Thursday, April 12, 2007

Eggs, 19th C Style.

Today, April 12th ...

Here is a selection of recipes for ‘other’ eggs, as you may be getting bored with the hen variety. They are all from the exhaustive and ever-reliable Cassells Dictionary of Cookery (1870’s).

Eggs, Plovers.
These eggs are much esteemed for their rich flavour, and the beautiful colour of the white part, which is much used for decorating salads. When boiled hard they are eaten hot or cold; but with a good brown gravy or some béchamel sauce they make a dainty breakfast dish.

Eggs, Swan’s (en Salade).
Cut the eggs, when boiled hard (see Eggs, Swan’s to Boil), in halves, pound the yolks with an ounce and a half of good fresh butter, and season with minced herbs or shallot, cayenne, and salt; add two teaspoonfuls of essence of anchovies, and the same of chili vinegar. Fill the white halves with this mixture, and set them in a bowl of prepared salad, or ornament a lobster or German salad with them.

Eggs, Swan’s, To Boil.
Put the eggs into quite boiling water and let them stay without boiling for twenty minutes. See that the water quite covers them, then boil slowly for a quarter of an hour. Let them rest in the water five minutes before removing them, and cover them up while cooling. Swan’s eggs retain their heat a long time. They should not be cut until quite cold, and should then be divided into halves lengthwise.

Eggs, Turkey’s, To Dress.
Choose those of the young bird for cooking in the shell. They may be known by their pale, almost white colour. The larger ones are excellent for poaching, and to serve in the composition of any dishes where eggs are required. Time, six minutes to boil, four to poach.

19th C Egg recipes from previous stories:

To dress a Military Omelet (c. 1845)
To cook eggs in the shell, without boiling them. (1845)
Eggs with Burnt Butter (Soyer, 1853)
To Roast Eggs. (1875)
Eggs en Surprise [1832]
Birds’ Nests (same as Scotch Eggs) [1893]

Last year on this Day ...

We found out about the first pressure cooker.

5 comments:

Karen Resta said...

Only one broken arm leaves one left for cracking open eggs, don't forget. But still, not fun. Not fun at all.
One egg recipe/story I remember was the one where a young girl (I do think it was MFK Fisher but don't want to definitely say so without checking) and her sister decided to make an exotic recipe from a cookbook because it was so alluring.
Curried Eggs. The sort that are hardboiled then covered with a curried cream sauce and baked. British Empire Eggs, is how I think of them (fondly).
I remember the story because oh! I wanted to make that recipe too when reading it as a teenager.
Never did. Probably for the best. :)

The Old Foodie said...

You have piqued my memory and my interest Karen. As a child growing up in England in the 50's I remember curried eggs - lots of commercial curry powder and APPLES! It may not be a bad dish, done well. Now I must away me on a quest to find an early recipe - perhaps a good project for the weekend when I will be nursemaiding my post-op husband (shoulder surgery today).

Karen Resta said...

I did find the recipe and story that stuck in my memory, Janet, and it was from MFKF. In "An Alphabet for Gourmets" it is under Q for Quantity. :)

Hindu Eggs is the name of the recipe and the date given is 1949. Just imagine. 1949. And Hindu Eggs.

California, where MFKF hails from, was likely in a very different state in terms of available foodstuffs than England at that time.

But anyway, if you do not have the book and wish to have the recipe, let me know and I'll send it along. No apples in this one, though.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Karen - I have the book, but had totally forgotten the recipe. Thanks for reminding me. I have also found one with apples. Look for a selection of recipes soon - my husband is about to have his fractured shoulder repaired by the surgeons in a couple of hours, so a bit of recipe posting might be just the soothing job I need to while away the time.

Karen Resta said...

Best of luck with the procedure, Janet. It's times like these that one is *very* grateful for the modern anesthesia we have available. When one thinks of the short time in history that we've really had this . . . whew. Though of course one is not ever happy with how much a broken limb costs to fix, when all is said and done. That is very painful, too.

I look forward to hearing more recipes for the "exotic" curried egg. :)