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TO CHOOSE FISH, 23
towns wash it beyond what is necessary for cleaning, and by perpetual watering diminish the flavour. When quite clean, if to be boiled, some salt and a little vinegar should be put into the water to give firmness, but Cod, Whiting, and Haddock are far better if a little salted, and kept a day; and if not very hot weather, they will be good two days.
Those who know how to purchase fish, may, by taking more at a time than they want for one day, often get it cheap; and such kinds as will pot or pickle, or keep by being sprinkled with salt and hung up, or by being fried will serve for stewing the next day, may then be bought with advantage,
Fresh-water fish has often a muddy smell and taste, to take off which, soak it in strong salt and water after it is nicely cleaned; or if of a size to bear it, scald it in the same; then dry and dress it.
The fish must be put into the water while cold, and set to do very gently, or the outside will break before the inner part is done.
Crimp fish should be put into boiling water; and when it boils up, pour a little cold water in, to check extreme heat, and simmer it a few minutes.
The fish-plate on which it is done may be drawn up to see if it be ready; it will leave the bone when it is. It should then be immediately taken out of the water, or it will soon be woolly. The fish-plate should be set crosswise over tho kettle, to keep hot for serving; and a clean cloth to cover the fish to prevent it losing its colour.
Small fish nicely fried, covered with eggs and crumbs, make a dish far more elegant than if served plain. Great attention should be paid to garnishing fish: use plenty of horse-radish, parsley, and lemon.
When well done, and with very good sauce, fish is more attended to than almost any other dish. The liver and roe should be placed on the dish, so that the lady may see them, and help a part to every one.
If fish is to be fried or broiled, it must bo wrapt in a nice soft cloth after it is well cleaned and washed. When perfectly dry, wet with an egg if for frying, and sprinkle the finest crumbs of bread over it; if done a second time with the egg and bread, tho fish will look much better; then, having a thick-bottomed fryingpan on the fire, with a large quantity of lard or dripping boiling hot, plunge tho fish into it, and let it fry middlingly quick, till tho colour is a fine brown yellow, and it is judged ready. If it is done enough before it has obtained a proper degree of colour, the cook should draw the pan to the side of the fire; carefully take it up, and either place it on a large sieve turned upwards, and to be kept for that purpose only, or on the under side of a dish to drain; and if wanted very nice, a sheet of cap paper must be put to receive the fish, which should look a beautiful colour, and all tho crumbs appear distinct; the fish being free from all grease. The same dripping, with a little fresh, will serve a second time. Butter gives
24 TO SHELL FISH.
a bad colour; oil fries of the finest colour for those who will allow the expense,
Garnish with a fringe of curled raw parsley, or parsley fried, which must be thus done: When washed and picked, throw it again into clean water; When the lard or dripping boils, throw the parsley into it immediately from the water, and instantly it will be green and crisp, and must be taken up with a slice; this may be done after the fish is fried.
If fish is to be broiled, it must be seasoned, floured, and put on a gridiron that is very clean; which, when hot, should be rubbed with a bit of suet to prevent the fish from sticking. It must be broiled on a very clear fire, that it may not taste smoky; and not too near, that it may not be scorched.
TURBOT—To Keep Turbot.— If necessary, turbot will keep for two or three days, and be in as high perfection as at first, if lightly rubbed over with salt, and carefully hung in a cold place.
To Boil Turbot.—The turbot-kettle must be of a proper size, and in the nicest order. Set the full in cold water sufficient to cover it completely, throw a handful of salt and it glass of vinegar into it, and let it gradually boil: be very careful that there fall no blacks; but skim it well, and preserve the beauty of the colour.
Serve it garnished with a complete fringe of curled parsley, lemon, and horse-radish.
The sauce must be the finest lobster, and anchovy butter, and plain butter, served plentifully in separate tureens. "SALMON.—To Boil Salmon—Clean it carefully, boil it gently, and take it out of the water as soon as done. Let the water be warm if the fish be split. If underdone, it is very unwholesome. Serve with shrimp or anchovy sauce.
To Broil Salmon.—Cut slices an inch thick, and season with pepper and salt; lay each slice in half a sheet of white paper well buttered; twist the ends of the paper, and broil the slices over a slow fire six or eight minutes. Serve in the paper with anchovy sauce.
To Pot Salmon.—Take a large piece, scale and wipe, but do not wash it; salt very well, let it lie till the salt is melted and drained from it, then season with beaten mace, cloves, and whole pepper: lay in a few bay-leaves, put it close into a pan, cover it over with butter, and bake it; when well done, drain it from the gravy, put it into the pots to keep, and when cold cover it with clarified butter.
In this manner you may do any firm fish.
To Dry Salmon.—Cut the fish down, take out the inside and roe. Rub the whole with common salt after scaling it; let it hang twenty-four hours to drain. Pound three or four ounces of saltpetre, according to the size of the fish, two ounces of bay salt, and two ounces of coarse sugar; rub these, when mixed well, into the salmon, and lay it on a large dish or tray two days, then rub it well with common salt, and in twenty-four hours more it will be
fit to dry; wipe it well after draining. Hang it either in a wood chimney, or in a dry place; keeping it open with two small sticks.
Dried salmon is eaten broiled in paper, and only just warmed through, with egg sauce and mashed potatoes ; or it may be boiled, especially the bit next the head.
An excellent Dish of Dried Salmon.—Pull some into flakes; have ready some eggs boiled hard, and chopped large; put both into half a pint of thin cream. and two or three ounces of butter rubbed with a tea-spoonful of flour; skim it and stir till boiling hot; make a wall of mashed potatoes round the inner edge of a dish, and pour the above into it.
To Pickle Salmon.—Boil as before directed, take the fish out, and boil the liquor with bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt; add vinegar, when cold, and pour it over the fish.
Another way.—After sealing and cleaning, split the salmon, and divide into such pieces as you choose, lay it in the kettle to fill the bottom, and as much water as will cover it; to three quarts put a pint of vinegar, a handful of salt, twelve bay leaves, six blades of mace, and a quarter of an ounce of black pepper. When the salmon is boiled enough, drain it and put it on a clean cloth, then put more salmon into the kettle, and pour the liquor upon it, and so on till all is done. After this, if the pickle be not smartly flavoured with the vinegar and salt, add more, and boil quick three quarters of an hour. When all is cold, pack the fish in something deep, and let there be enough of pickle to plentifully cover ed it from the air. The liquor must be drained from the fish, and occasionally boiled and skimmed.
Salmon Collared.—Split such a part of the fish as may be sufficient to make a handsome roll, wash and wipe it, and having mixed salt, white pepper, pounded mace and Jamaica pepper, in quantity to season it very high, rub it inside and out well. Then roll it tight and bandage it, put as much water and one-third vinegar as will cover it, with bay leaves, salt and both sorts of pepper. Cover close, and simmer till done enough. Drain and boil quick the liquor, and put on when cold. Serve with fennel. It is an elegant dish, and extremely good.
COD.—Some people boil the cod whole ; but a large head and shoulders contain all the fish that is proper to help, the thinner parts being overdone and tasteless, before the thick are ready. But the whole fish may be purchased at times more reasonably, and the lower half, if sprinkled and hung up, will be in high perfection in one or two days. Or it may be made Salter, and served with egg sauce, potatoes, and parsnips.
Cod when small is usually very cheap. If boiled quite fresh it is watery; but eats excellently if salted and hung up for a day to give it firmness, then stuffed and broiled or boiled.
Cod's Head and Shoulders will oat much finer by having a little salt rubbed down the bone, and along the thick part, even if to be eaten the same day.
26 COD—STUE GEOiT.
Tie it up and put it on the fire in cold water, which will com
Eletely cover it. Throw a handful of salt into it. Great care must e taken to serve it without the smallest speck of black or scum. Garnish with a large quantity of double parsley, lemon, horseradish, and the milt, roe, and liver, and fried smelts if approved. If with smelts, be careful that no water hangs about the fish; or the beauty of the smelts will be taken off, as well as their flavour. Serve with plenty of oyster or shrimp sauce, and anchovy and butter.
Crimp Cod.—Boil, broil, or fry.
Cod Sounds boiled.—Soak them in warm water half an hour, then scrape and clean; and if to be dressed white, boil them in milk and water; when tender serve them in a napkin, with egg sauce. The salt must not be much soaked out, unless for fricassee.
Cod Sounds to look like small pox.— A good maigre-day dish. Wash three large sounds nicely, and boil in milk and water, but not too tender; when cold, put a forcemeat of chopped oysters, crumbs of bread, a bit of butter, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and the yolks of two eggs; spread it over the sounds, and roll up each in the form of a chicken, skewering it; then lard them as you would chickens, dust a little flour over, and roast them in a tin oven slowly. When done enough, pour over them a fine oyster re serve for side or comer dish.
To Broil Cod Sounds.—scald in hot water, rub well with salt, pull off the dirty skin, and put them to simmer till tender; take them out, flour, and broil. While this is being done, season a little brown gravy with pepper, salt, a tea-spoonful of soy, and a little mustard; give it a boil with a bit of flour and butter, and pour it over the sounds.
Cod Sound Ragouts- Prepare as above; then stew them in white gravy seasoned, cream, butter, and a little bit of flour added before you serve, gently boiling up. A bit of lemon-peel, nutmeg, and the least pinch of pounded mace should give the flavour.
Currie of God should be made of sliced cod, that has either been crimped or sprinkled a day, to make it firm. Fry it of a fine brown with onion; and stew it with a good white gravy, a little currie-powder, a bit of butter and flour, three or four spoonfuls of rich cream, salt, and Cayenne, if the powder be not hot enough.
To Dress Salt Cod.—Soak and clean the piece you mean to dress, then lay it all night in water, with a glass of vinegar. Boil it enough, then break it into flakes on the dish: pour over it parsnips boiled, beaten into a mortar, and then boiled up with cream and a large piece of butter rubbed with a bit of flour. It may be served as above with apple sauce instead of the parsnip, and the root sent up whole, or the fish may be boiled and sent up without flaking, and sauces as above.
STURGEON— To Dress Fresh Sturgeon.—Cut slices, rub egg over them, then sprinkle with crumbs of bread, parsley, pepper, salt; fold them in paper, and broil gently.
Sauce; butter, anchovy, and soy.
To Boast Sturgeon.—Put it on a lark spit, then tie it on a large spit; baste it constantly with butter; and serve with good gravy, an anchovy, a squeeze of Seville orange or lemon, and a glass of sherry.
Another way.—Put a piece of butter rolled in flour into a stew-pan with four cloves, a bunch of sweet herbs, two onions, some pepper and salt, half a pint of water, and a glass of vinegar. Stir it over the fire till hot; then let it become lukewarm, and steep the fish in it an hour or two. Butter a paper well, tie it round, and roast it without letting the spit run through. Serve with sorrel and anchovy sauce.
An excellent Imitation of Pickled Sturgeon.—Take a fine large turkey, but not old; pick it very nicely, singe, and make it extremely clean: bone and wash it, and tie it across and across with a bit of mat-string washed clean. Put into a very nice tin saucepan a quart of water, a quart of vinegar, a quart of white (but not sweet) wine, and a very largo handful of salt; boil and skim it well, then boil the turkey. When done enough tighten the strings, and lay upon it a dish with a weight of two pounds over it.
Boil the liquor half an hour; and when both are cold, put the turkey into it. This will keep some months, and eats more delicately than sturgeon; vinegar, oil, and sugar are usually eaten with it. If more vinegar or salt should bo wanted, add when cold. Send fennel over it to table.
Thornback and Skate should bo hung one day at least before they are dressed; and may be served either boiled, or fried in crumbs, being first dipped in egg.
Crimp Skate.—Boil and send up in a napkin; or fry as above.
Maids should likewise be hung one day at least. They may be boiled or fried; or, if of a tolerable size, the middle may bo boiled and the fins fried. They should be dipped in egg, and covered with crumbs.
Boiled Carp.—Serve in a napkin, and with the sauce which you will find directed for it under the article Stewed Carp.
Stewed Carp.—Scald and clean, take care of the roe, &c., lay the fish in a stewpan, with a rich beef gravy, an onion, eight cloves, a dessert spoonful of Jamaica pepper, the same of black, a fourth part of the quantity of gravy or port (cyder may do); simmer close covered: when nearly done add two anchovies chopped fine, a dessert spoonful of made mustard, and some fine walnut ketchup, a bit of butter rolled in flour: shake it, and let the gravy boil a few minutes. Serve with sippets of fried bread, the roe fried, and a good deal of horse-radish and lemon.
Baked Carp.—Clean a large carp; put a stuffing as for soles dressed in the Portuguese way. Sew it up; brush it all over with yolk of egg, and put plenty of crumbs; then drop oiled butter to baste them; place the carp in a deep earthen dish, a pint of stock (or, if fast-day, fish-stock), a few sliced onions, some bay-leaves, a faggot of herbs (such as basil, thyme, parsley, and both sorts of