Thursday, November 3, 2016

Recipes by Deborah Kerr: Coconut Scones or Sinkers; English Steak and Kidney Pie; Special Potatoes; Steak and Kidney Pie; Summer Squash

Deborah Kerr's Coconut Scones or Sinkers

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, well-beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup coconut (sieved)
Dash of lemon juice (or lemon extract) to taste

1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten egg, flour and coconut to form stiff dough. Add lemon juice (or extract) to taste. Drop by spoonfuls on well-greased baking sheet.

2. Flatten slightly with fork. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven until cookies begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Frost with powdered sugar mixed with fresh lemon juice until smooth or lemon butter icing. Sprinkle tops with coconut.

Thoughts: In England, the coconut is sold in a dried form and is somewhat smaller in texture than the shredded coconut available in most American supermarkets. Fur this reason, Deborah advises "sieving" the coconut to get smaller-textured coconut. Her scones are delicious if decorated with fresh grated coconut.

Deborah Kerr's English Steak and Kidney Pie

2 small beef kidneys (or 4 veal)
3/4 pound round steak
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsps. drippings
1 cup chopped onion
bay leaf, parsley, celery tops
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
3 tbsps. flour
1/2 cup cold water
1 recipe pie dough

Remove skin and coarse parts from kidneys, wash in salted water and cut in one-inch cubes. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a flat dish and dredge kidneys in this. Sprinkle both surfaces of round steak lightly with some of remaining flour and pound with meat mallet or back of heavy knife. Cut steak in one-inch squares. Heat drippings in heavy skillet and brown steak in it. Add and brown onion, then kidneys. Cover meat with water and add bay leaf, parsley, and celery tops. (Dry parsley and celery tops may be used.) Cover tightly and simmer about an hour. Lift meat out and put in a deep baking dish with mushrooms and carrots. Thicken liquid in skillet with 3 tablespoons flour blended with 1/2 cup cold water. Check for seasoning and pour over vegetables. Make pastry crust with pie dough, sealing to edge of dish with cold water and cutting steam perforations. Bake at 400 degrees F. 30 to 35 minutes or until brown. Serves 6.

Deborah Kerr's Special Potatoes

Boil potatoes in the usual way, then mash them to a fluffy consistency with butter and cream. Add a finely mashed banana and season with nutmeg. Turn the potatoes into a greased casserole and place in a slow oven until the mixture is completely heated through. It's a wonderful accompaniment to roast beef.

Deborah Kerr's Steak and Kidney Pie

For the filling:

3 lbs. lean beef chuck (or round), cut in 3-inch cubes
Seasoned flour: 3 tbsps. flour, 1 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. crushed bay leaf, 1 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper and 1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 cup minced beef suet
2 cups liquid (beef stock or watr)
1 small onion stuck with a clove
2 veal (or lamb) kidneys
3 tbsps. butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp. flour
Handful chopped parsley

1. Coat beef with seasoned flour. Melt suet in large deep skillet. Brown beef quickly on all sides. Add liquid and onion stuck with clove. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours (or until meat is tender). Stir occasionally. Remove and discard onion. Set aside.

2. Clean kidney by removing membrane and fat. Chop in 1-inch pieces. Brown lightly in butter. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook until onion is transparent.

3. Place custard cup upside down in center of a 2 1/2-qt. round baking dish. With slotted spoon, arrange beef and kidney mixture in layers to fill casserole.

4. Combine meat juices and cook to reduce in volume about one-fourth. Blend 1 tbsp. flour with a little water (about 3 tbsps.) to form a smooth paste. Slowly stir into meat stock. Cook several minutes to thicken, stirring until smooth. Pour into casserole. Garnish with chopped parsley. Set aside to cool.

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups vegetable shortening
Cold water (about 1/4 cup)
Egg yolk mixed with a little water

1. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut shortening into dry ingredients until texture is size of cornmeal. Add cold water gradually, tossing with fork to form pastry in bowl.

2. Turn out on lightly floured board. Roll out crust to one-fourth inch thickness and forming circlet that extends 1 1/2 to 2 inches beyond size of casserole.

3. Dampen edges of casserole. Lift crust on top of casserole, folding under edges. Press edges to casserole to seal. Brush lightly with egg yolk mixture.

4 Cut cross in center of crust with sharp knife. Fold back edges slightly to vent. Place in heated 400 degrees F. oven for 45 minutes (or until crust is well-browned). Serve with Brussels sprouts (or green salad) and your favorite libation (well-chilled dark ale or chilled Bordeaux wine). Serves 8 to 10.

Thoughts: This English classic pie can be made many ways even using oyster liquor for the moistening agent. Many English people may prefer a meatier version made with fewer seasonings or omit the precooking of beef and kidney to shorten baking time. Either way you choose to do it, it's substantial fare designed to please the most discerning palate.

Deborah Kerr's Summer Squash

Put layers of sliced onion and summer squash into a greased casserole, then season with salt and butter. Bake in a moderate oven for half an hour. Then add a 1/2 cup of cream and continue to bake until tender. This is particularly delicious served with cold sliced beef or pork.

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