1832 - The Cook's Own Book

Rice Casserole


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1832 - The Cook's Own Book
Rice Casserole

Take a pound and a half of rice, wash it thoroughly in several waters (warm),
and then put it into a saucepan, at least eight inches in diameter;
moisten it with stock, in this proportion;
if the rice lies an inch thick, let the stock come two inches above it,
and four ladlefuls of fowl skimmings;
place the saucepan on a hot stove;
when the rice boils, set it on the side, and skim it;
then put it on hot ashes, cover, and let it boil slowly for fifteen to twenty minutes;
stir it, let it boil as before; in twenty or twenty-five minutes, stir it again;
if by this time the rice is perfectly soft, take it off, but if not,
add a little more liquid, and continue boiling until it is so;
place the saucepan aslant on the side of the stove
that the fat may drain away and be taken off easily.
As soon as the rice is lukewarm, work it into a firm, smooth, paste, with a spatula;
it can hardly be worked up too much, as every grain of rice ought to pass under pressure
(if necessary, add more stock, a very little at a time).
When the paste is thus thoroughly worked up, form your casserole of it,
first laying it in a heap, four or five inches high, and seven in diameter;
do it with the hand as you would a raised crust;
make the ornaments of the outer surface with the point of a knife,
or by carrots cut for the purpose,
taking care that the decorations be detached from the mass of rice, at least an inch;
attention to this particular will not only add to the beauty of the form,
but to the color also, as the raised parts will be lightly colored,
while the ground will be quite white.
When properly formed, mask the whole surface with clarified butter,
and place it in a hot oven for an hour and a half,
by which time it will be of a fine clear yellow.
Take off the top of your casserole,
clear away all the rice from the inside that does not adhere to the crust
(which ought to be very thin),
and mix it with bechamelle, espangnole, or whatever other sauce may be proper,
put it in again, and then fill your casserole,
with such ragouts as your fancy may dictate;
glaze the surface of the outer ornaments, and serve it.
Water, with butter and salt, is frequently thought preferable to the stock,
&c., as the rice is thereby rendered much whiter.