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The best way in which to cook small fish, thin strips of fish, or even good-sized fish that are comparatively thin when they are split open is to broil them. Since in this method of cooking the flavor is entirely retained, it is especially desirable for any fish of delicate flavor.
To broil fish, sear them quickly over a very hot fire and then cook them more slowly until they are done, turning frequently to prevent burning. As most fish, and particularly the small ones used for broiling, contain almost no fat, it is necessary to supply fat for successful broiling and improvement of flavor. It is difficult to add fat to the fish while it is broiling, so, as a rule, the fat is spread over the surface of the fish after it has been removed from the broiler. The fat may consist of broiled strips of bacon or salt pork, or it may be merely melted butter or other fat.
Bluefish, young cod, mackerel, salmon, large trout, Walleye, Bass, Catfish, Panfish and all other fish, when they weigh between half a pound and four pounds, are nice for broiling. When smaller or larger they are not so good. Always use a double broiler, which, before putting the fish into it, rub with butter. This prevents sticking. The thickness of the fish will have to be the guide in broiling. A bluefish weighing four pounds will take from twenty minutes to half an hour to cook. Many cooks brown the fish handsomely over the coals and then put it into the oven to finish broiling. Where the fish is very thick, this is a good plan. If the fish is taken from the broiler to be put into the oven, it should be slipped on to a tin sheet, that it may slide easily into the platter at serving time; for nothing so mars a dish of fish as to have it come to the table broken. In broiling, the inside should be exposed to the fire first, and then the skin. Great care must be taken that the skin does not burn. Mackerel will broil in from twelve to twenty minutes, young cod (also called scrod) in from twenty to thirty minutes, bluefish in from twenty to thirty minutes, salmon, in from twelve to twenty minutes, and whitefish, bass, mullet, etc., in about eighteen minutes. All kinds of broiled fish can be served with a seasoning of salt, pepper and butter, or with any fish sauces. Always, when possible, garnish with parsley or something else green.
BROILED SCROD WITH POTATO BORDER.
Young cod that is split down the back and that has had the backbone removed with the exception of a small portion near the tail is known as scrod. Such fish is nearly always broiled, it may be served plain, but it is much more attractive when potatoes are combined with it in the form of an artistic border.
To prepare this dish, broil the scrod according to the directions given here, then place it on a hot platter and spread butter over it. Boil the desired number of potatoes until they are tender, and then force them through a ricer or mash them until they are perfectly fine. Season with salt, pepper, and butter, and add sufficient milk to make a paste that is a trifle stiffer than for mashed potatoes. If desired, raw eggs may also be beaten into the potatoes to serve as a part of the moisture. Fill a pastry bag with the potatoes thus prepared and press them through a rosette tube in any desired
design on the platter around the fish. Bake in a hot oven until the potatoes are thoroughly heated and are browned slightly on the top.
BROILED FRESH MACKEREL
Probably no fish lends itself better to broiling than fresh mackerel, as the flesh of this fish is tender and contains sufficient fat to have a good flavor. To improve the flavor, however, strips of bacon are usually placed over the fish and allowed to broil with it.
Clean and skin a fresh mackerel. Place the fish thus prepared in a broiler, and broil first on one side and then on the other. When seared all over, place strips of bacon over the fish and continue to broil until it is done. Remove from the broiler, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
BROILED SHAD ROE
The mass of eggs found in shad is known as the 'roe of shad'. Roe may be purchased separately, when it is found in the markets, or it may be procured from the fish itself. It makes a delicious dish when broiled, especially when it is rolled in fat and bread crumbs.
Wash the roe that is to be used and dry it carefully between towels. Roll it in bacon fat or melted butter and then in fine crumbs. Place in a broiler, broil until completely done on one side, turn and then broil until entirely cooked on the other side. Remove from the broiler and
pour melted butter over each piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
Cut the slices one inch thick, and season them with pepper and salt; butter a sheet of white paper, lay each slice on a separate piece, envelop them in it with their ends twisted; broil
gently over a clear fire, and serve with anchovy or caper sauce. When higher seasoning is required, add a few chopped herbs and a little spice.
BROILED SALT SALMON
Soak salmon in tepid or cold water twenty-four hours, changing water several times, or let stand under faucet of running water. If in a hurry, or desiring a very salt relish, it may do to soak a short time, having water warm, and changing, parboiling slightly. At the hour wanted, broil sharply. Season to suit taste, covering with butter. This recipe will answer for all kinds of salt fish.
Season the slices with salt and pepper, and lay them in melted butter for half an hour, having them well covered on both sides. Roll in flour, and broil for twelve minutes over a clear fire. Serve on a hot dish, garnishing with parsley and slices of lemon. The slices of halibut should be about an inch thick, and for every pound there should be three table-spoonfuls of butter.
Good-sized fish, that is, fish weighing 4 or 5 pounds, are usually baked. When prepared by this method, fish are very satisfactory if they are spread out on a pan, flesh side up, and baked in a very hot oven with sufficient fat to flavor them well. A fish of large size, however, is especially delicious if its cavity is filled with a stuffing before it is baked.
When a fish is to be stuffed, any desired stuffing is prepared and then filled into the fish. With the cavity well filled, the edges of the fish are drawn together over the stuffing
and sewed with a coarse needle and thread.
Whether the fish is stuffed or not, the same principles apply in its baking as apply in the roasting of meat; that is, the heat of a quick, hot oven sears the flesh, keeps in the juices, and prevents the loss of flavor, while that of a slow oven causes the loss of much of the flavor and moisture and produces a less tender dish. Often, in the baking of fish, it is necessary to add fat. This may be done by putting fat of some kind into the pan with the fish.
As haddock is a good-sized fish, it is an especially suitable one for baking. However, it is a dry fish, so fat should be added to it to improve its flavor. When haddock is to be baked, select a 4 or 5-pound fish, clean it thoroughly, boning it if desired, and sprinkle it inside and out with salt. Fill the cavity with any desired stuffing and sew up. Place in a dripping pan, and add some fat or place several slices of high fat meat around it. Bake in a hot oven for about 1 hour. After it has been in the oven for about 15 minutes, baste with the fat that will be found in the bottom of the pan and continue to baste every 10 minutes until the fish is done. Remove from the pan to a platter, garnish with parsley and slices of meat, and serve with any desired sauce.
Because of its size, halibut is cut into slices and sold in the form of steaks. Halibut slices are often sauted, but they make a delicious dish when baked with tomatoes and flavored with onion, lemon, and bay leaf.
2 c. tomatoes
Few slices onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 thin slices bacon
1 Tb. flour
2 lb. halibut steak
Heat the tomatoes, onion, and bay leaf in water. Add the salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes. Cut the bacon into small squares, try it out in a pan, and into this fat stir the flour. Pour this into the hot mixture, remove the bay leaf, and cook until the mixture thickens. Put the steaks into a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, and bake in a slow oven for about 45 minutes. Remove with the sauce to a hot platter and serve.
BAKED SALMON TROUT
This deliciously flavored game-fish is baked precisely as shad or white fish, but should be accompanied with cream gravy to make it perfect. It should be baked slowly, basting often with butter and water. When done have ready in a saucepan a cup of cream, diluted with a few spoonfuls of hot water, for fear it might clot in heating, in which have been stirred cautiously two tablespoonfuls of melted butter, a scant tablespoonful of flour, and a little chopped parsley. Heat this in a vessel set within another of boiling water, add the gravy from the dripping-pan, boil up once to thicken, and when the trout is laid on a suitable hot dish, pour this sauce around it. Garnish with sprigs of parsley.
BAKED SALMON WHOLE
Having cleaned a small or moderate sized salmon, season it with salt, pepper, and powdered mace rubbed on it both outside and in. Skewer it with the tail turned round and put to the mouth. Lay it on a stand or trivet in a deep dish or pan, and stick it over with bits of butter rolled in flour. Put it into the oven, and baste it occasionally, while baking, with its own drippings. Garnish it with horseradish and sprigs of curled parsley, laid alternately round the edge of the dish; and send to table with it a small tureen of lobster sauce.
Take 2 lb Bluefish fillets, 1/2 c. Milk, 1 c. Bread crumbs, 1/4 lb Butter, 2 tb Lemon juice, 1/2 c Seafood seasoning, Salt and pepper to taste. Preheat the oven to 450°. Dip fish in milk; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Coat fish with the bread crumbs. Place 1/2 table-spoon butter on each fillet; sprinkle with lemon juice and fish seasoning. Place fish in well buttered baking pan. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes.
BAKED FILLETS OF WHITEFISH
When whitefish of medium size can be secured, it is very often stuffed and baked whole, but variety can be had by cutting it into fillets before baking it. Besides producing a delicious dish, this method of preparation eliminates carving at the table, for the pieces can be cut the desired size for serving.
Prepare fillets of whitefish according to the directions given for filleting fish. Sprinkle each one with salt and pepper, and dip it first into beaten egg and then into bread crumbs. Brown some butter in a pan, place the fish into it, and set the pan in a hot oven. Bake until
the fillets are a light brown, or about 30 minutes. Remove to a hot dish, garnish with parsley and serve with any desired sauce.
BAKED FINNAN HADDIE
When haddock is cured by smoking, it is known as 'finnan haddie'. As fish of this kind has considerable thick flesh, it is very good for baking. Other methods of cookery may, of course, be applied to it, but none is more satisfactory than baking. To bake a finnan haddie, wash it in warm water and put it to soak in fresh warm water. After it has soaked for 1/2 hour, allow it to come gradually to nearly the boiling point and then pour off the water. Place the fish in a baking pan, add a piece of butter, sprinkle with pepper, and pour a little water over it. Bake in a hot oven until it is nicely browned. Serve hot.
BAKED ROCK FISH
Rub the fish with salt, black pepper, and a dust of cayenne, inside and out; prepare a stuffing of bread and butter, seasoned with pepper, salt, parsley and thyme; mix an egg in it, fill the fish with this, and sew it up or tie a string round it; put it in a deep pan, or oval oven and bake it as you would a fowl. To a large fish add half a pint of water; you can add more for the gravy if necessary; dust flour over and baste it with butter. Any other fresh fish can be baked in the same way. A large one will bake slowly in an hour and a half, small ones in half an hour.
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