Serve these with soups, stews and with meats having a rich gravy as roast or chicken fricassee. In order that dumplings should be very light, it is a good plan not to add all of the flour at one time. Add 2/3 of the amount specified and then test the mixture by dropping small spoonfuls into the boiling liquid. If it holds together, it is stiff enough and no more flour is needed. However, if the dumpling falls apart, more flour will be required. Too much flour makes heavy, soggy dumplings. Be sure there is enough solid matter under the dumplings so that they float and cook in the steam. Cover cooking pan tightly and do not lift until cooking time is completed.
CREAMED OR SCALLOPED POTATOES
Potatoes may be cooked or uncooked for this method. Since milk is such an essential food in our daily diet, its combination with potatoes makes an ideal dish for body building. There are many seasonings which may be added to the milk to give a wide variety of flavors, such as: thyme, bay leaf, paprika, parsley, lemon juice, pimientos, green pepper, onion, crisp bacon, ham and cheese. Evaporated milk may be used instead of cream but when it is used in place of fresh milk, dilute it with an equal amount of water.
There are endless ways in which mashed potatoes may be combined and served. Preparing light and fluffy mashed potatoes, however, is an art. Add hot milk to boiled potatoes and beat hard with a potato masher or a fork, being sure no lumps remain in the potatoes. A very small amount of baking powder may be added to keep the potatoes white and light, but only hard beating will make them creamy. Be sure they are very hot when served. One pound or 3 medium-sized potatoes will make 2 cups mashed potatoes.
Pare 3 large potatoes; cut lengthwise into tiny strips. Heat in small amount of hot fat until nearly tender, but not brown. Remove from fat, sprinkle with salt and arrange potatoes against sides and bottom of large deep muffin pans, pressing firmly into place. Bake in hot oven (450 F) for 15 minutes. Serve hot filled with any creamed fish, meat or poultry. Makes 6 nests.
Cut potatoes in thin slices as for chips or with lattice vegetable cutter instead of into strips and use as above.
In order to retain the fullest food value, cook potatoes in rapidly boiling water, with skins on or scraped off. Use only enough water to cover. If skins are to be removed, pare very thin and drop at once into boiling salted water. Save the drained water in which pared potatoes have been cooked to make gravies, soups or bread, as it is rich in minerals.
Pare potatoes and cut into halves. Add to pot roast or stew when meat is nearly tender; cover and cook potatoes, turning occasionally, until tender, 30 minutes.
There are two well-known methods of frying potatoes, namely, pan-frying with a small amount of fat, or deep feat frying in a large amount of fat. Bacon or meat drippings; lard; olive, corn, coconut, peanut or cottonseed oils; butter; margarine or any of the vegetable shortenings may be used for pan-frying. The choice is not so wide for deep fat frying. Only fats which are free from moisture can be used, such as olive, corn, coconut, peanut or cottonseed oils, vegetable shortenings or lard.
A thermometer is the accurate gauge of the temperature of deep fat, but there is a simple test which is very satisfactory. When an inch square of bread browns in 40 seconds, the fat is hot enough for all previously cooked foods, such as coquettes. For uncooked foods, such as fritters or potato chips, the bread should brown in 60 seconds.
This is one of the most desirable methods of preparation. When potatoes are scraped and baked or baked in the skins, they retain most of their vitamins and minerals. If a soft skin is desired, rub with fat before baking. Always break the skin immediately upon removal from the oven so steam may escape or potatoes will be soggy. Baked stuffed Irish potatoes when combined with poached eggs, chipped beef or sausage form attractive entrees for luncheons. Potatoes baked in the pan with meat absorb the delicious flavor of the meat besides serving as a garnish for the meat platter. Potatoes may be combined with meat or other vegetables and baked en casserole for one dish meals.
Scrub potatoes and dry thoroughly. Rub well with fat if a soft skin is desired. Bake in hot oven (425 F) about 45 minutes or until potatoes are soft when pressed together with fingers. Remove from oven and make 2 gashes in the center of the potatoes, in the form of a cross; press potato with the fingers. Insert a large piece of butter, season with salt and pepper and serve piping hot. Allow 1 potato per person.
Potatoes should be baked in their jackets to retain the most nourishment. Select uniform-sized medium sweetpotatoes. Wash, remove blemishes, and bake in a moderate oven (350F) until easily pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, slit and insert a large piece of butter. Serve piping hot.
In place of butter, use 1 tablespoon sour cream or butter that has been whipped with lemon juice.
Use baked or boiled sweetpotatoes. Peel and cut in halves lengthwise. Dip in melted butter, sprinkle with salt and sugar. Place on broiler rack 3 inches below heat. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until brown and heated throughout. Serve with broiled ham, sausage, bacon, or chops. Potatoes may also be browned in a skillet.