HOW TO COOK FISH
OF DIFFERENT KINDS
How to Choose Anchovies.—They are preserved in
barrels, with bay-salt; no other fish has the fine flavor of
the anchovy. The best look red and mellow, and the bones moist
and oily; the flesh should be high flavored, the liquor
reddish, and have a fine smell.
Baked Black Bass.—Eight good-sized onions
chopped fine; half that quantity of bread crumbs; butter size
of hen's egg; plenty of pepper and salt; mix thoroughly with
anchovy sauce until quite red. Stuff your fish with this
compound and pour the rest over it, previously sprinkling it
with a little red pepper. Shad, pickerel and trout are good the
same way. Tomatoes can be used instead of anchovies, and are
more economical. If using them, take pork in place of butter,
and chop fine.
Boiled White Fish.—Lay the fish open; put it in
a dripping pan with the back down; nearly cover with water; to
one fish put two tablespoons salt, cover tightly and simmer
(not boil) one-half hour; dress with gravy, butter and pepper;
garnish with sliced eggs.
For sauce use a piece of butter the size of an egg, one
tablespoon of flour, one half pint boiling water; boil a few
minutes, and add three hard boiled eggs, sliced.
Fresh Broiled White Fish.—Wash and drain the
fish: sprinkle with pepper and lay with the inside down upon
the gridiron, and broil over fresh bright coals. When a nice
brown, turn for a moment on the other side, then take up and
spread with butter. This is a very nice way of broiling all
kinds of fish, fresh or salted. A little smoke under the fish
adds to its flavor. This may be made by putting two or three
cobs under the gridiron.
To Boil Codfish.—If boiled fresh, it is watery;
but it is excellent if salted, and hung for a day, to give it
firmness. Wash and clean the fish well, and rub salt inside of
it; tie it up, and put it on the fire in cold water; throw a
handful of salt into the fish-kettle. Boil a small fish 15
minutes; a large one 30 minutes. Serve it without the smallest
speck and scum; drain. Garnish it with lemon, horseradish, the
milt, roe, and liver. Oyster or shrimp sauce may be used.
Chowder.—Five pounds of codfish cut in squares;
fry plenty of salt pork cut in thin slices; put a layer of pork
in your kettle, then one of fish; one of potatoes in thick
slices, and one of onions in slices; plenty of pepper and
repeat as long as your
materials last, and finish with a layer of Boston crackers
or crusts of bread. Water sufficient to cook with, or milk
if you prefer. Cook one-half hour and turn over on your
platter, disturbing as little as possible. Clams and eels
the same way.
Clam Fritters.—Twelve clams chopped or not, one
pint milk, three eggs, add liquor from clams; salt and pepper,
and flour enough for thin batter. Fry in hot lard.
Clam Stew.—Lay the clams on a gridiron over hot
coals, taking them out of the shell as soon as open, saving the
juice; add a little hot water, pepper, a very little salt and
butter rolled in flour sufficient for seasoning; cook for five
minutes and pour over toast.
Eels, to Stew.—Of the above fish, that of the
"silver" kind is preferable to its congener, and, therefore,
ought to be procured for all cuisine purposes. Take from three
to four pounds of these eels, and let the same be thoroughly
cleansed, inside and out, rescinding the heads and tails from
the bodies. Cut them into pieces three inches in length each,
and lay them down in a stew pan, covering them with a
sufficiency of sweet mutton gravy to keep them seething over a
slow fire, when introduced into the pan, for twenty minutes.
Add to the liquor, before you place your eels into it, a
quarter of an ounce of whole black pepper, quarter of an ounce
of allspice, with one or two pieces of white ginger. Thicken
with a light admixture of flour and butter, stirring it
carefully round, adding thereto, at the same time, one gill of
good port wine, and half a gill of sweet ketchup. Lemon-peel
and salt may be added in accordance with your taste.
How to Keep Fish Sound.—To prevent meat, fish,
etc., going bad, put a few pieces of charcoal into the
sauce-pan wherein the fish or flesh is to be boiled.
How to Render Boiled Fish Firm.—Add a little
saltpetre to the salt in the water in which the fish is to be
boiled; a quarter of an ounce to one gallon.
Fish Balls.—Bone, cooked fresh, or salt fish,
add double the quantity of mashed potatoes, one beaten egg, a
little butter, pepper and salt to taste. Make in cakes or
balls; dredge with flour and fry in hot lard.
Potted Fish.—Take out the back-bone of the
fish; for one weighing two pounds take a tablespoon of allspice
and cloves mixed; these spices should be put into bags of not
too thick muslin; put sufficient salt directly upon each fish;
then roll in cloth, over which sprinkle a little cayenne
pepper; put alternate layers of fish, spice and sago in an
earthen jar; cover with the best cider vinegar; cover the jar
closely with a plate and over this put a covering of dough,
rolled out to twice the thickness of pie crust. Make the edges
of paste, to adhere closely to the sides of the jar, so as to
make it air-tight. Put the jar into a pot of cold water and let
it boil from three to five hours, according to quantity. Ready
How to Broil or Roast Fresh Herrings.—Scale,
gut and wash; cut off the heads; steep them in salt and vinegar
ten minutes; dust them with flour, and broil them over or
before the fire, or in the oven. Serve with melted butter and
Herrings are nice jarred, and done in the oven, with
pepper, cloves, salt, a little vinegar, a few bay-leaves, and a
How to Fry Fresh Herrings.—Slice small onions,
and lay in the pan with the herrings; add a little butter, and
fry them. Perhaps it is better to fry the onions separately
with a little parsley, and butter or drip.
How to Pot Herrings.—Clean, cut off the heads,
and lay them close in an earthen pot. Strew a little salt
between every layer; put in cloves, mace, whole pepper, cayenne
and nutmeg; fill up the jar with vinegar, water, and a quarter
of a pint of sherry, cover, tie down; bake in an oven, and when
cold pot it for use. A few anchovies and bay leaves intermixed
will improve the flavor much.
Buttered Lobsters.—Pick the meat out, cut it,
and warm with a little brown gravy, nutmeg, salt, pepper and
butter, with a little flour. If done white, a little white
gravy and cream.
Curry Of Lobster.—Take them from the shells,
and lay into a pan, with a small piece of mace, three or four
spoonfuls of veal gravy, and four of cream; rub smooth one or
two teaspoonfuls of curry-powder, a teaspoonful of flour, and
an ounce of butter, simmer an hour; squeeze half a lemon in,
and add salt.
Lobster Chowder.—Four or five pounds of
lobster, chopped fine; take the green part and add to it four
pounded crackers; stir this into one quart of boiling milk;
then add the lobster, a piece of butter one-half the size of an
egg, a little pepper and salt, and bring it to a boil.
How to Boil Mackerel.—Rub them with vinegar;
when the water boils, put them in with a little salt, and boil
gently 15 minutes. Serve with fennel and parsley chopped, boil,
and put into melted butter, and gooseberry sauce.
Salt Mackerel.—Soak the fish for a few hours in
lukewarm water, changing the water several times; then put into
cold water loosely tied in cloths, and let the fish come to a
boil, turning off the water once, and pouring over the fish hot
water from the tea-kettle; let this just come to a boil, then
take them out and drain them, lay them on a platter, butter and
pepper them, and place them for a few moments in the oven.
Serve with sliced lemons, or with any fish sauce.
How to Fry Oysters.—Use the largest and best
oysters; lay them in rows upon a clean cloth and press another
upon them, to absorb the moisture; have ready several beaten
eggs; and in another dish some finely crushed crackers: in the
frying pan heat enough butter to entirely cover the oysters;
dip the oysters first into the eggs, then into the crackers,
rolling it or them over, that they may become well incrusted;
drop into the frying pan and fry quickly to a light brown.
Serve dry and let the dish be warm. A chafing dish is best.
Oyster Patties.—Make some rich puff paste and
bake it in very small tin patty pans; when cool, turn them out
upon a large dish; stew some large fresh oysters with a few
cloves, and a little mace and nutmeg; then add the yolk of one
egg, boiled hard and grated; add a little butter, and as much
of the oyster liquor as will cover them. When they have stewed
a little while, take them off the pan and set them to cool.
When quite cold, lay two or three oysters in each shell of puff
Oysters, Stewed.—In all cases, unless shell
oysters, wash and drain; mix half a cup of butter and a
tablespoon of corn starch; put with the oysters in a porcelain
kettle; stir until they boil; add two cups of cream or milk;
salt to taste; do not use the liquor of the oysters in either
stewing or escaloping.
Oysters Stewed.—Scald the oysters in their own
liquor, then take them out, beard them, and strain the liquor
carefully from the grit. Put into a stewpan an ounce of butter,
with sufficient flour dredged in to dry it up; add the oyster
liquor, and a blade of pounded mace, a little cayenne, and a
very little salt to taste; stir it well over a brisk fire with
a wooden spoon, and when it comes to the boil, throw in your
oysters, say a dozen and a half or a score, and a good
tablespoonful of cream, or more, if you have it at hand. Shake
the pan over the fire, and let it simmer for
one or two minutes, but not
any longer, and do not let it boil, or the fish will harden.
Serve in a hot dish, garnished with sippets of toasted
bread. Some persons think that the flavor is improved by
boiling a small piece of lemon-peel with the oyster liquor,
taking it out, however, before the cream is added.
Oysters Scolloped.—Beard and trim your oysters,
and strain the liquor. Melt in a stewpan, with a dredging of
flour sufficient to dry it up, an ounce of butter, and two
tablespoonfuls of white stock, and the same of cream; the
strained liquor and pepper, and salt to taste. Put in the
oysters and gradually heat them through, but be sure not to let
them boil. Have your scallop-shells buttered, lay in the
oysters, and as much liquid as they will hold; cover them well
over with bread-crumbs, over which spread, or drop, some tiny
bits of butter. Brown them in the oven, or before the fire, and
serve while very hot.
Oysters, To Pickle.—Take two hundred of the
plumpest, nicest oysters to be had, open them, saving the
liquor, remove the beards, put them, with the liquor, into a
stewpan, and let them simmer for twenty minutes over a very
gentle fire, taking care to skim them well. Take the stewpan
off the fire, take out the oysters, and strain the liquor
through a fine cloth, returning the oysters to the stewpan. Add
to a pint of the hot liquor half an ounce of mace, and half an
ounce of cloves; give it a boil, and put it in with the
oysters, stirring the spice well in amongst them. Then put in
about a spoonful of salt, three-quarters of a pint of
white-wine vinegar, and one ounce of whole pepper, and let the
oysters stand until they are quite cold. They will be ready for
use in about twelve or twenty-four hours; if to be kept longer
they should be put in wide-mouthed bottles, or stone jars, and
well drawn down with bladder. It is very important that they
should be quite cold before they are put into the bottles, or
Salmon, To Boil.—Clean it carefully, boil it
gently with salt and a little horse radish; 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,
lobster, or anchovy sauce, and fennel and butter.
Salmon, To Marinate.—Cut the salmon in slices;
take off the skin and take out the middle bone; cut each slice
asunder; put into a saucepan and season with salt, pepper, 6
cloves, a sliced onion, some whole chives, a little sweet
basil, parsley, and a bay leaf; then squeeze in the juice of
three lemons, or use vinegar. Let the salmon lie in the
marinate for two hours; take it out; dry with a cloth; dredge
with flour, and fry brown in clarified butter; then lay a clean
napkin in a dish; lay the slices upon it; garnish with fried
Salt Cod, To Dress.—Soak the cod all night in 2
parts water, and one part vinegar. Boil; and break into flakes
on the dish; pour over it boiled parsnips, beaten in a mortar,
and then boil up with cream, and a large piece of butter rolled
in a bit of flour. It may be served with egg-sauce instead of
parsnip, or boiled and served without flaking with the usual
All Salt Fish may be done in a similar way. Pour
egg-sauce over it, or parsnips, boiled and beaten fine with
butter and cream.
How to Boil Sturgeon—Water, 2 quarts; vinegar,
1 pint; a stick of horseradish; a little lemon-peel, salt,
pepper, a bay leaf. In this boil the fish; when the fish is
ready to leave the bones, take it up; melt 1/2 lb. of butter;
add an anchovy, some mace, a few shrimps, good mushroom
ketchup, and lemon juice; when it boils, put in the dish; serve
with the sauce; garnish with fried oysters, horseradish and
How to Broil Sturgeon.—Cut slices, rub beaten
eggs over them, and sprinkle them with crumbs of bread,
parsley, pepper and salt; wrap them in white paper, and broil
gently. Use for sauce, butter, anchovy and soy.
How 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.
How to Roast Sturgeon.—Put a piece of butter,
rolled in flour, into a stewpan with four cloves, a bunch of
sweet herbs, two onions, some pepper and salt, half a pint of
water and a glass of vinegar. Set 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
Trout, a-la-Genevoise—Clean the fish well; put
it into the stewpan, adding half champagne and half sherry
wine. Season it with pepper, salt, an onion, a few cloves stuck
in it, and a small bunch of parsley and thyme; put in it a
crust of French bread; set it on a quick fire. When done take
the bread out, bruise it and thicken the sauce: add flour and a
little butter, and boil it up. Lay the fish on the dish, and
pour the sauce over it. Serve it with sliced lemon and fried
How to Broil Trout—Wash, dry, tie it, to cause
it to keep its shape; melt butter, add salt, and cover the
trout with it. Broil it gradually in a Dutch oven, or in a
common oven. Cut an anchovy small, and chop some capers. Melt
some butter with a little flour, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and half
a spoonful of vinegar. Pour it over the trout and serve it