One of the economies in cooking is in the proper seasoning of foods. This is the secret of many an attractive dish made from left-overs. or cheap meats. Every garden should contain a little patch of mint, parsley, sage, coriander, while those who have no garden could easily grow these in window boxes or pots. It is not an extravagance to have on hand plenty of pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, kitchen bouquet, and condiments of various kinds. A little of these goes a long way in seasoning, and many a dish which would be very flat and unattractive, by their judicious use is made savory and satisfying.
Garlic is also another seasoning which we use but little, but which is used most extensively throughout the Orient. If properly used it gives a delightful flavor to food. Very little is required. Indeed, often one needs to just rub the sides and bottom of the cooking vessel with the garlic before putting it on the fire. The salad dish may be treated the same way. However, very few would object to a little finely-minced garlic in almost any meat dish, and much in flavor is often gained thereby.
Most of the recipes which follow are quite new to Americans.
This is a very famous soup which has been associated with India since the beginning of the English regime. In India it is usually made with chicken, but beef or mutton do very nicely. Stew a pound of mutton. Scrappy mutton, such as neck or ribs, does very nicely. When meat is tender remove from soup.
Fry an onion with a teaspoonful of curry powder. When nicely browned stir into it a tablespoonful of peanut butter; also about a half cup of fresh cocoanut. Mix these up together to a smooth paste and add to the mutton broth. Also pick the mutton from the bones and add to the soup. If the peanut butter does not thicken it sufficiently, thicken with a little flour. Serve with rice. Sometimes the rice is boiled with the mutton, but usually it is boiled separately (No. 52). Lemon juice is usually served with this soup.
Take a pound of meat. Mutton, chicken, or beef may be used. It must be cut in bits. If the meat has not sufficient fat, add crisco or butter, or whatever one uses. Stew until meat is very tender. Into this soup add a cup of tomato sauce or a cup of boiled and strained tomatoes highly seasoned. Then stir in enough cornmeal to thicken it as for mush. Cook for a few minutes and then turn all into a rice boiler or steamer, and cook until the cornmeal loses its raw taste. When a little cool, add a few raisins, ripe olives, almonds, or peanuts, the latter cut up fine. Make pretty hot with cayenne, and also add a little pimento. Mold into little rolls, and wrap each roll up in corn husks, tying each end, so that the mixture will not escape. Just before eating, steam up again, and serve hot. If one is in a hurry, a dish can be lined with corn husks, the mixture piled in, and corn husks placed over the top of the dish. This is called "tamale pie." If corn husks are not available, it is very good without them. The mixture can either be steamed in a bowl and turned out or it can be sliced cold and fried like mush. It is not necessary to add the raisins, olives, and nuts unless one wants to be rather luxurious.
At the table open up the rolls, remove the husks, and eat with tomato sauce. A good sauce for tamales is made by stewing tomatoes with a little onion and green pepper, straining and highly seasoning. Worcestershire sauce is always good in tamale sauce.
This tamale mixture is fine for stuffing green mango peppers. Indeed, it makes a fine force-meat for most anything.