More sage counsel from Marguerite Patten – tackling the main course. This is the last part of her ‘Putting it right’ section, although there is much benign didacticism in other parts of the book, which will be added at a later date.
Fish slightly over-cooked and dry, also inclined to break
Use extra melted butter in the sauce or topping to counteract the dry texture. Lift the fish on to individual heated plates, so there is no fear of the fish breaking again. Garnish attractively to disguise slight tendency of portions to break
Meat or Poultry dishes
Rest of meal cooked but joint or roast poultry under-cooked
Dish up the remainder of the meal into a Hostess trolley or cabinet and allow the joint or poultry to continue cooking. If time is short, carve the poultry or joint, arrange on a flame-proof dish and cook under the grill for a short time
Pastry slightly over-cooked and burned at the edges
Take a grater and rub the fine side gently and carefully over the burned portion until removed. Dust sweet pastry with sieved icing sugar or brush the pastry on a savoury dish with a little beaten egg yolk and return to the oven for a short time to give a pleasant shine to the roughened pastry.
Pastry topping on a pie loses its shape
Gently cut the pastry into portions, then arrange on the fruit or savoury mixture. This makes an interesting-looking dish and one that is easy to serve.
Colonial Goose and Bacon with marinade sauce, duchesse potatoes and chocolate mousse.
Text and Image from The Hostess Book of Entertaining by Marguerite Patten. (Charles and David, 1980.)