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Serving Food Attractively: Meat II
FORCEMEAT: Use any favorite recipe and form balls or other shapes. If poultry, meat, and other ingredients are minced fine enough, the mixture can be forced through a pastry tube to form rosettes and other designs on meat loaf or dressing served in orange cups. Bake about 20 minutes before serving.
GELATIN: Prepare any tasty gelatin and color to suit taste, occasion, and color theme. Mold or cut into desired shapes. (See directions for aspic in appetizer section.) Turn gelatin mold onto a pineapple or orange slice and arrange on meat platter. To form a flower design on a jellied meat loaf, use slices of stuffed olives and stems and leaves cut from green pepper. Pour a layer of gelatin mix about 1/4 inch deep in a loaf pan and allow to stand until firm. Arrange the olive slices and green-pepper stems and leaves in a flower design on top of the gelatin. Pour another layer of gelatin mix 1/4 inch deep over the design. Allow to congeal, then fill the rest of the mold with cold baked meat loaf. To decorate the sides, dip the pieces of olive and green pepper in the gelatin mixture and fix in place when the layer of meat is high enough to stabilize them. When meat loaf is unmolded, the design will be fastened to the top and sides of the jellied meat loaf.
GRAPES: Simmer seedless grapes or raisins, dark or white, in wine for about 10 minutes. Remove grapes or raisins and thicken wine slightly with cornstarch; cook thoroughly. Add fruit, and cook until raisins or grapes are well puffed and flavored. Pour over baked ham or other meats, as desired.
HOLLY: Arrange sprigs of fresh holly around base of baked ham or roast. A sprig may also be placed on top of baked ham.
JELLY: Place apple, currant, mint, or other jelly in tiny lettuce cups, on toast points, in small colored paper cups, in fruit or vegetable cups, or on top of an orange slice. The color of the jelly should harmonize with the color of its container. Arrange around lamb or other roast. KUMQUATS Parboil and remove slice from top of each kumquat. Do not peel. Scoop out a little of the pulp and fill the cavity with sugar. Place the kumquats upright and close together in a shallow baking pan and pour a little pineapple juice over them. Bake in a 375° F. oven for 15 minutes.
LEMONS AND LIMES: Baskets - Mark the outline of the basket with the point of a sharp knife, then cut away the two upper quarters, leaving a strip about 1/3 inch wide to form the handle of the basket. Scoop out the rest of the pulp carefully so that the handle will remain intact. Scallop the edge of the basket. Fill with relish or other condiment. Cut a lemon or lime in half lengthwise or crosswise, remove pulp, and serve plain or with scalloped edges. Fill with horseradish, tartar or cranberry sauce, or jelly. Place two or four of the cups on the meat platter. Place a cardboard stencil over a lemon slice, then sprinkle paprika, chopped parsley or chives over the stencil design. Remove cardboard carefully. If desired, top lemon slice with a mint cherry, mint spray, or grated orange rind instead of paprika and chopped chives. MEAT Pinwheel Use large bologna slices. Cut each slice into 4 sections, making each cut to within 1/a inch of the center of the slice, then fold every other corner to the center, and fasten the points to the center with a piece of toothpick and half of a stuffed olive.
MISTLETOE: Use in the same way as holly. See directions in this section.
MUSHROOMS: Place pan-broiled mushroom caps in design on top of meat loaf just before serving, or pour sauce containing chopped mushrooms over top of meat. Place broiled mushroom caps on the top of dressing or vegetables served in vegetable cups. Fill mushroom caps with carrots and peas.
OLIVES: Garnish meats with a cluster of ripe, green, or stuffed olives in a bed of greens. Insert toothpicks in any one of all three kinds of olives to form bouquets, or arrange olives in design on baked ham. Form a design on a roast or ham with sliced stuffed olives.
ONIONS: Raw Cut onion in slices; top each slice with a mushroom cap, truffle, or sliced olive. If desired, the onion slices may be tinted by placing in water to which vegetable coloring has been added. Cooked Dip raw onion rings in timbale batter, deep-fat fry, then arrange on top of meat or around a roast. Cook a large onion, then remove enough pulp from the center so that three asparagus tips can be inserted. Use short asparagus tips and place upright in the onion cup. For variation, candles may be made by using small boiled onions. Remove enough onion with an apple corer so that 1 asparagus tip can be inserted. Attach a strip of green pepper on the side of the onion for a handle. Arrange the candles at intervals around roast on platter. Fill cooked onion cups with hot baked beans.
ORANGES: Baskets or Cups. See directions for making lemon baskets in this section. Fill with cubed cranberry jelly or sauce or other relish. Form nests by filling orange cups with mashed potatoes forced through a pastry tube. Place buttered peas in nests. Sweet potatoes may be used in the same way. For variation place marshmallows in center of potato-orange cup. Heat just before serving to puff marshmallow. Fill a pear half with mint jelly and a maraschino cherry with stem and place on an orange slice. Arrange a sprig of mint near the stem end of the pear. Grill orange slices, then top with a red or green maraschino cherry. Fill beet, turnip, or carrot cups with orange jelly. To make the orange jelly, soften 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water; add 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 3/a cup sugar, 1 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, and the grated rind of 1 orange. Stir well until sugar has dissolved, strain through cheesecloth, and pour into a flat pan to congeal. Cut into squares, cubes, or fancy shapes. Stuffed oranges. Boil seedless whole oranges until quite tender, cool, then cut in half. Scoop out some of the pulp and fill with a mixture of chopped nuts, crystallized ginger, and candied cherries. If necessary, add a little sugar to sweeten the mixture. Place the filled orange halves in a shallow pan and pour syrup over them. To make the syrup, boil 2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup white corn syrup, and 1 cup water to 234° F. Place in a hot oven and heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Baste with syrup mixture. Top each orange half with a maraschino cherry and arrange around roast duck or turkey.
PEACHES: Fill peach halves with well-seasoned chutney, jam, or jelly. Broil peach halves in their own syrup. Remove the pit from whole spiced peach. Cut pulp into the shape of water-lily petals. Arrange on platter and place pitted prune in center of each flower. Cut pitted spiced whole peach into petals. Beginning at one end cut down to, but not through, center at the other end. Flatten out to spread petals. Place a round of candied orange peel or slice of date in center of flower. Stud spiced whole peaches with whole cloves and/or almonds cut in julienne strips. Arrange three pieces of fruit at each end of a large platter. Fill the cavity of a peach half with a white or tinted marshmallow. Just before serving, heat enough to puff marshmallow. For variation, surround marshmallow with raisins.
PEARS: Use small whole or medium-sized canned pear halves. Tint green, pink, or other desired color by soaking in the syrup to which pure fruit coloring has been added, then broil until well heated through. While broiling baste with syrup made with 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 cup water.
Pear Airplane: Use a canned whole pear or large pear half. Insert blanched whole almonds at the blossom end of the pear to represent the propeller. Cut a banana in half lengthwise and dip in pineapple or other fruit juice, then cut a small opening in both sides of the pear and insert the banana pieces to form the wings of the airplane. Cut two slices of red-skinned apple, dip in fruit juice, and insert at right angles over the small end of the pear to form the tail of the plane. Place on a bed of curly endive. This makes an attractive garnish for a cold-meat platter. Place alternating strips of green and red pepper or pimento crosswise or lengthwise on spiced pear. Crush corn flakes, then roll whole or half canned pears in the crumbs. Bake until heated through and arrange on meat platter rounded side up. With paintbrush and fruit coloring, paint a small whole canned pear as it appears in natural color. Insert a whole clove at blossom end and a crabapple stem together with a few mint leaves at stem end. Arrange in groups of 3 on meat platter.
PEPPERS: Cut green or red pepper in various shapes, such as stars, flowers, or seasonal designs. Place on meat or on light-colored vegetables surrounding meat. Shred pepper, use separately or combine with shredded carrots or beets, and arrange in small mounds surrounding meat. Cut red or green peppers in half, then remove membrane and seeds. Fill with cabbage slaw or creamed whole-kernel corn. Parboil green pepper cases, fill with hot diced beets, cooked onions, or meat balls. Pepper cases may be filled with any meat or vegetable combination and baked. Arrange as many around meat as there are people to be served.
PICKLES: Sweet-sour cucumber pickles, dill or mustard pickles, or spiced melon pickles may be served in lemon, lime, or orange baskets or in fruit or vegetable cups or on tiny lettuce leaves. See directions for making lemon baskets in this section. Chop pickles and serve on toast points arranged around meat.
PIMIENTOS: Firecrackers Wrap a wide strip of pimiento around a cocktail frankfurter to resemble a firecracker. Insert a small strip of green pepper for the fuse. Grill. Serve next to ham slices on the Fourth of July. Cut pimiento into strips or fancy shapes. Use on meats to add a note of color.
PINEAPPLES: Sauté rings of pineapple in a small amount of fat, or a combination of fat, pineapple juice, and brown sugar. Top each ring with a prune which has been stuffed with an orange section, or a canned apricot half filled with a marshmallow. If marshmallows are used, heat garnish to toast the marshmallows just before serving. Stud outer edge of pineapple ring with whole cloves. Broil; fill center with cranberry mold. Roll edge of pineapple ring in paprika or chopped parsley. Place mushroom cap in center of ring.
PLUMS: Spiced Green-gage Plums Drain syrup from a No. 2 1/2 can (3 1/2 cups) of green-gage plums. Heat syrup and suspend a small cloth bag containing 12 cloves, 1-inch stick cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon whole allspice in the syrup. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour over the fruit and let stand several hours. Drain. Tint pears pink with pure fruit coloring. Arrange on platter with roast duck or goose.
Prune Plum: Cut prune plum in half lengthwise and stuff with marshmallow; or cut plum in sections and arrange in the form of a flower on a roast or on the platter next to a roast. Cut prune plum in half lengthwise, arrange in groups of 3 around meat. This is especially effective when meat is served on a white platter.
POTATOES: Flavor mashed sweet potatoes with sherry wine. Place in mounds around meat and top with chopped peanuts. Bake potatoes. Scoop out the inside and prepare as whipped potatoes. Make nests in the potato shells by forcing the whipped potatoes through pastry tube. Fill with buttered peas, cubed carrots, whole-kernel com, or sautéed link pork sausage. Meat balls about the size of marbles may also be served in these potato nests. Heat before serving. Deep-fat fry lattice potatoes and serve in mounds around roast. For making lattice potatoes, see directions for potatoes in fish section. Shred raw potatoes, dry well, and place in lower wire basket. Make enough shreds to line the basket completely and to form a sturdy nest. Insert top basket and fry in deep fat. Remove wire basket gently so as not to break the nest. Fill with vegetable cubes or balls and place as many nests around meat as there are people to be served. Meat balls or Easter eggs may also be served in these nests.
PRUNES: Serve spiced prunes in beds of greens or on tiny skewers around meat. To spice prunes combine 2 cups prune juice with 1-inch piece of stick cinnamon and 1/a teaspoon mace. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat, pour over prunes, and let stand several hours. Drain; stuff the prunes with finely chopped cooked meat, preserved watermelon pickle, marshmallows, candied orange peel, or orange sections.
RADISHES: Place radish roses, tulips, jonquils, or daisies on meat platter at points of interest. See directions for radishes in appetizer and fish sections.
RICE: Form molds of rice cooked with prunes, figs, dates, or raisins. Top each mold with any one of these fruits whole, if not too large, or cut in shape of petals.
SAUCES: Serve brown, lemon, orange, or tomato-olive sauce in gravy boat. Top the sauce with one of its major ingredients: fasten a lemon slice on edge of gravy boat containing lemon sauce, or tomato-olive sauce with slices or stuffed olives, et cetera.
SQUASH: Gut acorn squash in half and remove seeds and membrane. Bake, then fill with buttered peas and top with strip of grilled bacon. Arrange around roast.
TIMBALE CASES: Make timbale cases 1/2 to 3/4 inch high. Cut sautéed Polish link sausage in 1 1/2 -inch pieces, place one in the center of each timbale case, and surround with buttered peas. For variation, place a mushroom cap in center of timbale case and surround with peas or tiny carrot balls.
TOMATOES: Fill a white or green vegetable cup with tomato-pear chutney. To make chutney, mix together 1 pound chopped tomatoes, 1 pound chopped pears, 1 chopped pepper, 1 chopped onion, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, 2 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 cup white sugar or 1 1/4 cups brown sugar. Boil slowly for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add 1 small can of chopped pimiento and boil 5 minutes longer. Pack into sterilized jars; seal at once. Use as needed. Slice tomatoes and top each slice with a rosette made by forcing piquant butter through a pastry tube. For variation, grate American cheese or processed cheese and mold into the shape of animals, vegetables, or other objects. Place in the center of each tomato slice. Top broiled tomato slices with steamed unbleached raisins. Broil tomato cups filled with vegetable or meat mixture.
TRUFFLES: Cut truffles in strips or fancy shapes, top orange slices or light-colored vegetables surrounding meat.
TURNIPS: Parboil turnips, then cut slice from one end and scoop out the pulp. Edges may be scalloped or left plain. Dip edges in paprika which has been sprinkled on a plate or other flat surface. Fill the hot turnip cups with buttered peas, whole kernel corn, diced beets, or other diced, colorful vegetable. Slices of raw turnip may be cut into many shapes. Dip edges in paprika or chopped parsley.
VEGETABLE AND FRUIT COMBINATIONS: Cut peppers lengthwise to form cases and fill with rice in tomato sauce. Form a border of the stuffed pepper cases around meat.
Combine raw turnip balls and red cabbage relish. Serve in lettuce cups on meat platter. Surround a standing rolled roast with any of the following:
Pineapple slices dipped in chopped parsley and topped with cranberry mold.
Peach halves filled with fresh gooseberries.
Rice molds topped with a border of cubed carrots and buttered peas in the center. Thick tomato slices topped with mushroom caps.
Place meat balls in center of blue plate or platter and arrange sautéed onion slices around edge. Top with whole-kernel corn, then scatter green pepper and pimiento strips over surface of corn.
Mold ham loaf in round shape. Place peach halves, round side up, on outer rim of loaf, overlapping peach halves slightly. Fill center with cooked parsleyed onions.