Scrub, and wash exceedingly clean, some potatoes nearly assorted in size; wipe them very dry, and roast them in a Dutch oven before the fire, placing them at a distance from it, and keeping them often turned; arrange them in a coarse dish, and bake them in a moderate oven. Dish them neatly in a napkin, and send them very hot to table; serve cold butter with them. 1 3/4 to upwards of 2 hours.
Wash and wipe some large potatoes of a firm kind, and with a small scoop adapted to the purpose, form as many diminutive ones as will fill a dish; cover them with cold water, and when they have boiled gently for five minutes, pour it off, and put more cold water to them; after they have simmered a second time for five minutes, drain the water quite away, and let them steam by the side of the fire from four to five min utes longer. Dish them carefully, pour white sauce over them, and serve them with the second course. Old potatoes thus prepared, have often been made to pass for new ones, at the best tables, at the season in which the fresh vegetable is dearest. The time required to boil them will of course vary with their quality: we give the method which we have found very successful.
After having washed them, wipe and pare some raw potatoes, cut them in slices of equal thickness, or into thin shavings, and throw them into plenty of boiling butter, or very pure clarified dripping. Fry them of a fine light brown, and very crisp; lift them out with a. skimmer, drain them on a soft warm cloth, dish them very hot, and sprinkle fine salt over them. This is an admirable way of dressing potatoes, very common on the Continent, but less so in England than it deserves to be. When pared round and round to a corkscrew form, in ribbons or shavings of equal width, and served dry and well fried, lightly piled in a dish, they make a handsome appearance and are excellent eating. We have known them served in this country with a slight sprinkling of cayenne. If sliced, they should be something less than a quarter-inch thick.
Boil them perfectly tender quite through, pour off the water and steam them very dry by the directions already given in the receipt of page 229; peel them quickly, take out every speck, and while they are still hot press the potatoes through an earthen cullender, or bruise them to a smooth mash with a strong wooden fork or spoon, but never pound them in a mortar, as that will reduce them to a close heavy paste. Let them be entirely free from lumps, for nothing can be more indicative of carelessness or want of skill on the part of the cook, than mashed potatoes sent to table full of these. Melt in a clean saucepan a slice of good butter with a few spoonsful of milk, or, better still, of cream; put in the potatoes after having sprinkled some fine salt upon them, and stir the whole over a gentle fire, with a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are well mixed, and the whole is very hot. It may then be served directly; or heaped high in a dish, left rough on the surface, and browned before the fire; or it may be pressed into a well-buttered mould of handsome form, which has been strewed with the finest bread-crumbs, and shaken free of the loose ones, then turned out, and browned in a Dutch or common oven.
More or less liquid will be required to moisten sufficiently potatoes of various kinds.
Potatoes mashed, 2 lbs.; salt, 1 teaspoonful; butter, 1 to 2 ozs.; milk or cream, 1/4 pint.
Mashed potatoes are often moulded with a cup, and then equally browned; any other shape will answer the purpose as well, and many are of better appearance.