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Фотокулинар »   Recipes Builder »   TURTLES AND TERRAPINS
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TURTLES AND TERRAPINS - Черепахи и водяные черепахи

These animals should be alive when purchased. If the large southern variety, the soft-shell or snapping turtles are used, cut off the head and let the turtle lie in cold water one-half hour or hang on a hook with neck down until blood stops dripping. Then wash and drop into boiling water and cook for ten minutes. Pour off the water and cover the turtle with cold water, letting it stand until cool enough to handle easily; then with a towel rub the nails and black skin from the legs.

Wash the turtle carefully, place it in a saucepan covered with boiling water and simmer until the flesh is tender. This will be when the joints of the legs can be broken with a slight pressure, and the shells separate easily. It will take from thirty to sixty minutes. It should be cooked until the skin is like jelly. Remove the turtle from the water, and after it has cooled a little, place it on its back with the head away from you, and loosen and remove the under shell.

The liver, gall bladder and sand bag will be found near the head end, the gall being attached to the left side of the liver. Take out the gall as you would that of a chicken, being care- ful not to break it. Remove the entrails and throw them away.

Take out the eggs, if there are any, remove the slight mem- brane and drop them into cold water. Cut all the meat very fine, saving any water that may collect in the shells. The turtle is now ready to use in a stew or in other ways.

If terrapin is used, wash and plunge it alive into boiling salted water, and cook for about ten minutes. Then plunge it into cold water, rub off the toe nails and dark skin, place it again in salted boiling water and cook until the legs are tender, from thirty to sixty minutes. Clean the terrapin ac- cording to directions for turtles, but instead of throwing away the small intestines, cut them in very small pieces and use them for food. Discard the thick, heavy part of the intestines.

The Diamond-Back or Salt-Water Terrapin.
Three species of the genus Malacoclemmys inhabit the United States. By far the most important of these, and the most valuable of all terrapins is the Malacoclemmys Palustris, or the "diamond-back terrapin."
The other two species, the Geographic Tortoises, M. Geographica and M. Lesueuri are of a comparatively rare occurrence and are not used for food to any considerable extent.
The diamond-back lives in salt marshes near the coast, and is seldom found far from them. They were formerly very abundant in such localities, and could be often seen on warm days sunning themselves on the bars and flats. But the increasing demand for them and the wholesale capture of old and young have reduced their numbers very materially. The species is a comparatively small one, and varies much in external appearance. The females attain a larger size than the male and are much more highly prized in the market. The average length of the under part of the shell is seven inches, and the weight of the animal four or five pounds. Rarely the length reaches ten inches, and the terrapin weighs about ten pounds. The fixed standard of length for salable females in most markets is six inches, but in some it is as low as five inches. The terrapin having that length are known as "counts." The small specimens are separated into "heifers" and "little bulls ;" their under shell rarely exceeds five inches in length. As has been already said, they are deemed very inferior to the females, and the price of them is therefore much lower.

To kill the terrapin it is necessary to have ready a large saucepan of boiling water, one that will hold a terrapin easily, and to plunge the creature into it head first, putting the lid or cover on the pan immediately, and leaving it in the water for ten or fifteen minutes. Then remove it and peel off the black skin from the shell, and the nails from the claws. Wash the terrapin thoroughly in warm water, and remove the under shell by chipping through the thinnest parts, where the black shell joins. Cut close to the shell so as not to lose any meat, pour away the water, but keep the blood, which will be found in the deep or black shell. Take out the dark green gall bladder, which is about the size of a cherry, and will be found near the center at the side of the liver, and also the sand bag and entrail, and preserve the eggs, if there be any. Loosen the meat from the top shell, cutting through the spine bone, just above the tail, where it is attached to the shell, turn the terrapin into a flat pan, and cut off the head. This, with the shell, can be used for soup. Separate the two fore and two hind legs, so as to have four pieces, trim off the claws, and scrape off the thin outside covering. In the female terrapin there will be found rich fat at the shoulders. This should be taken off, as it does not require so much cooking as the other parts, and should only be added when they are nearly done. It is of a dark green color. All the pieces of meat, together with the fat and legs, should be kept in water until wanted for use. Only the flesh, eggs and liver of the terrapin are ordinarily used, but sometimes the intestines are scalded and scraped, and added to the terrapin. When there are no eggs in the terrapin, egg balls are made to accompany it.

2 cups cooked terrapin or turtle meat
2 cups cream or rich milk
Salt and pepper
6 yolks hard-cooked eggs
2 tablespoons butter or other fat
Mash the yolks of the hard-cooked eggs and mix them with the fat. Put the cream or rich milk into a double boiler; when it is scalded, stir in the egg and fat mixture and beat till smooth; season with salt, pepper and gratings of allspice and nutmeg. Add the terrapin or turtle meat cut fine and simmer for ten minutes. Serve very hot. Terrapin is very often served in individual metal cups or saucepans with covers.

1 pint cooked terrapin meat
1 pint chopped mushrooms
1 pint medium white sauce
Six slices toast
To white sauce add terrapin cut in inch pieces and chopped mushrooms. Cook in double boiler for twenty minutes, or until thoroughly hot. Serve on toast.

Baked Terrapin.
Cut off the head of a terrapin, put it in a saucepan or pot with the shell on, and let it boil until the under shell can be removed easily. Take it out, pull out all the meat, cleaning the upper shell thoroughly ; pick the meat to pieces, and mix it up with a few crackers and chopped onions, a small quantity each of allspice, black pepper, chopped parsley and butter, and pour over a small quantity of wine. Put this mixture into the top shell, place a few slices of lemon on the top, set it in the oven and bake. When done take it out and serve.
Baked Terrapins, Maryland Style.
Half fill a baking pan with dry gravel or sand, put it into an oven and make it quite hot; wash well three terrapins that have been killed, remove their heads, put them with the top shell downward in the sand and bake in the oven for an hour. Take them out, remove the under shell, gall bag and entrails and loosen the meat without taking it out of the back shell. Pull off the legs, skin them and lay them on the top. Put one breakfast cupful of butter in a basin to soften, mix in one teacupful of flour, one teaspoonful each of salt and black pepper and the juice of a lemon. Put a little more than one tablespoonful of this into each terrapin, place them back in the oven for a few minutes, take them out and serve on a napkin spread on a dish.

Fricassee of Terrapin.
Put the meat of two or three terrapins into a saucepan with a little butter and a bunch of parsley and sweet herbs; cook until it is slightly colored, sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste and one tablespoonful of flour and pour in gradually sufficient cream to cover. Boil for four minutes without stirring, then add one wineglassful of sherry; boil again for ten nr'nutes, take the saucepan from the fire, thicken with the beaten yolks of four eggs, remove the bunch of sweet herbs and parsley, add five ounces of butter broken up into small pieces, turn the whole out on to a dish and serve with minced parsley sprinkled over it.

Terrapin Steaks.
Cut the meat of a terrapin into slices or steaks, sprinkle them over with salt and pepper, place a few lumps of butter on them and either fry them in a fryingpan or broil them on a gridiron. When done place them on a dish and serve very hot; or they may be dipped in butter before being salted and peppered, covered with melted breadcrumbs and then cooked.
Stewed Terrapins.
Cut the flesh off some small terrapins in little pieces, and put them over the fire in a stewpan, together with a seasoning of pepper and salt, a little cayenne pepper and a small piece of butter. Let them stew in the butter for a short time, add one wineglassful of water for each terrapin, and put in at the same time a piece of butter rolled in flour ; stew for ten minutes, then add for each terrapin one wineglassful of white wine, and let it stew for another five minutes ; then move the pan to the side of the fire, and stir in some beaten yolks of eggs, allowing one yolk to two terrapins. Cover the pan tightly and let it stand for five or six minutes. Then pour the terrapins, sauce and all, into a tureen and serve.

Stewed Terrapin, Baltimore Style.
Prepare two medium sized terrapins. Make one pint or so of mirepoix sauce, add to it one tablespoonful of flour and bake for fifteen minutes ; moisten with one wineglassful of Madeira wine and one breakfast cupful of strong broth. Stir constantly, season with a small pinch of salt and a very little cayenne pepper, and reduce the liquor to half its original quantity. Cut the terrapins into small pieces, throwing the ends of the claws away ; place the pieces in a stewpan, straining the sauce over them and finish with one ounce of fresh butter, also the juice of a lemon. Then dish up and serve.

Stewed Terrapin, Maryland Style.
Carefully cut up two terrapins, place them in a saucepan with one wineglassful of good Madeira wine, a small pinch of salt, a little cayenne pepper, and an ounce or two of good butter. Mix thoroughly one breakfast cupful of sweet cream with the yolks of three boiled eggs, and add it to the terrapin, stirring continually while thoroughly heating, but without letting it come to a boil Turn the whole into a tureen, and serve it very hot.

Vol-au-Vent of Terrapin.
Put one breakfast cupful of terrapin stock into a saucepan with two or three cloves and a little mace or parsley, and boil it up ; add one tablespoonful of browned flour mixed up with an equal amount of butter to thicken it, pour in one wineglassful of sherry wine, and strain the liquor into another saucepan. Add two breakfast cupfuls of terrapin meat cut up into small pieces, sprinkle on a little salt and cayenne, simmer gently at the side of the fire until the preparation is done. Have in readiness eight vol-au-vent cases lined with puff paste and baked, fill them with the terrapin mixture, and serve on a folded napkin spread over a dish.

Turtle Fins Financiere.
Scald and wash the fins of a turtle, remove the large bones, and insert thin tubes in the cavities ; bind the fins tightly in cloths, place them in a saucepan with enough water or broth to cover, and boil until tender. When done, take them out and let them cool, but without removing the cloths. Have ready a little turtle quenelle mixture poached in turtle consomme, remove the cloths and tubes from the fins, stuff them with the mixture, warm up again and serve. A garnish composed of fancy shapes cut out from the firm red part of a cooked beef tongue, truffles, breast of chicken, champignons, and also small quenelles, may also be used.

Stewed Turtle.
Clean a small turtle, place it in a saucepan of cold water, and sufficiently boil it to enable the meat to be easily removed. Cut out the meat in small pieces, put them into a saucepan with a seasoning of salt, cayenne pepper, spices and a little lemon ; add a few hard boiled eggs cut up and sufficient white wine to moisten. Boil until the meat is quite tender, turn the whole out on to a dish and serve. The meat for this should be rather over than underdone. The wine and lemon may be substituted by rich stock or by turtle soup,

(Green Turtle Soup)
(as it was made in Babette's Feast)

This recipe was taken from the notebooks of Adolphe Duglere, the
best known chef of the Cafe Anglais.

1 live green turtle (about 5 kilos)
1 recipe for consomme (recipe follows)
1 recipe for chicken-meat stock (recipe follows)
Madeira (or sherry)
l bouquet garni (basil, marjoram, rosemary, savory,
thyme and parsley tied together in muslin)
l bouquet garni of peppercorns and coriander
4 medium carrots
l small cabbage
1 turnip
1 large unpeeled apple
salt and pepper to taste
croutons for serving (recipe follows)

1. Slaughter the turtle and hang it to bleed for 3 - 4 hours.

2. Butcher the turtle, setting aside separately the breastplate
and carapace, the meat and the innards. Clean the innards well.

3. Cut the carapace and breast plate into pieces and plunge these
into a large pot with rapidly boiling water. Let the pieces
blanch for 5 minutes. Drain rapidly, run the pieces under cold
water and remove and discard the outer sheilds that cover them.

4. Place the cleaned pieces in a large saucepan and cover
generously with the consomme. To the saucepan both bouquet
garnis, the vegetables and the apple. Over a high flame bring
just to a boil. Immediately lower the flame and simmer gently,
uncovered, for about 7 hours.

5. While the consomme is simmering, bone the turtle meat and cut
into 1 cm cubes. Place the meat in the chicken-beef stock, bring
just to a boil, reduce the flame and let simmer just until the
meat is tender (about 2 hrs). Keep the meat warm in the stock.

6. When the carapace and breast plates have finished cooking,
strain the soup through a cloth, heat through and add 2 cups of
Madeira (or sherry) to each litre of stock. Heat through. A few minutes
before serving stir in two-three tsp. of the Amontillado sherry to be served with the meal.

7. Immediately before serving place the turtle pieces in the
soup. Garnish with the croutons and serve at once.

Note: This soup should be served with a medium-dry Amontillado

Note: If using tinned turtle meat, follow all of the above steps
simply substituting additonal turtle meat for the carapace and
breast plates used in preparing the stock.


Consomme is nothing more than a stock that has been perfectly
clarified until completely clear and sparkling. The following
consomme (consomme blanc de veau) is considered ideal for making the turtle soup, above.

2 kilos uncooked veal bones, cracked
1 stewing hen, cut into convenient pieces
1 1/2 kilos uncooked veal shank meat
2 medium carrots
2 medium onions
2 stalks celery
l bouquet garni with 2 unpeeled garlic cloves and
2 whole cloves added to 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley,
1/2 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp salt

1. Place the veal bones and veal meat into a kettle, pour over
cold water to cover, bring to the boil and let boil very gently
for 5 - 6 minutes. Drain and rinse well under cold water. Rinse
the kettle. Return the bones and meat to the kettle, pour over
fresh cold water to cover and bring just to a bare simmer. Skim
and then add the vegetables, chicken, bouquet garni and salt.
Continue this bare simmer, partially covering the kettle, for 4 -
5 hours, adding boiling water only if the liquids evaporate below
the level of the ingredients. When cooking is completed discard
the bouquet garni and strain the stock into a clean bowl.

2. To degrease, let the stock settle for 5 - 6 minutes and then
skim the bulk of the fat from the surface with a large spoon. Draw
pieces of paper toweling across the surface of the stock to absorb
the last remnants of the fat.

3. Taste the stock. If it is to weak, boil down to concentrate
the strength. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken-Meat Stock

about 1 1/2 kilos each mixed meat and
poultry bones and meat scraps
2 medium carrots
2 medium onions
2 stalks celery
l bouquet garni (see recipe for consomme)
2 tsp salt

1. Place the meat and bones in a kettle, pour over cold water to
cover, bring to a bare simmer and skim the surface. Continue to
simmer, skimming often, until scum no longer rises to the surface.
Add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer, partially
covered, for 4 - 5 hours longer, skimming occasionally if
necessary and adding boiling water if the liquids evaporate below
the surface of the ingredients. Before adding the turtle meat
discard the bouquet garni and strain the stock through a cloth.

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