Dust a little flour over a quarter of a pound of butter, put it into a saucepan, with about a wine-glass of water; stir it one way constantly till it be melted, and let it just boil: a round wooden stick, is the best thing to stir butter with in melting. If the butter is to be melted with cream, use the same proportion as of water, but no flour; stir it constantly, and heat it thoroughly, but do not let it boil. To oil butter, cut about a quarter of a pound into slices, put it into a small jar, and place it in a pan of boiling water. When oiled, pour it off clear from the sediment.
Is so simple and easy to prepare, that it is a matter of general surprise, that what is done so often, is so seldom done right. It is spoiled nine times out of ten, more from idleness than from ignorance, and rather because the cook won't than because she can't do it; which can only be the case when housekeepers will not allow butter to do it with. Good melted butter cannot be made with mere flour and water; there must be a full and proper proportion of butter. As it must be always on the table, and is the foundation of almost all our sauces, we have,
Melted butter and oysters,
Melted butter and parsley,
Melted butter and anchovies,
Melted butter and eggs,
Melted butter and shrimps,
Melted butter and lobsters,
Melted butter and capers, etc. etc. etc.
I have tried every way of making it; and I trust, that I have written a receipt, (3) which, if the cook will carefully observe, she will constantly succeed in giving satisfaction. In the quantities of the various sauces I have ordered, I have had in view the providing for a family of half a dozen moderate people. Never pour sauce over meal or even put it into the dish; however well made, some of the company may have an antipathy to it; tastes are as different as faces: moreover, if it is sent up separate in a boat, it will keep hot longer, and what is left may be put by for another time, or used for another purpose.
Keep a pint stewpan; for this purpose only. Cut two ounces of butter into little bits, that it may melt more easily, and mix more readily; put it into the stewpan with a large tea-spoonful (i. e. about three drachms) of flour, (some prefer arrow-root, or potato starch) and two table-spoonfuls of milk. When thoroughly mixed, add six table-spoonfuls of water; hold it over the fire, and shake it round every minute (all the while the same way), till it just begins to simmer; then let it stand quietly and boil up. It should be of the thickness of good cream. N. B. - Two table-spoonfuls of mushroom catchup, instead of the milk, will make as good mushroom sauce as need be, and is a superlative accompaniment to either fish, flesh, or fowl. Observations: This is the best way of preparing melted batter; milk mixes with the butter much more easily and more intimately than water alone can be made to do. This is of proper thickness to be mixed at table with flavouring essences, anchovy, mushroom, or cavice, etc. If made merely to pour over vegetables, add a little more milk to it. N. B. - If the butter oils, put a spoonful of cold water to it, and stir it with a spoon; if it is very much oiled, it must be poured backwards and forwards from the stewpan to the sauceboat till it is right again. Mem. - Melted butter made to be mixed with flavouring essences, catchups, etc should be of the thickness of light batter, that it may adhere to the fish, etc.
Mix, in a stewpan, with a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, a table-spoonful of flour, a little salt half a gill of water, half a spoonful of white vinegar, and a little grated nutmeg. Put it on the fire, stir it, and let it thicken, but do not allow it to boil, lest it should taste of the flour.