This section is from the book "Philadelphia Cook Book: A Manual Of Home Economies", by Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer. Also available from Amazon: Philadelphia Cook Book.
In giving recipes for salad dressings, it is almost impossible to give exact quantities, especially if we consider the great diversity of tastes. Delmonico, it is said, used only one yolk as a foundation for a quart of oil, with salt and cayenne as seasoning. For fish, meats, and some vegetables, such as cauliflower, tomatoes, and celery, this dressing (mayonnaise) seems appropriate; but the simple French dressing for lettuce, served as a salad after a hearty meal, is best. In preparing these dressings, use a silver or wooden fork, a large soup plate, which should be very, very cold, and the freshest and best of olive oil, cayenne or white pepper, and good strong vinegar or lemon juice. A common question is, "What can we use in the place of oil?" Cream and melted butter may be used, but will not take the place of the oil. The Spanish proverb is that four persons are necessary to make a good salad: "A spendthrift, for oil; a miser, for vinegar; a barrister, for salt; and a madman, to stir it up."
If you wish to preserve the crispness and flavor of green vegetables for salads, throw them in ice-water for an hour, then dry carefully on a soft towel, being careful not to bruise them, and then put in a cold place until wanted.
Never mix any salad with the dressing until you are ready to serve it. Use the coldest of dishes to serve it on, and, if garnished properly, it is one of the most attractive and wholesome dishes on the table.
Draw, singe, and boil the chicken same as directed for Chicken Croquettes. When done, and perfectly cold, remove the skin and cut the meat into dice. If you want it very nice, use only the white meat, save the dark for croquettes. After you have cut it, stand it away in a cold place until wanted. Wash and cut the white parts of celery into pieces about a half-inch long, throw them into a bowl of cold water and also stand them away until wanted. To every pint of chicken allow two-thirds of a pint of celery, and a cup and a half of mayonnaise dressing. When ready to serve, dry the celery and mix with the chicken, dust lightly with salt, white pepper or cayenne, then mix with it the mayonnaise. Serve on a cold dish garnished with the white celery tips.
One cup of whipped cream may be added to every half-pint of mayonnaise, when ready to use it. It makes the dressing lighter with less of the oily flavor.
The liquor in which the chicken was boiled may be used for soup.
Veal salad may be made precisely the same as Chicken Salad, using cold roast or boiled veal instead of chicken.
Clean and parboil one pair of sweetbreads, then throw them into cold water for a half-hour. Remove the fat and skin, and cover them with fresh boiling water; add a tea-spoonful of salt and simmer gently for twenty minutes. When done, stand away to cool. When cold, cut into thin slices. Wash and dry the tender leaves from one head of lettuce. Rub the bottom of a soup dish with onion and make in it nearly a half-pint of mayonnaise. Place a thin slice of onion in the centre of your salad dish, arrange the lettuce leaves around it; mix the sweetbreads carefully with the mayonnaise, and put in the centre of the dish. Serve.
This is a delicious salad, and if prepared as directed will have only the faintest suspicion of onion.
Tarragon vinegar added to the mayonnaise is a great improvement.