Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Essence of All Easter Dinner Menus (1898): Part III.

Today we finally discover the components of the composite Easter Dinner Menu discussed in the posts of the previous two days. As you will remember, it is a construct of the work of the editors of The Hotel Monthly (Vol. 6; Chicago in 1898), based on their analysis of thirty-seven hotel menus from across several states.

Continuing from where we left off yesterday:

When we started to build a menu based on the figures above given, we found, as we progressed, that it compared very closely with that of the Kimball House production, which latter we produce herewith as THE COMPOSITE—the current idea of what constitutes a consistent American menu for a festival dinner.

Blue points
Olives             Salted walnuts          Radishes
Crème Victoria         Consomme Renaissance
Bouchees a l'Andalouse
Pompano a la Chambord
Roast loin of beef, Perigordine
Browned new potatoes        Cauliflower
Spring lamb, mint sauce
Asparagus                  New peas
Sweetbreads a la Montebello
Croustade of fresh mushrooms
Roast squab a la Rouennaise
Lettuce and tomato
Strawberry shortcake
Creme Victoria
Macaroon Charlotte Russe             Rhubarb pie
Assorted cake
Neapolitan     Nuts
Camembert               Roquefort

From the classic American cookery text of the time, The Epicurean, by Charles Ranhofer, published in New York in 1894, I give you:

Sweetbreads à la Montebello
(Ris de Veau à la Montebello).
Blanch until firm to the touch some medium-sized sweetbreads that have been in soak for a few hours, then drain, refresh and pare by suppressing all the sinews and fat. Lay them in a sautoir lined with slices of fat pork, sliced onions and carrots and a bunch of parsley, moisten to half their height with beef-stock (No. 194a), let this liquid fall to a glaze and then remoisten; cover with a buttered paper and finish cooking in a slack oven. After they are done, pare and set them in oval tin rings, two and a half by five-eighths of an inch in diameter and half an inch high; let them cool off in these under the pressure of a weight. Cut up the parings into small three-sixteenths inch dice; also some mushrooms and truffles; fry a chopped shallot in butter, add to it the mushrooms, the truffles and the sweetbreads, also a little velouté (No. 415), then season; when this preparation is cold, use it to cover one side of the sweetbreads, having it well rounded on the top, cover over with a layer of cream forcemeat (No. 75), and dredge the surface with finely chopped red tongue; place the sweetbreads on a buttered baking pan, pour melted butter over and the sweetbreads in a slack oven for twenty minutes; serve a Montebello sauce (No. 502) separately.

Sauce à la Montebello
(Sauce à la Montebello).

Prepare one pint of thick bearnaise sauce (No. 433), and incorporate into it three gills of well reduced tomato sauce (No. 549), then strain the whole through a very fine sieve, and dilute it with two gills of champagne.

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