (as this is supposed to be a vegetarian recipe I'm not sure what this is doing here. I substituted just bread crumbs and butter - like the forcemeat balls I made for the MOCK HARE SOUP)
2 oz. of butter
1/2 pint of Béchamel
1/4 pint of stock
a few potatoes, turnips and carrots
3 eggs
salt and pepper

METHOD. - Pick, clean, and wash the spinach; then chiop, boil, drain, and cool it. (Or in these modern times, if you are short on time you can buy frozen spinach, just squeeze of the excess water, et voilà.)
Put it in a saucepan with the butter, sauce, and stock, and simmer for 5 minutes.
When cool add the focemeat, the yolks of the eggs, and the seasoning.
Put it in a mould and cook in a bain-marie. (I cooked mine in a water bath in the oven - worked fine for me.)
Turn out on to a dish and garnish with the cooked vegetables, cut into fanciful shapes.
Serve with Spanish sauce.

TIME. - altogether about 3/4 hour. Average cost, 1s. 9d. SUFFICIENT for 7 or 8 persons. SEASONABLE in winter and spring.