The Plover family, which includes lapwings, are too tiny to cook in any conventional poultry manner. Mrs.B recommended roasting them plucked, but undrawn, and serving on toast. The eggs were a great delicacy, usually hard-boiled. Their capture, and the taking of their eggs, is now illegal.
Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)
1662. Plovers' eggs are usually served boiled hard, and sent to table in a napkin, either hot or cold. They may also be shelled, and served the same as eggs à la Tripe, with a good Bechamel sauce, or brown gravy, poured over them. They are also used for decorating salads, the beautiful colour of the white being generally so much admired.
TO DRESS PLOVERS.
1044. INGREDIENTS: 3 plovers, butter, flour, toasted bread.
Choosing and Trussing. - Choose those that feel hard at the vent, as that shows their fatness. There are three sorts, - the grey, green, and bastard plover, or lapwing. They will keep good for some time, but if very stale, the feet will be very dry. Plovers are scarcely fit for anything but roasting; they are, however, sometimes stewed, or made into a ragoût, but this mode of cooking is not to be recommended.
Mode: Pluck off the feathers, wipe the outside of the birds with a damp cloth, and do not draw them; truss with the head under the wing, put them down to a clear fire, and lay slices of moistened toast in the dripping-pan, to catch the trail. Keep them well basted, dredge them lightly with flour a few minutes before they are done, and let them be nicely frothed. Dish them on the toasts, over which the trail should be equally spread. Pour round the toast a little good gravy, and send some to table in a tureen.
Time: 10 minutes to ¼ hour.
Average cost: 1s. 6d. the brace, if plentiful.
Sufficient: for 2 persons.
Seasonable: In perfection from the beginning of September to the end of January.
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