Salad Dressing with Butter

by Katherine Perry

One modern way of presenting the croquettes might be with an old-fashioned salad dressing: not the light vinaigrettes we spritz on fluffy greens today, but the thick, sweet and tangy mayonnaise that coated all the lobster, chicken and Waldorf salads that were the fashion in upper-class hotels and restaurants of the time. It’s a decadence worth revisiting, spooned atop a croquette, or used as dip for the season’s first crisp asparagus.

FROM CARRIE HOWLAND’S MANUSCRIPT, 1884
Four tablespoonfuls of butter, one of flour, one table-spoonful of salt, one of sugar, one heaping teaspoonful of mustard, a speck of cayenne, one cupful of milk, half a cupful of vinegar, three eggs. Let the butter get hot in a saucepan. Add the flour, and stir until smooth, being careful not to brown. Add the milk, and boil up.
Place the sauce-pan in another of hot water. Beat the eggs, salt, pepper, sugar and mustard together, and add the vinegar. Stir this into the boiling mixture, and stir until it thickens like soft custard, which will be in about five minutes. Set away to cool; and when cold, bottle, and place in the ice-chest. This will keep two weeks.


MODERN ADAPTATIONS
This recipe almost needs no notes— except to say that once you make it, you’re likely to find yourself putting it on everything.