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The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton

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THE FINNAN HADDOCK.--This is the common haddock cured and dried,
and takes its name from the fishing-village of Findhorn, near
Aberdeen, in Scotland, where the art has long attained to
perfection. The haddocks are there hung up for a day or two in
the smoke of peat, when they are ready for cooking, and are
esteemed, by the Scotch, a great delicacy. In London, an
imitation of them is made by washing the fish over with
pyroligneous acid, and hanging it up in a dry place for a few


267. The best way to cook these is to make incisions in the skin across
the fish, because they do not then require to be so long on the fire,
and will be far better than when cut open. The hard roe makes a nice
relish by pounding it in a mortar, with a little anchovy, and spreading
it on toast. If very dry, soak in warm water 1 hour before dressing.

THE RED HERRING.--_Red_ herrings lie twenty-four hours in the
brine, when they are taken out and hung up in a smoking-house
formed to receive them. A brushwood fire is then kindled beneath
them, and when they are sufficiently smoked and dried, they are
put into barrels for carriage.


268. INGREDIENTS.--12 herrings, 4 bay-leaves, 12 cloves, 12 allspice, 2
small blades of mace, cayenne pepper and salt to taste, sufficient
vinegar to fill up the dish.

_Mode_.--Take the herrings, cut off the heads, and gut them. Put them in
a pie-dish, heads and tails alternately, and, between each layer,
sprinkle over the above ingredients. Cover the fish with the vinegar,
and bake for 1/2 hour, but do not use it till quite cold. The herrings
may be cut down the front, the backbone taken out, and closed again.
Sprats done in this way are very delicious.

_Time_.--1/2 an hour.

_Average cost_, 1d. each.

TO CHOOSE THE HERRING.--The more scales this fish has, the surer the
sign of its freshness. It should also have a bright and silvery look;
but if red about the head, it is a sign that it has been dead for some

[Illustration: THE HERRING.]

THE HERRING.--The herring tribe are found in the greatest
abundance in the highest northern latitudes, where they find a
quiet retreat, and security from their numerous enemies. Here
they multiply beyond expression, and, in shoals, come forth from
their icy region to visit other portions of the great deep. In
June they are found about Shetland, whence they proceed down to
the Orkneys, where they divide, and surround the islands of
Great Britain and Ireland. The principal British
herring-fisheries are off the Scotch and Norfolk coasts; and the
fishing is always carried on by means of nets, which are usually
laid at night; for, if stretched by day, they are supposed to
frighten the fish away. The moment the herring is taken out of
the water it dies. Hence the origin of the common saying, "dead
as a herring."


269. INGREDIENTS.--Any cold fish, 1 teacupful of boiled rice, 1 oz. of
butter, 1 teaspoonful of mustard, 2 soft-boiled eggs, salt and cayenne
to taste.

_Mode_.--Pick the fish carefully from the bones, mix with the other
ingredients, and serve very hot. The quantities may be varied according
to the amount of fish used.

_Time_.--1/4 hour after the rice is boiled.

_Average cost_, 5d., exclusive of the fish.


270. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Buy the lobsters alive, and choose those that are heavy and
full of motion, which is an indication of their freshness. When the
shell is incrusted, it is a sign they are old: medium-sized lobsters are
the best. Have ready a stewpan of boiling water, salted in the above
proportion; put in the lobster, and keep it boiling quickly from 20
minutes to 3/4 hour, according to its size, and do not forget to skim
well. If it boils too long, the meat becomes thready, and if not done
enough, the spawn is not red: this must be obviated by great attention.
Hub the shell over with a little butter or sweet oil, which wipe off

_Time_.--Small lobster, 20 minutes to 1/2 hour; large ditto, 1/2 to 1/3

_Average cost_, medium size, 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ all the year, but best from March to October.

TO CHOOSE LOBSTERS.--This shell-fish, if it has been cooked alive, as it
ought to have been, will have a stiffness in the tail, which, if gently
raised, will return with a spring. Care, however, must be taken in thus
proving it; for if the tail is pulled straight out, it will not return;
when the fish might be pronounced inferior, which, in reality, may not
be the case. In order to be good, lobsters should be weighty for their
bulk; if light, they will be watery; and those of the medium size, are
always the best. Small-sized lobsters are cheapest, and answer very well
for sauce. In boiling lobsters, the appearance of the shell will be much
improved by rubbing over it a little butter or salad-oil on being
immediately taken from the pot.

[Illustration: THE LOBSTER.]

THE LOBSTER.--This is one of the crab tribe, and is found on
most of the rocky coasts of Great Britain. Some are caught with
the hand, but the larger number in pots, which serve all the
purposes of a trap, being made of osiers, and baited with
garbage. They are shaped like a wire mousetrap; so that when the
lobsters once enter them, they cannot get out again. They are
fastened to a cord and sunk in the sea, and their place marked
by a buoy. The fish is very prolific, and deposits of its eggs
in the sand, where they are soon hatched. On the coast of
Norway, they are very abundant, and it is from there that the
English metropolis is mostly supplied. They are rather
indigestible, and, as a food, not so nurtritive as they are
generally supposed to be.


271. INGREDIENTS.--1 lobster, 2 oz. of butter, grated nutmeg; salt,
pepper, and pounded mace, to taste; bread crumbs, 2 eggs.

_Mode_.--Pound the meat of the lobster to a smooth paste with the butter
and seasoning, and add a few bread crumbs. Beat the eggs, and make the
whole mixture into the form of a lobster; pound the spawn, and sprinkle
over it. Bake 1/4 hour, and just before serving, lay over it the tail
and body shell, with the small claws underneath, to resemble a lobster.

_Time_.--1/4 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.


272. INGREDIENTS.--1 hen lobster, lettuces, endive, small salad
(whatever is in season), a little chopped beetroot, 2 hard-boiled eggs,
a few slices of cucumber. For dressing, equal quantities of oil and
vinegar, 1 teaspoonful of made mustard, the yolks of 2 eggs; cayenne and
salt to taste; 3 teaspoonful of anchovy sauce. These ingredients should
be mixed perfectly smooth, and form a creamy-looking sauce.

_Mode_.--Wash the salad, and thoroughly dry it by shaking it in a cloth.
Cut up the lettuces and endive, pour the dressing on them, and lightly
throw in the small salad. Mix all well together with the pickings from
the body of the lobster; pick the meat from the shell, cut it up into
nice square pieces, put half in the salad, the other half reserve for
garnishing. Separate the yolks from the whites of 2 hard-boiled eggs;
chop the whites very fine, and rub the yolks through a sieve, and
afterwards the coral from the inside. Arrange the salad lightly on a
glass dish, and garnish, first with a row of sliced cucumber, then with
the pieces of lobster, the yolks and whites of the eggs, coral, and
beetroot placed alternately, and arranged in small separate bunches, so
that the colours contrast nicely.

_Average cost_, 3s. 6d. _Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

_Seasonable_ from April to October; may be had all the year, but salad
is scarce and expensive in winter.

_Note_.--A few crayfish make a pretty garnishing to lobster salad.

THE SHELL OF THE LOBSTER.--Like the others of its tribe, the
lobster annually casts its shell. Previously to its throwing off
the old one, it appears sick, languid, and restless, but in the
course of a few days it is entirely invested in its new coat of
armour. Whilst it is in a defenceless state, however, it seeks
some lonely place, where it may lie undisturbed, and escape the
horrid fate of being devoured by some of its own species who
have the advantage of still being encased in their mail.

LOBSTER (a la Mode Francaise).

273. INGREDIENTS.--1 lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2
tablespoonfuls of cream, pounded mace, and cayenne to taste; bread

_Mode_.--Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it up into small square
pieces; put the stock, cream, and seasoning into a stewpan, add the
lobster, and let it simmer gently for 6 minutes. Serve it in the shell,
which must be nicely cleaned, and have a border of puff-paste; cover it
with bread crumbs, place small pieces of butter over, and brown before
the fire, or with a salamander.

_Time_.--1/4 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

CELERITY OF THE LOBSTER.--In its element, the lobster is able to
run with great speed upon its legs, or small claws, and, if
alarmed, to spring, tail foremost, to a considerable distance,
"even," it is said, "with the swiftness of a bird flying."
Fishermen have seen some of them pass about thirty feet with a
wonderful degree of swiftness. When frightened, they will take
their spring, and, like a chamois of the Alps, plant themselves
upon the very spot upon which they designed to hold themselves.

LOBSTER CURRY (an Entree).

274. INGREDIENTS.--1 lobster, 2 onions, 1 oz. butter, 1 tablespoonful of
curry-powder, 1/2 pint of medium stock, No. 105, the juice of 1/2 lemon.

_Mode_.--Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it into nice square
pieces; fry the onions of a pale brown in the butter, stir in the
curry-powder and stock, and simmer till it thickens, when put in the
lobster; stew the whole slowly for 1/2 hour, and stir occasionally; and
just before sending to table, put in the lemon-juice. Serve boiled rice
with it, the same as for other curries.

_Time_.--Altogether, 3/4 hour. _Average cost_, 3s.

_Seasonable_ at any time.


275. INGREDIENTS.--1 large hen lobster, 1 oz. fresh butter, 1/2
saltspoonful of salt, pounded mace, grated nutmeg, cayenne and white
pepper to taste, egg, and bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Pick the meat from the shell, and pound it in a mortar with the
butter, and gradually add the mace and seasoning, well mixing the
ingredients; beat all to a smooth paste, and add a little of the spawn;
divide the mixture into pieces of an equal size, and shape them like
cutlets. They should not be very thick. Brush them over with egg, and
sprinkle with bread crumbs, and stick a short piece of the small claw in
the top of each; fry them of a nice brown in boiling lard, and drain
them before the fire, on a sieve reversed; arrange them nicely on a
dish, and pour bechamel in the middle, but not over the cutlets.

_Time_.--About 8 minutes after the cutlets are made.

_Average cost_ for this dish, 2s. 9d.

_Seasonable_ all the year. _Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.

ANCIENT MODE OF COOKING THE LOBSTER.--When this fish was to be
served for the table, among the ancients, it was opened
lengthwise, and filled with a gravy composed of coriander and
pepper. It was then put on the gridiron and slowly cooked,
whilst it was being basted with the same kind of gravy with
which the flesh had become impregnated.


276. When the lobster is boiled, rub it over with a little salad-oil,
which wipe off again; separate the body from the tail, break off the
great claws, and crack them at the joints, without injuring the meat;
split the tail in halves, and arrange all neatly in a dish, with the
body upright in the middle, and garnish with parsley. (_See_ Coloured
Plate, H.)


277. INGREDIENTS.--Minced lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of bechamel, 6 drops
of anchovy sauce, lemon-juice, cayenne to taste.

_Mode_.--Line the patty-pans with puff-paste, and put into each a small
piece of bread: cover with paste, brush over with egg, and bake of a
light colour. Take as much lobster as is required, mince the meat very
fine, and add the above ingredients; stir it over the fire for 6
minutes; remove the lids of the patty-cases, take out the bread, fill
with the mixture, and replace the covers.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

LOCAL ATTACHMENT OF THE LOBSTER.--It is said that the attachment
of this animal is strong to some particular parts of the sea, a
circumstance celebrated in the following lines:--

"Nought like their home the constant lobsters prize,
And foreign shores and seas unknown despise.
Though cruel hands the banish'd wretch expel,
And force the captive from his native cell,
He will, if freed, return with anxious care,
Find the known rock, and to his home repair;
No novel customs learns in different seas,
But wonted food and home-taught manners please."


278. INGREDIENTS.--2 lobsters; seasoning to taste, of nutmeg, pounded
mace, white pepper, and salt; 1/4 lb. of butter, 3 or 4 bay-leaves.

_Mode_.--Take out the meat carefully from the shell, but do not cut it
up. Put some butter at the bottom of a dish, lay in the lobster as
evenly as possible, with the bay-leaves and seasoning between. Cover
with butter, and bake for 3/4 hour in a gentle oven. When done, drain
the whole on a sieve, and lay the pieces in potting-jars, with the
seasoning about them. When cold, pour over it clarified butter, and, if
very highly seasoned, it will keep some time.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 4s. 4d.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Note_.--Potted lobster may be used cold, or as _fricassee_ with cream

How the Lobster Feeds.--The pincers of the lobster's large claws
are furnished with nobs, and those of the other, are always
serrated. With the former, it keeps firm hold of the stalks of
submarine plants, and with the latter, it cuts and minces its
food with great dexterity. The knobbed, or numb claw, as it is
called by fishermen, is sometimes on the right and sometimes on
the left, indifferently.


279. INGREDIENTS.--4 middling-sized mackerel, a nice delicate forcemeat
(_see_ Forcemeats), 3 oz. of butter; pepper and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Clean the fish, take out the roes, and fill up with forcemeat,
and sew up the slit. Flour, and put them in a dish, heads and tails
alternately, with the roes; and, between each layer, put some little
pieces of butter, and pepper and salt. Bake for 1/2 an hour, and either
serve with plain melted butter or a _maitre d'hotel_ sauce.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 10d.

_Seasonable_ from April to July.

_Sufficient_ for 6 persons.

_Note_.--Baked mackerel may be dressed in the same way as baked herrings
(_see_ No. 268), and may also be stewed in wine.

WEIGHT OF THE MACKEREL.--The greatest weight of this fish seldom
exceeds 2 lbs., whilst their ordinary length runs between 14 and
20 inches. They die almost immediately after they are taken from
their element, and, for a short time, exhibit a phosphoric


280. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the inside of the fish thoroughly, and lay it in the
kettle with sufficient water to cover it with salt as above; bring it
gradually to boil, skim well, and simmer gently till done; dish them on
a hot napkin, heads and tails alternately, and garnish with fennel.
Fennel sauce and plain melted butter are the usual accompaniments to
boiled mackerel; but caper or anchovy sauce is sometimes served with it.
(_See_ Coloured Plate, F.)

_Time_.--After the water boils, 10 minutes; for large mackerel, allow
more time.

_Average cost_, from 4d.

_Seasonable_ from April to July.

_Note_.--When variety is desired, fillet the mackerel, boil it, and pour
over parsley and butter; send some of this, besides, in a tureen.


281. INGREDIENTS.--Pepper and salt to taste, a small quantity of oil.

_Mode_.--Mackerel should never be washed when intended to be broiled,
but merely wiped very clean and dry, after taking out the gills and
insides. Open the back, and put in a little pepper, salt, and oil; broil
it over a clear fire, turn it over on both sides, and also on the back.
When sufficiently cooked, the flesh can be detached from the bone, which
will be in about 15 minutes for a small mackerel. Chop a little parsley,
work it up in the butter, with pepper and salt to taste, and a squeeze
of lemon-juice, and put it in the back. Serve before the butter is quite
melted, with a _maitre d'hotel_ sauce in a tureen.

_Time_.--Small mackerel 15 minutes. _Average cost_, from 4d.

_Seasonable_ from April to July.

[Illustration: THE MACKEREL.]

THE MACKEREL.--This is not only one of the most
elegantly-formed, but one of the most beautifully-coloured
fishes, when taken out of the sea, that we have. Death, in some
degree, impairs the vivid splendour of its colours; but it does
not entirely obliterate them. It visits the shores of Great
Britain in countless shoals, appearing about March, off the
Land's End; in the bays of Devonshire, about April; off Brighton
in the beginning of May; and on the coast of Suffolk about the
beginning of June. In the Orkneys they are seen till August; but
the greatest fishery is on the west coasts of England.

TO CHOOSE MACKEREL.--In choosing this fish, purchasers should, to a
great extent, be regulated by the brightness of its appearance. If it
have a transparent, silvery hue, the flesh is good; but if it be red
about the head, it is stale.


282. INGREDIENTS.--2 large mackerel, 1 oz. butter, 1 small bunch of
chopped herbs, 3 tablespoonfuls of medium stock, No. 105, 3
tablespoonfuls of bechamel (_see_ Sauces); salt, cayenne, and
lemon-juice to taste.

_Mode_.--Clean the fish, and fillet it; scald the herbs, chop them fine,
and put them with the butter and stock into a stewpan. Lay in the
mackerel, and simmer very gently for 10 minutes; take them out, and put
them on a hot dish. Dredge in a little flour, add the other ingredients,
give one boil, and pour it over the mackerel.

_Time_.--20 minutes. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ from April to July.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

_Note_.--Fillets of mackerel may be covered with egg and bread crumbs,
and fried of a nice brown. Serve with _maitre d'hotel_ sauce and plain
melted butter.

THE VORACITY OF THE MACKEREL.--The voracity of this fish is very
great, and, from their immense numbers, they are bold in
attacking objects of which they might, otherwise, be expected to
have a wholesome dread. Pontoppidan relates an anecdote of a
sailor belonging to a ship lying in one of the harbours on the
coast of Norway, who, having gone into the sea to bathe, was
suddenly missed by his companions; in the course of a few
minutes, however, he was seen on the surface, with great numbers
of mackerel clinging to him by their mouths. His comrades
hastened in a boat to his assistance; but when they had struck
the fishes from him and got him up, they found he was so
severely bitten, that he shortly afterward expired.


283. INGREDIENTS.--12 peppercorns, 2 bay-leaves, 1/2 pint of vinegar, 4

_Mode_.--Boil the mackerel as in the recipe No. 282, and lay them in a
dish; take half the liquor they were boiled in; add as much vinegar,
peppercorns, and bay-leaves; boil for 10 minutes, and when cold, pour
over the fish.

_Time_.--1/2 hour.

_Average cost_, 1s. 6d.

MACKEREL GARUM.--This brine, so greatly esteemed by the
ancients, was manufactured from various kinds of fishes. When
mackerel was employed, a few of them were placed in a small
vase, with a large quantity of salt, which was well stirred, and
then left to settle for some hours. On the following day, this
was put into an earthen pot, which was uncovered, and placed in
a situation to get the rays of the sun. At the end of two or
three months, it was hermetically sealed, after having had added
to it a quantity of old wine, equal to one third of the mixture.


284. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--If the fish be very large, it should be laid in cold water, and
gradually brought to a boil; if small, put it in boiling water, salted
in the above proportion. Serve with anchovy sauce and plain melted

_Time_.--According to size, 1/4 to 3/4 hour.

_Average cost_, 8d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from July to October.

[Illustration: THE GREY MULLET.]

THE GREY MULLET.--This is quite a different fish from the red
mullet, is abundant on the sandy coasts of Great Britain, and
ascends rivers for miles. On the south coast it is very
plentiful, and is considered a fine fish. It improves more than
any other salt-water fish when kept in ponds.


285. INGREDIENTS.--Oiled paper, thickening of butter and flour, 1/2
teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, 1 glass of sherry; cayenne and salt to

_Mode_.--Clean the fish, take out the gills, but leave the inside, fold
in oiled paper, and bake them gently. When done, take the liquor that
flows from the fish, add a thickening of butter kneaded with flour; put
in the other ingredients, and let it boil for 2 minutes. Serve the sauce
in a tureen, and the fish, either with or without the paper cases.

_Time_.--About 25 minutes.

_Average cost_, 1s. each.

_Seasonable_ at any time, but more plentiful in summer.

_Note_.--Red mullet may be broiled, and should be folded in oiled paper,
the same as in the preceding recipe, and seasoned with pepper and salt.
They may be served without sauce; but if any is required, use melted
_butter_, Italian or anchovy sauce. They should never be plain boiled.


THE STRIPED RED MULLET.--This fish was very highly esteemed by
the ancients, especially by the Romans, who gave the most
extravagant prices for it. Those of 2 lbs. weight were valued at
about L15 each; those of 4 lbs. at L60, and, in the reign of
Tiberius, three of them were sold for L209. To witness the
changing loveliness of their colour during their dying agonies,
was one of the principal reasons that such a high price was paid
for one of these fishes. It frequents our Cornish and Sussex
coasts, and is in high request, the flesh being firm, white, and
well flavoured.


286. INGREDIENTS.--3 dozen oysters, 2 oz. butter, 1 tablespoonful of
ketchup, a little chopped lemon-peel, 1/2 teaspoonful of chopped

_Mode_.--Boil the oysters for 1 minute in their own liquor, and drain
them; fry them with the butter, ketchup, lemon-peel, and parsley; lay
them on a dish, and garnish with fried potatoes, toasted sippets, and
parsley. This is a delicious delicacy, and is a favourite Italian dish.

_Time_.--5 minutes. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 9d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

[Illustration: THE EDIBLE OYSTER.]

THE EDIBLE OYSTER:--This shell-fish is almost universally
distributed near the shores of seas in all latitudes, and they
especially abound on the coasts of France and Britain. The
coasts most celebrated, in England, for them, are those of Essex
and Suffolk. Here they are dredged up by means of a net with an
iron scraper at the mouth, that is dragged by a rope from a boat
over the beds. As soon as taken from their native beds, they are
stored in pits, formed for the purpose, furnished with sluices,
through which, at the spring tides, the water is suffered to
flow. This water, being stagnant, soon becomes green in warm
weather; and, in a few days afterwards, the oysters acquire the
same tinge, which increases their value in the market. They do
not, however, attain their perfection and become fit for sale
till the end of six or eight weeks. Oysters are not considered
proper for the table till they are about a year and a half old;
so that the brood of one spring are not to be taken for sale,
till, at least, the September twelvemonth afterwards.



287. INGREDIENTS.--Oysters, say 1 pint, 1 oz. butter, flour, 2
tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream; pepper and
salt to taste; bread crumbs, oiled butter.

_Mode_.--Scald the oysters in their own liquor, take them out, beard
them, and strain the liquor free from grit. Put 1 oz. of batter into a
stewpan; when melted, dredge in sufficient flour to dry it up; add the
stock, cream, and strained liquor, and give one boil. Put in the oysters
and seasoning; let them gradually heat through, but not boil. Have ready
the scallop-shells buttered; lay in the oysters, and as much of the
liquid as they will hold; cover them over with bread crumbs, over which
drop a little oiled butter. Brown them in the oven, or before the fire,
and serve quickly, and very hot.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1/4 hour.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 3s. 6d.

_Sufficient_ for 5 or 6 persons.


Prepare the oysters as in the preceding recipe, and put them in a
scallop-shell or saucer, and between each layer sprinkle over a few
bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and grated nutmeg; place small pieces of
butter over, and bake before the fire in a Dutch oven. Put sufficient
bread crumbs on the top to make a smooth surface, as the oysters should
not be seen.

_Time_.--About 1/4 hour.

_Average cost_, 3s. 2d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.


288. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of oysters, 1 oz. of butter, flour, 1/3 pint
of cream; cayenne and salt to taste; 1 blade of pounded mace.

_Mode_.--Scald the oysters in their own liquor, take them out, beard
them, and strain the liquor; put the butter into a stewpan, dredge in
sufficient flour to dry it up, add the oyster-liquor and mace, and stir
it over a sharp fire with a wooden spoon; when it comes to a boil, add
the cream, oysters, and seasoning. Let all simmer for 1 or 2 minutes,
but not longer, or the oysters would harden. Serve on a hot dish, and
garnish with croutons, or toasted sippets of bread. A small piece of
lemon-peel boiled with the oyster-liquor, and taken out before the cream
is added, will be found an improvement.

_Time_.--Altogether 15 minutes.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 3s. 6d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Sufficient_ for 6 persons.

THE OYSTER AND THE SCALLOP.--The oyster is described as a
bivalve shell-fish, having the valves generally unequal. The
hinge is without teeth, but furnished with a somewhat oval
cavity, and mostly with lateral transverse grooves. From a
similarity in the structure of the hinge, oysters and scallops
hare been classified as one tribe; but they differ very
essentially both in their external appearance and their habits.
Oysters adhere to rocks, or, as in two or three species, to
roots of trees on the shore; while the scallops are always
detached, and usually lurk in the sand.


289. INGREDIENTS.--2 dozen oysters, 2 oz. butter, 3 tablespoonfuls of
cream, a little lemon-juice, 1 blade of pounded mace; cayenne to taste.

_Mode_.--Scald the oysters in their own liquor, beard them, and cut each
one into 3 pieces. Put the butter into a stewpan, dredge in sufficient
flour to dry it up; add the strained oyster-liquor with the other
ingredients; put in the oysters, and let them heat gradually, but not
boil fast. Make the patty-cases as directed for lobster patties, No.
277: fill with the oyster mixture, and replace the covers.

_Time_.--2 minutes for the oysters to simmer in the mixture.

_Average cost_, exclusive of the patty-cases, 1s. 1d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

THE OYSTER FISHERY.--The oyster fishery in Britain is esteemed
of so much importance, that it is regulated by a Court of
Admiralty. In the month of May, the fishermen are allowed to
take the oysters, in order to separate the spawn from the
cultch, the latter of which is thrown in again, to preserve the
bed for the future. After this month, it is felony to carry away
the cultch, and otherwise punishable to take any oyster, between
the shells of which, when closed, a shilling will rattle.


290. Put them in a tub, and cover them with salt and water. Let them
remain for 12 hours, when they are to be taken out, and allowed to stand
for another 12 hours without water. If left without water every
alternate 12 hours, they will be much better than if constantly kept in
it. Never put the same water twice to them.


291. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 pint of oysters, 2 eggs, 1/2 pint of milk,
sufficient flour to make the batter; pepper and salt to taste; when
liked, a little nutmeg; hot lard.

_Mode_.--Scald the oysters in their own liquor, beard them, and lay them
on a cloth, to drain thoroughly. Break the eggs into a basin, mix the
flour with them, add the milk gradually, with nutmeg and seasoning, and
put the oysters in the batter. Make some lard hot in a deep frying-pan,
put in the oysters, one at a time; when done, take them up with a
sharp-pointed skewer, and dish them on a napkin. Fried oysters are
frequently used for garnishing boiled fish, and then a few bread crumbs
should be added to the flour.

_Time_.--5 or 6 minutes.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 10d.

_Seasonable_ from September to April.

_Sufficient_ for 3 persons.

EXCELLENCE OF THE ENGLISH OYSTER.--The French assert that the
English oysters, which are esteemed the best in Europe, were
originally procured from Cancalle Bay, near St. Malo; but they
assign no proof for this. It is a fact, however, that the
oysters eaten in ancient Rome were nourished in the channel
which then parted the Isle of Thanet from England, and which has
since been filled up, and converted into meadows.


292. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Scale the fish, take out the gills and clean it thoroughly; lay
it in boiling water, salted as above, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
If the fish is very large, longer time must be allowed. Garnish with
parsley, and serve with plain melted butter, or Dutch sauce. Perch do
not preserve so good a flavour when stewed as when dressed in any other

_Time_.--Middling-sized perch, 1/4 hour.

_Seasonable_ from September to November.

_Note_.--Tench may be boiled the same way, and served with the same

[Illustration: THE PERCH.]

THE PERCH.--This is one of the best, as it is one of the most
common, of our fresh-water fishes, and is found in nearly all
the lakes and rivers in Britain and Ireland, as well as through
the whole of Europe within the temperate zone. It is extremely
voracious, and it has the peculiarity of being gregarious, which
is contrary to the nature of all fresh-water fishes of prey. The
best season to angle for it is from the beginning of May to the
middle of July. Large numbers of this fish are bred in the
Hampton Court and Bushy Park ponds, all of which are well
supplied with running water and with plenty of food; yet they
rarely attain a large size. In the Regent's Park they are also
very numerous; but are seldom heavier than three quarters of a


293. INGREDIENTS.--Egg and bread crumbs, hot lard.

_Mode_.--Scale and clean the fish, brush it over with egg, and cover
with bread crumbs. Have ready some boiling lard; put the fish in, and
fry a nice brown. Serve with plain melted butter or anchovy sauce.

_Time_.--10 minutes.

_Seasonable_ from September to November.

_Note_.--Fry tench in the same way.


294. INGREDIENTS.--Equal quantities of stock No. 105 and sherry, 1
bay-leaf, 1 clove of garlic, a small bunch of parsley, 2 cloves, salt to
taste; thickening of butter and flour, pepper, grated nutmeg, 1/2
teaspoonful of anchovy sauce.

_Mode_.--Scale the fish and take out the gills, and clean them
thoroughly; lay them in a stewpan with sufficient stock and sherry just
to cover them. Put in the bay-leaf, garlic, parsley, cloves, and salt,
and simmer till tender. When done, take out the fish, strain the liquor,
add a thickening of butter and flour, the pepper, nutmeg, and the
anchovy sauce, and stir it over the fire until somewhat reduced, when
pour over the fish, and serve.

_Time_.--About 20 minutes.

_Seasonable_ from September to November.


295. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water; a little

_Mode_.--Scale and clean the pike, and fasten the tail in its mouth by
means of a skewer. Lay it in cold water, and when it boils, throw in the
salt and vinegar. The time for boiling depends, of course, on the size
of the fish; but a middling-sized pike will take about 1/2 an hour.
Serve with Dutch or anchovy sauce, and plain melted butter.

_Time_.--According to size, 1/2 to 1 hour.--_Average cost_. Seldom

_Seasonable_ from September to March.

[Illustration: THE PIKE.]

THE PIKE.--This fish is, on account of its voracity, termed the
freshwater shark, and is abundant in most of the European lakes,
especially those of the northern parts. It grows to an immense
size, some attaining to the measure of eight feet, in Lapland
and Russia. The smaller lakes, of this country and Ireland, vary
in the kinds of fish they produce; some affording trout, others
pike; and so on. Where these happen to be together, however, the
trout soon becomes extinct. "Within a short distance of
Castlebar," says a writer on sports, "there is a small bog-lake
called Derreens. Ten years ago it was celebrated for its
numerous well-sized trouts. Accidentally pike effected a passage
into the lake from the Minola river, and now the trouts are
extinct, or, at least, none of them are caught or seen. Previous
to the intrusion of the pikes, half a dozen trouts would be
killed in an evening in Derreens, whose collective weight often
amounted to twenty pounds." As an eating fish, the pike is in
general dry.


296. INGREDIENTS.--1 or 2 pike, a nice delicate stuffing (_see_
Forcemeats), 1 egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 lb. butter.

_Mode_.--Scale the fish, take out the gills, wash, and wipe it
thoroughly dry; stuff it with forcemeat, sew it up, and fasten the tail
in the mouth by means of a skewer; brush it over with egg, sprinkle with
bread crumbs, and baste with butter, before putting it in the oven,
which must be well heated. When the pike is of a nice brown colour,
cover it with buttered paper, as the outside would become too dry. If 2
are dressed, a little variety may be made by making one of them green
with a little chopped parsley mixed with the bread crumbs. Serve anchovy
or Dutch sauce, and plain melted butter with it.

_Time_.--According to size, 1 hour, more or less.

_Average cost_.--Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from September to March.

_Note_.--Pike _a la genevese_ may be stewed in the same manner as salmon
_a la genevese_.


297.--INGREDIENTS.--Hot lard, or clarified dripping; egg and bread

_Mode_.--This fish is fried in the same manner as soles. Wash and wipe
them thoroughly dry, and let them remain in a cloth until it is time to
dress them. Brush them over with egg, and cover with bread crumbs mixed
with a little flour. Fry of a nice brown in hot dripping or lard, and
garnish with fried parsley and cut lemon. Send them to table with
shrimp-sauce and plain melted butter.

_Time_.--About 5 minutes. _Average cost_, 3d. each.

_Seasonable_ from May to November.

_Sufficient_, 4 plaice for 4 persons.

_Note_.--Plaice may be boiled plain, and served with melted butter.
Garnish with parsley and cut lemon.


298. INGREDIENTS.--4 or 5 plaice, 2 onions, 1/2 oz. ground ginger, 1
pint of lemon-juice, 1/4 pint water, 6 eggs; cayenne to taste.

_Mode_.--Cut the fish into pieces about 2 inches wide, salt them, and
let them remain 1/4 hour. Slice and fry the onions a light brown; put
them in a stewpan, on the top of which put the fish without washing, and
add the ginger, lemon-juice, and water. Cook slowly for 1/2 hour, and do
not let the fish boil, or it will break. Take it out, and when the
liquor is cool, add 6 well-beaten eggs; simmer till it thickens, when
pour over the fish, and serve.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 9d.

_Seasonable_ from May to November.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons; according to size.

[Illustration: THE PLAICE.]

THE PLAICE.--This fish is found both in the Baltic and the
Mediterranean, and is also abundant on the coast of England. It
keeps well, and, like all ground-fish, is very tenacious of
life. Its flesh is inferior to that of the sole, and, as it is a
low-priced fish, it is generally bought by the poor. The best
brought to the London market are called _Dowers plaice_, from
their being caught in the Dowers, or flats, between Hastings and


299. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Prawns should be very red, and have no spawn under the tail;
much depends on their freshness and the way in which they are cooked.
Throw them into boiling water, salted as above, and keep them boiling
for about 7 or 8 minutes. Shrimps should be done in the same way; but
less time must be allowed. It may easily be known when they are done by
their changing colour. Care should be taken that they are not
over-boiled, as they then become tasteless and indigestible.

_Time_.--Prawns, about 8 minutes; shrimps, about 5 minutes.

_Average cost_, prawns, 2s. per lb.; shrimps, 6d. per pint.

_Seasonable_ all the year.


300. Cover a dish with a large cup reversed, and over that lay a small
white napkin. Arrange the prawns on it in the form of a pyramid, and
garnish with plenty of parsley.


301. INGREDIENTS.--6 oz. of salt to each gallon of water,--sufficient
water to cover the fish.

_Mode_.--Scale and clean the fish, and be particular that no blood is
left inside; lay it in the fish-kettle with sufficient cold water to
cover it, adding salt in the above proportion. Bring it quickly to a
boil, take off all the scum, and let it simmer gently till the fish is
done, which will be when the meat separates easily from the bone.
Experience alone can teach the cook to fix the time for boiling fish;
but it is especially to be remembered, that it should never be
underdressed, as then nothing is more unwholesome. Neither let it remain
in the kettle after it is sufficiently cooked, as that would render it
insipid, watery, and colourless. Drain it, and if not wanted for a few
minutes, keep it warm by means of warm cloths laid over it. Serve on a
hot napkin, garnish with cut lemon and parsley, and send lobster or
shrimp sauce, and plain melted butter to table with it. A dish of
dressed cucumber usually accompanies this fish.

_Time_.--8 minutes to each lb. for large thick salmon; 6 minutes for
thin fish. _Average cost_, in full season, 1s. 3d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from April to August.

_Sufficient_, 1/2 lb., or rather less, for each person.

_Note_.--Cut lemon should be put on the table with this fish; and a
little of the juice squeezed over it is considered by many persons a
most agreeable addition. Boiled peas are also, by some connoisseurs,
considered especially adapted to be served with salmon.

TO CHOOSE SALMON.--To be good, the belly should be firm and thick, which
may readily be ascertained by feeling it with the thumb and finger. The
circumstance of this fish having red gills, though given as a standing
rule in most cookery-books, as a sign of its goodness, is not at all to
be relied on, as this quality can be easily given them by art.


302. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of salmon, 1/4 lb. batter, 1/2 teaspoonful
of chopped parsley, 1 shalot; salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste.

_Mode_.--Lay the salmon in a baking-dish, place pieces of butter over
it, and add the other ingredients, rubbing a little of the seasoning
into the fish; baste it frequently; when done, take it out and drain for
a minute or two; lay it in a dish, pour caper sauce over it, and serve.
Salmon dressed in this way, with tomato sauce, is very delicious.

_Time_.--About 3/4 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. 3d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from April to August.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

THE MIGRATORY HABITS OF THE SALMON.--The instinct with which the
salmon revisits its native river, is one of the most curious
circumstances in its natural history. As the swallow returns
annually to its nest, so it returns to the same spot to deposit
its ova. This fact would seem to have been repeatedly proved. M.
De Lande fastened a copper ring round a salmon's tail, and found
that, for three successive seasons, it returned to the same
place. Dr. Bloch states that gold and silver rings have been
attached by eastern princes to salmon, to prove that a
communication existed between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian
and Northern Seas, and that the experiment succeeded.


303. INGREDIENTS.--A piece of salmon, say 3 lbs., a high seasoning of
salt, pounded mace, and pepper; water and vinegar, 3 bay-leaves.

_Mode_.--Split the fish; scale, bone, and wash it thoroughly clean; wipe
it, and rub in the seasoning inside and out; roll it up, and bind
firmly; lay it in a kettle, cover it with vinegar and water (1/3
vinegar, in proportion to the water); add the bay-leaves and a good
seasoning of salt and whole pepper, and simmer till done. Do not remove
the lid. Serve with melted butter or anchovy sauce. For preserving the
collared fish, boil up the liquor in which it was cooked, and add a
little more vinegar. Pour over when cold.

_Time_.--3/4 hour, or rather more.

HABITAT OF THE SALMON.--The salmon is styled by Walton the "king
of fresh-water fish," and is found distributed over the north of
Europe and Asia, from Britain to Kamschatka, but is never found
in warm latitudes, nor has it ever been caught even so far south
as the Mediterranean. It lives in fresh as well as in salt
waters, depositing its spawn in the former, hundreds of miles
from the mouths of some of those rivers to which it has been
known to resort. In 1859, great efforts were made to introduce
this fish into the Australian colonies; and it is believed that
the attempt, after many difficulties, which were very skilfully
overcome, has been successful.


304. Salmon is frequently dressed in this way at many fashionable
tables, but must be very fresh, and cut into slices 2 or 3 inches thick.
Lay these in cold salt and water for 1 hour; have ready some boiling
water, salted, as in recipe No. 301, and well skimmed; put in the fish,
and simmer gently for 1/4 hour, or rather more; should it be very thick,
garnish the same as boiled salmon, and serve with the same sauces.

_Time_.--1/4 hour, more or less, according to size.

_Note_.--Never use vinegar with salmon, as it spoils the taste and
colour of the fish.

[Illustration: THE SALMON.]

THE SALMON TRIBE.--This is the Abdominal fish, forming the
fourth of the orders of Linnaeus. They are distinguished from
the other fishes by having two dorsal fins, of which the
hindmost is fleshy and without rays. They have teeth both on the
tongue and in the jaws, whilst the body is covered with round
and minutely striated scales.


305. INGREDIENTS.--Any remains of boiled salmon, 3/4 pint of strong or
medium stock (No. 105), 1 onion, 1 tablespoonful of curry-powder, 1
teaspoonful of Harvey's sauce, 1 teaspoonful of anchovy sauce, 1 oz. of
butter, the juice of 1/2 lemon, cayenne and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Cut up the onions into small pieces, and fry them of a pale
brown in the butter; add all the ingredients but the salmon, and simmer
gently till the onion is tender, occasionally stirring the contents; cut
the salmon into small square pieces, carefully take away all skin and
bone, lay it in the stewpan, and let it gradually heat through; but do
not allow it to boil long.

_Time_.--3/4 hour. _Average cost_, exclusive of the cold fish, 9d.

GROWTH OF THE SALMON.--At the latter end of the year--some as
soon as November--salmon begin to press up the rivers as far as
they can reach, in order to deposit their spawn, which they do
in the sand or gravel, about eighteen inches deep. Here it lies
buried till the spring, when, about the latter end of March, it
begins to exclude the young, which gradually increase to four or
five inches in length, and are then termed smelts or smouts.
About the beginning of May, the river seems to be alive with
them, and there is no forming an idea of their numbers without
having seen them. A seasonable flood, however, comes, and
hurries them to the "great deep;" whence, about the middle of
June, they commence their return to the river again. By this
time they are twelve or sixteen inches long, and progressively
increase, both in number and size, till about the end of July,
when they have become large enough to be denominated _grilse_.
Early in August they become fewer in numbers, but of greater
size, haying advanced to a weight of from six to nine pounds.
This rapidity of growth appears surprising, and realizes the
remark of Walton, that "the salmlet becomes a salmon in as short
a time as a gosling becomes a goose." Recent writers have,
however, thrown considerable doubts on this quick growth of the


306. Cut the slices 1 inch thick, and season them with pepper and salt;
butter a sheet of white paper, lay each slice on a separate piece, 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.

_Time_.--5 to 10 minutes.


307. INGREDIENTS.--2 slices of salmon, 2 chopped shalots, a little
parsley, a small bunch of herbs, 2 bay-leaves, 2 carrots, pounded mace,
pepper and salt to taste, 4 tablespoonfuls of Madeira, 1/2 pint of white
stock (No. 107), thickening of butter and flour, 1 teaspoonful of
essence of anchovies, the juice of 1 lemon, cayenne and salt to taste.

_Mode_.--Rub the bottom of a stewpan over with butter, and put in the
shalots, herbs, bay-leaves, carrots, mace, and seasoning; stir them for
10 minutes over a clear fire, and add the Madeira or sherry; simmer
gently for 1/2 hour, and strain through a sieve over the fish, which
stew in this gravy. As soon as the fish is sufficiently cooked, take
away all the liquor, except a little to keep the salmon moist, and put
it into another stewpan; add the stock, thicken with butter and flour,
and put in the anchovies, lemon-juice, cayenne, and salt; lay the salmon
on a hot dish, pour over it part of the sauce, and serve the remainder
in a tureen.

_Time_.--1-1/4 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 3s. 6d.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.


308. INGREDIENTS.--Salmon, 1/2 oz. of whole pepper, 1/2 oz. of whole
allspice, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 2 bay-leaves, equal quantities of
vinegar and the liquor in which the fish was boiled.

_Mode_.--After the fish comes from table, lay it in a nice dish with a
cover to it, as it should be excluded from the air, and take away the
bone; boil the liquor and vinegar with the other ingredients for 10
minutes, and let it stand to get cold; pour it over the salmon, and in
12 hours this will be fit for the table.

_Time_.--10 minutes.

TO CURE SALMON.--This process consists in splitting the fish,
rubbing it with salt, and then putting it into pickle in tubs
provided for the purpose. Here it is kept for about six weeks,
when it is taken out, pressed and packed in casks, with layers
of salt.


309. INGREDIENTS.--Salmon; pounded mace, cloves, and pepper to taste; 3
bay-leaves, 1/4 lb. butter.

_Mode_.--Skin the salmon, and clean it thoroughly by wiping with a cloth
(water would spoil it); cut it into square pieces, which rub with salt;
let them remain till thoroughly drained, then lay them in a dish with
the other ingredients, and bake. When quite done, drain them from the
gravy, press into pots for use, and, when cold, pour over it clarified

_Time_.--1/2 hour.

AN AVERSION IN THE SALMON.--The salmon is said to have an
aversion to anything red; hence, fishermen engaged in catching
it do not wear jackets or caps of that colour. Pontoppidan also
says, that it has an abhorrence of carrion, and if any happens
to be thrown into the places it haunts, it immediately forsakes
them. The remedy adopted for this in Norway, is to throw into
the polluted water a lighted torch. As food, salmon, when in
perfection, is one of the most delicious and nutritive of our


310. INGREDIENTS.--1 bream. Seasoning to taste of salt, pepper, and
cayenne; 1/4 lb. of butter.

_Mode_.--Well wash the bream, but do not remove the scales, and wipe
away all moisture with a nice dry cloth. Season it inside and out with
salt, pepper, and cayenne, and lay it in a baking-dish. Place the
butter, in small pieces, upon the fish, and bake for rather more than
1/2 an hour. To stuff this fish before baking, will be found a great

_Time_.--Rather more than 1/2 an hour.

_Seasonable_ in summer.

[Illustration: THE SEA-BREAM.]

_Note_.--This fish may be broiled over a nice clear fire, and served
with a good brown gravy or white sauce, or it may be stewed in wine.

THE SEA-BREAM.--This is an abundant fish in Cornwall, and it is
frequently found in the fish-market of Hastings during the
summer months, but it is not in much esteem.


"When thoroughly cleansed, the fish should be wiped dry, but
none of the scales should be taken off. In this state it should
be broiled, turning it often, and if the skin cracks, flour it a
little to keep the outer case entire. When on table, the whole
skin and scales turn off without difficulty, and the muscle
beneath, saturated in its own natural juices, which the outside
covering has retained, will be of good flavour."


311. INGREDIENTS.--1 shad, oil, pepper, and salt.

_Mode_.--Scale, empty and wash the fish carefully, and make two or three
incisions across the back. Season it with pepper and salt, and let it
remain in oil for 1/2 hour. Broil it on both sides over a clear fire,
and serve with caper sauce. This fish is much esteemed by the French,
and by them is considered excellent.

_Time_.--Nearly 1 hour.

_Average cost_.--Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from April to June.

[Illustration: THE SHAD.]

THE SHAD.--This is a salt-water fish, but is held in little
esteem. It enters our rivers to spawn in May, and great numbers
of them are taken opposite the Isle of Dogs, in the Thames.


312. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of shelled shrimps, 1/4 lb. of fresh butter, 1
blade of pounded mace, cayenne to taste; when liked, a little nutmeg.

_Mode_.--Have ready a pint of picked shrimps, and put them, with the
other ingredients, into a stewpan; let them heat gradually in the
butter, but do not let it boil. Pour into small pots, and when cold,
cover with melted butter, and carefully exclude the air.

_Time_.--1/4 hour to soak in the butter.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 3d.


313. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of picked prawns or shrimps, 3/4 pint of stock
No. 104, thickening of butter and flour; salt, cayenne, and nutmeg to

_Mode_.--Pick the prawns or shrimps, and put them in a stewpan with the
stock; add a thickening of butter and flour; season, and simmer gently
for 3 minutes. Serve on a dish garnished with fried bread or toasted
sippets. Cream sauce may be substituted for the gravy.

_Time_.--3 minutes.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 1s. 4d.

[Illustration: THE SHRIMP.]

THE SHRIMP.--This shell-fish is smaller than the prawn, and is
greatly relished in London as a delicacy. It inhabits most of
the sandy shores of Europe, and the Isle of Wight is especially
famous for them.


314. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse and skin the skate, lay it in a fish-kettle, with
sufficient water to cover it, salted in the above proportion. Let it
simmer very gently till done; then dish it on a hot napkin, and serve
with shrimp, lobster, or caper sauce.

_Time_.--According to size, from 1/2 to 1 hour. _Average cost_, 4d. per

_Seasonable_ from August to April.


315. INGREDIENTS.--1/8 lb. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Clean, skin, and cut the fish into slices, which roll and tie
round with string. Have ready some water highly salted, put in the fish,
and boil till it is done. Drain well, remove the string, dish on a hot
napkin, and serve with the same sauces as above. Skate should never be
eaten out of season, as it is liable to produce diarrhoea and other
diseases. It may be dished without a napkin, and the sauce poured over.

_Time_.--About 20 minutes. _Average cost_, 4d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to April.

TO CHOOSE SKATE.--This fish should be chosen for its firmness, breadth,
and thickness, and should have a creamy appearance. When crimped, it
should not be kept longer than a day or two, as all kinds of crimped
fish soon become sour.

[Illustration: THORNBACK SKATE.]

THE SKATE.--This is one of the ray tribe, and is extremely
abundant and cheap in the fishing towns of England. The flesh is
white, thick, and nourishing; but, we suppose, from its being so
plentiful, it is esteemed less than it ought to be on account of
its nutritive properties, and the ease with which it is
digested. It is much improved by crimping; in which state it is
usually sold in London. The THORNBACK differs from the true
skate by having large spines in its back, of which the other is
destitute. It is taken in great abundance during the spring and
summer months, but its flesh is not so good as it is in
November. It is, in regard to quality, inferior to that of the
true skate.


316. INGREDIENTS.--2 or 3 slices of skate, 1/2 pint of vinegar, 2 oz. of
salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of pepper, 1 sliced onion, a small bunch of
parsley, 2 bay-leaves, 2 or 3 sprigs of thyme, sufficient water to cover
the fish.

_Mode_.--Put in a fish-kettle all the above ingredients, and simmer the
skate in them till tender. When it is done, skin it neatly, and pour
over it some of the liquor in which it has been boiling. Drain it, put
it on a hot dish, pour over it caper sauce, and send some of the latter
to table in a tureen.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_, 4d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to April.

_Note_.--Skate may also be served with onion sauce, or parsley and


317. INGREDIENTS.--Skate, sufficient vinegar to cover them, salt and
pepper to taste, 1 sliced onion, a small bunch of parsley, the juice of
1/2 lemon, hot dripping.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the skate, lay them in a dish, with sufficient vinegar
to cover them; add the salt, pepper, onion, parsley, and lemon-juice,
and let the fish remain in this pickle for 1-1/2 hour. Then drain them
well, flour them, and fry of a nice brown, in hot dripping. They may be
served either with or without sauce. Skate is not good if dressed too
fresh, unless it is crimped; it should, therefore, be kept for a day,
but not long enough to produce a disagreeable smell.

_Time_.--10 minutes. _Average cost_, 4d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to April.

OTHER SPECIES OF SKATE.--Besides the true skate, there are
several other species found in our seas. These are known as the
_white_ skate, the long-nosed skate, and the Homelyn ray, which
are of inferior quality, though often crimped, and sold for true


318. INGREDIENTS.--12 smelts, bread crumbs, 1/4 lb. of fresh butter, 2
blades of pounded mace; salt and cayenne to taste.

_Mode_.--Wash, and dry the fish thoroughly in a cloth, and arrange them
nicely in a flat baking-dish. Cover them with fine bread crumbs, and
place little pieces of butter all over them. Season and bake for 15
minutes. Just before serving, add a squeeze of lemon-juice, and garnish
with fried parsley and cut lemon.

_Time_.--1/4 hour. _Average cost_, 2s. per dozen.

_Seasonable_ from October to May.

_Sufficient_ for 6 persons.

TO CHOOSE SMELTS.--When good, this fish is of a fine silvery appearance,
and when alive, their backs are of a dark brown shade, which, after
death, fades to a light fawn. They ought to have a refreshing fragrance,
resembling that of a cucumber.

THE ODOUR OF THE SMELT.--This peculiarity in the smelt has been
compared, by some, to the fragrance of a cucumber, and by
others, to that of a violet. It is a very elegant fish, and
formerly abounded in the Thames. The _Atharine_, or sand smelt,
is sometimes sold for the true one; but it is an inferior fish,
being drier in the quality of its flesh. On the south coast of
England, where the true smelt is rare, it is plentiful.


319. INGREDIENTS.--Egg and bread crumbs, a little flour; boiling lard.

_Mode_.--Smelts should be very fresh, and not washed more than is
necessary to clean them. Dry them in a cloth, lightly flour, dip them in
egg, and sprinkle over with very fine bread crumbs, and put them into
boiling lard. Fry of a nice pale brown, and be careful not to take off
the light roughness of the crumbs, or their beauty will be spoiled. Dry
them before the fire on a drainer, and servo with plain melted butter.
This fish is often used as a garnishing.

_Time_.--5 minutes.

_Average cost_, 2s. per dozen.

_Seasonable_ from October to May.

[Illustration: THE SMELT.]

THE SMELT.--This is a delicate little fish, and is in high
esteem. Mr. Yarrell asserts that the true smelt is entirety
confined to the western and eastern coasts of Britain. It very
rarely ventures far from the shore, and is plentiful in
November, December, and January.


320. INGREDIENTS.--2 soles, 1/4 lb. of butter, egg, and bread crumbs,
minced parsley, 1 glass of sherry, lemon-juice; cayenne and salt to

_Mode_.--Clean, skin, and well wash the fish, and dry them thoroughly in
a cloth. Brush them over with egg, sprinkle with bread crumbs mixed with
a little minced parsley, lay them in a large flat baking-dish, white
side uppermost; or if it will not hold the two soles, they may each be
laid on a dish by itself; but they must not be put one on the top of the
other. Melt the butter, and pour it over the whole, and bake for 20
minutes. Take a portion of the gravy that flows from the fish, add the
wine, lemon-juice, and seasoning, give it one boil, skim, pour it
_under_ the fish, and serve.

_Time_.--20 minutes. _Average cost_, 1s. to 2s. per pair.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

TO CHOOSE SOLES.--This fish should be both thick and firm. If the skin
is difficult to be taken off, and the flesh looks grey, it is good.

[Illustration: THE SOLE.]

THE SOLE.--This ranks next to the turbot in point of excellence
among our flat fish. It is abundant on the British coasts, but
those of the western shores are much superior in size to those
taken on the northern. The finest are caught in Torbay, and
frequently weigh 8 or 10 lbs. per pair. Its flesh being firm,
white, and delicate, is greatly esteemed.


321. INGREDIENTS.--1/4 lb. salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_.--Cleanse and wash the fish carefully, cut off the fins, but do
not skin it. Lay it in a fish-kettle, with sufficient cold water to
cover it, salted in the above proportion. Let it gradually come to a
boil, and keep it simmering for a few minutes, according to the size of
the fish. Dish it on a hot napkin after well draining it, and garnish
with parsley and cut lemon. Shrimp, or lobster sauce, and plain melted
butter, are usually sent to table with this dish.

_Time_.--After the water boils, 7 minutes for a middling-sized sole.

_Average cost_, 1s. to 2s. per pair.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_,--1 middling-sized sole for 2 persons.


322. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of cold boiled sole or cod, seasoning to
taste of pepper, salt, and pounded mace, 1 dozen oysters to each lb. of
fish, 3 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 1 teacupful of cream thickened
with flour, puff paste.

_Mode_.--Clear the fish from the bones, lay it in a pie-dish, and
between each layer put a few oysters and a little seasoning; add the
stock, and, when liked, a small quantity of butter; cover with puff
paste, and bake for 1/2 hour. Boil the cream with sufficient flour to
thicken it; pour in the pie, and serve.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_ for this quantity, 10d.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.


323. INGREDIENTS.--2 soles; salt, cayenne, and pounded mace to taste;
the juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and water, 1/2 pint of cream.

_Mode_.--Skin, wash, and fillet the soles, and divide each fillet in 2
pieces; lay them in cold salt and water, which bring gradually to a
boil. When the water boils, take out the fish, lay it in a delicately
clean stewpan, and cover with the cream. Add the seasoning, simmer very
gently for ten minutes, and, just before serving, put in the lemon-juice.
The fillets may be rolled, and secured by means of a skewer; but this is
not so economical a way of dressing them, as double the quantity of cream
is required.

_Time_.--10 minutes in the cream.

_Average cost_, from 1s. to 2s. per pair. _Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

This will be found a most delicate and delicious dish.

much sought after by the ancient Greeks on account of its light
and nourishing qualities. The brill, the flounder, the diamond
and Dutch plaice, which, with the sole, were known under the
general name of _passeres_, were all equally esteemed, and had
generally the same qualities attributed to them.


324. INGREDIENTS.--2 soles; salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste;
egg and bread crumbs, butter, the juice of 1 lemon.

_Mode_.--Skin, and carefully wash the soles, separate the meat from the
bone, and divide each fillet in two pieces. Brush them over with white
of egg, sprinkle with bread crumbs and seasoning, and put them in a
baking-dish. Place small pieces of butter over the whole, and bake for
1/2 hour. When they are nearly done, squeeze the juice of a lemon over
them, and serve on a dish, with Italian sauce (see Sauces) poured over.

_Time_.--1/2 hour. _Average cost_, from 1s. to 2s. per pair.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 6 persons.

WHITING may be dressed in the same manner, and will be found very

THE FLAVOUR OF THE SOLE.--This, as a matter of course, greatly
depends on the nature of the ground and bait upon which the
animal feeds. Its natural food are small crabs and shell-fish.
Its colour also depends on the colour of the ground where it
feeds; for if this be white, then the sole is called the white,
or lemon sole; but if the bottom be muddy, then it is called the
black sole. Small-sized soles, caught in shallow water on the
coasts, are the best in flavour.


325. INGREDIENTS.--2 middling-sized soles, 1 small one, 1/2 teaspoonful
of chopped lemon-peel, 1 teaspoonful of chopped parsley, a little grated
bread; salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste; 1 egg, 2 oz. butter, 1/2 pint
of good gravy, 2 tablespoonfuls of port wine, cayenne and lemon-juice to

_Mode_.--Fry the soles of a nice brown, as directed in recipe No. 327,
and drain them well from fat. Take all the meat from the small sole,
chop it fine, and mix with it the lemon-peel, parsley, bread, and
seasoning; work altogether, with the yolk of an egg and the butter; make
this into small balls, and fry them. Thicken the gravy with a
dessert-spoonful of flour, add the port wine, cayenne, and lemon-juice;
lay in the 2 soles and balls; let them simmer gently for 6 minutes;
serve hot, and garnish with cut lemon.

_Time_.--10 minutes to fry the soles.

_Average cost_ for this quantity, 3s.

_Seasonable_ at any time. _Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.

HOW SOLES ARE CAUGHT.--The instrument usually employed is a
trawl net, which is shaped like a pocket, of from sixty to
eighty feet long, and open at the mouth from thirty-two to forty
feet, and three deep. This is dragged along the ground by the
vessel, and on the art of the fisherman in its employment, in a
great measure depends the quality of the fish he catches. If,
for example, he drags the net too quickly, all that are caught
are swept rapidly to the end of the net, where they are
smothered, and sometimes destroyed. A medium has to be observed,
in order that as few as possible escape being caught in the net,
and as many as possible preserved alive in it.


326. Soles for filleting should be large, as the flesh can be more
easily separated from the bones, and there is less waste. Skin and wash
the fish, and raise the meat carefully from the bones, and divide it
into nice handsome pieces. The more usual way is to roll the fillets,
after dividing each one in two pieces, and either bind them round with
twine, or run a small skewer through them. Brush over with egg, and
cover with bread crumbs; fry them as directed in the foregoing recipe,
and garnish with fried parsley and cut lemon. When a pretty dish is
desired, this is by far the most elegant mode of dressing soles, as they
look much better than when fried whole. (_See_ Coloured Plate A.)
Instead of rolling the fillets, they may be cut into square pieces, and
arranged in the shape of a pyramid on the dish.

_Time_.--About 10 minutes. _Average cost_, from 1s. to 2s. per pair.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_,--2 large soles for 6 persons.


327. INGREDIENTS.--2 middling-sized soles, hot lard or clarified
dripping, egg, and bread crumbs.

_Mode_.--Skin and carefully wash the soles, and cut off the fins, wipe
them very dry, and let them remain in the cloth until it is time to
dress them. Have ready some fine bread crumbs and beaten egg; dredge the
soles with a little flour, brush them over with egg, and cover with
bread crumbs. Put them in a deep pan, with plenty of clarified dripping
or lard (when the expense is not objected to, oil is still better)
heated, so that it may neither scorch the fish nor make them sodden.
When they are sufficiently cooked on one side, turn them carefully, and
brown them on the other: they may be considered ready when a thick smoke
rises. Lift them out carefully, and lay them before the fire on a
reversed sieve and soft paper, to absorb the fat. Particular attention
should be paid to this, as nothing is more disagreeable than greasy
fish: this may be always avoided by dressing them in good time, and
allowing a few minutes for them to get thoroughly crisp, and free from
greasy moisture. Dish them on a hot napkin, garnish with cut lemon and
fried parsley, and send them to table with shrimp sauce and plain melted

_Time_.--10 minutes for large soles; less time for small ones.

_Average cost_, from 1s. to 2s. per pair.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 or 5 persons.


328. INGREDIENTS.--1 pint of milk, 1 pint of water, 1 oz. butter, 1 oz.
salt, a little lemon-juice, 2 middling-sized soles.

_Mode_.--Cleanse the soles, but do not skin them, and lay them in a
fish-kettle, with the milk, water, butter, salt, and lemon-juice. Bring
them gradually to boil, and let them simmer very gently till done, which
will be in about 7 minutes. Take them up, drain them well on a cloth,
put them on a hot dish, and pour over them a good mushroom sauce. (_See_

_Time_.--After the water boils, 7 minutes.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.


329. Sprats should be cooked very fresh, which can be ascertained by
their bright and sparkling eyes. Wipe them dry; fasten them in rows by a
skewer run through the eyes; dredge with flour, and broil them on a
gridiron over a nice clear fire. The gridiron should be rubbed with
suet. Serve very hot.

_Time_,--3 or 4 minutes. _Average cost_, 1d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from November to March.

TO CHOOSE SPRATS.--Choose these from their silvery appearance, as the
brighter they are, so are they the fresher.


330. INGREDIENTS.--2 eggs, flour, bread crumbs; seasoning of salt and
pepper to taste.

_Mode_.--Wipe the sprats, and dip them in a batter made of the above
ingredients. Fry of a nice brown, serve very hot, and garnish with fried

Sprats may be baked like herrings. (_See_ No. 268.)


331. Dried sprats should be put into a basin, and boiling water poured
over them; they may then be skinned and served, and this will be found a
much better way than boiling them.

[Illustration: THE SPRAT.]

THE SPRAT.--This migratory fish, is rarely found longer than
four or five inches, and visits the shores of Britain after the
herring and other kinds of fish have taken their departure from
them. On the coasts of Suffolk, Essex, and Kent, they are very
abundant, and from 400 to 500 boats are employed in catching
them during the winter season. Besides plentifully supplying the
London market, they are frequently sold at sixpence a bushel to
farmers for manuring purposes. They enter the Thames about the
beginning of November, and leave it in March. At Yarmouth and
Gravesend they are cured like red herrings.


332. INGREDIENTS.--1 small sturgeon, salt and pepper to taste, 1 small
bunch of herbs, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 lb. of butter, 1 pint of
white wine.

_Mode_,--Cleanse the fish thoroughly, skin it, and split it along the
belly without separating it; have ready a large baking-dish, in which
lay the fish, sprinkle over the seasoning and herbs very finely minced,
and moisten it with the lemon-juice and wine. Place the butter in small
pieces over the whole of the fish, put it in the oven, and baste
frequently; brown it nicely, and serve with its own gravy.

_Time_.--Nearly 1 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to March.

[Illustration: THE STURGEON.]

THE STURGEON.--This fish commences the sixth of Linnaean order,
and all the species are large, seldom measuring, when
full-grown, less than three or four feet in length. Its flesh is
reckoned extremely delicious, and, in the time of the emperor
Severus, was so highly valued by the ancients, that it was
brought to table by servants crowned with coronets, and preceded
by a band of music. It is an inhabitant of the Baltic, the
Mediterranean, the Caspian, and the Black Sea, and of the
Danube, the Volga, the Don, and other large rivers. It is
abundant in the rivers of North America, and is occasionally
taken in the Thames, as well as in the Eske and the Eden. It is
one of those fishes considered as royal property. It is from its
_roe_ that _caviare_, a favourite food of the Russians, is
prepared. Its flesh is delicate, firm, and white, but is rare in
the London market, where it sells for 1s. or 1s. 6d. per lb.

THE STERLET is a smaller species of sturgeon, found in the
Caspian Sea and some Russian rivers. It also is greatly prized
on account of the delicacy of its flesh.


333. INGREDIENTS.--Veal stuffing, buttered paper, the tail-end of a

_Mode_.--Cleanse the fish, bone and skin it; make a nice veal stuffing
(see Forcemeats), and fill it with the part where the bones came from;
roll it in buttered paper, bind it up firmly with tape, like a fillet of
veal, and roast it in a Dutch oven before a clear fire. Serve with good
brown gravy, or plain melted butter.

_Time_.--About 1 hour. _Average cost_, 1s. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

_Seasonable_ from August to March.

_Note_.--Sturgeon may be plain-boiled, and served with Dutch sauce. The
fish is very firm, and requires long boiling.

flesh of this fish was compared to the ambrosia of the
immortals. The poet Martial passes a high eulogium upon it, and
assigns it a place on the luxurious tables of the Palatine
Mount. If we may credit a modern traveller in China, the people
of that country generally entirely abstain from it, and the
sovereign of the Celestial Empire confines it to his own
kitchen, or dispenses it to only a few of his greatest


334. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 pint of stock No. 105, 1/2 pint of port wine, 1
dozen button onions, a few mushrooms, a faggot of herbs, 2 blades of
mace, 1 oz. of butter, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley, thyme, 1 shalot,
2 anchovies, 1 teacupful of stock No. 105, flour, 1 dozen oysters, the
juice of 1/2 lemon; the number of tench, according to size.

_Mode_.--Scale and clean the tench, cut them into pieces, and lay them
in a stewpan; add the stock, wine, onions, mushrooms, herbs, and mace,
and simmer gently for 1/2 hour. Put into another stewpan all the
remaining ingredients but the oysters and lemon-juice, and boil slowly
for 10 minutes, when add the strained liquor from the tench, and keep
stirring it over the fire until somewhat reduced. Rub it through a
sieve, pour it over the tench with the oysters, which must be previously
scalded in their own liquor, squeeze in the lemon-juice, and serve.
Garnish with croutons.

_Time_. 3/4 hour.

_Seasonable_ from October to June.

[Illustration: THE TENCH.]

THE TENCH.--This fish is generally found in foul and weedy
waters, and in such places as are well supplied with rushes.
They thrive best in standing waters, and are more numerous in
pools and ponds than in rivers. Those taken in the latter,
however, are preferable for the table. It does not often exceed
four or five pounds in weight, and is in England esteemed as a
delicious and wholesome food. As, however, they are sometimes
found in waters where the mud is excessively fetid, their
flavour, if cooked immediately on being caught, is often very
unpleasant; but if they are transferred into clear water, they
soon recover from the obnoxious taint.


335. INGREDIENTS.--1/2 pint of stock No. 105, 1/2 pint of Madeira or
sherry, salt and pepper to taste, 1 bay-leaf, thickening of butter and

_Mode_.--Clean and crimp the tench; carefully lay it in a stewpan with
the stock, wine, salt and pepper, and bay-leaf; let it stew gently for
1/2 hour; then take it out, put it on a dish, and keep hot. Strain the
liquor, and thicken it with butter and flour kneaded together, and stew
for 5 minutes. If not perfectly smooth, squeeze it through a tammy, add
a very little cayenne, and pour over the fish. Garnish with balls of
veal forcemeat.

_Time_.--Rather more than 1/2 hour.

_Seasonable_ from October to June.

A SINGULAR QUALITY IN THE TENCH.--It is said that the tench is
possessed of such healing properties among the finny tribes,
that even the voracious pike spares it on this account.

The pike, fell tyrant of the liquid plain,
With ravenous waste devours his fellow train;
Yet howsoe'er with raging famine pined,
The tench he spares, a medicinal kind;
For when by wounds distress'd, or sore disease,
He courts the salutary fish for ease;
Close to his scales the kind physician glides,
And sweats a healing balsam from his sides.

In our estimation, however, this self-denial in the pike may be
attributed to a less poetical cause; namely, from the mud-loving
disposition of the tench, it is enabled to keep itself so
completely concealed at the bottom of its aqueous haunts, that
it remains secure from the attacks of its predatory neighbour.


336. INGREDIENTS.--2 middling-sized trout, 1/2 onion cut in thin slices,
a little parsley, 2 cloves, 1 blade of mace, 2 bay-leaves, a little
thyme, salt and pepper to taste, 1 pint of medium stock No. 105, 1 glass
of port wine, thickening of butter and flour.

_Mode_.--Wash the fish very clean, and wipe it quite dry. Lay it in a
stewpan, with all the ingredients but the butter and flour, and simmer
gently for 1/2 hour, or rather more, should not the fish be quite done.
Take it out, strain the gravy, add the thickening, and stir it over a
sharp fire for 5 minutes; pour it over the trout, and serve.

_Time_.--According to size, 1/2 hour or more.

_Average cost_.--Seldom bought.

_Seasonable_ from May to September, and fatter from the middle to the
end of August than at any other time.

_Sufficient_ for 4 persons.

Trout may be served with anchovy or caper sauce, baked in buttered
paper, or fried whole like smelts. Trout dressed a la Genevese is
extremely delicate; for this proceed the same as with salmon, No. 307.

[Illustration: THE TROUT.]

THE TROUT.--This fish, though esteemed by the moderns for its
delicacy, was little regarded by the ancients. Although it
abounded in the lakes of the Roman empire, it is generally
mentioned by writers only on account of the beauty of its
colours. About the end of September, they quit the deep water to
which they had retired during the hot weather, for the purpose
of spawning. This they always do on a gravelly bottom, or where
gravel and sand are mixed among stones, towards the end or by
the sides of streams. At this period they become black about the
head and body, and become soft and unwholesome. They are never
good when they are large with roe; but there are in all trout
rivers some barren female fish, which continue good throughout
the winter. In the common trout, the stomach is uncommonly
strong and muscular, shell-fish forming a portion of the food of
the animal; and it takes into its stomach gravel or small stones
in order to assist in comminuting it.


337. INGREDIENTS.--6 oz. of salt to each gallon of water.

_Mode_--Choose a middling-sized turbot; for they are invariably the most
valuable: if very large, the meat will be tough and thready. Three or
four hours before dressing, soak the fish in salt and water to take off
the slime; then thoroughly cleanse it, and with a knife make an incision
down the middle of the back, to prevent the skin of the belly from
cracking. Rub it over with lemon, and be particular not to cut off the
fins. Lay the fish in a very clean turbot-kettle, with sufficient cold
water to cover it, and salt in the above proportion. Let it gradually
come to a boil, and skim very carefully; keep it gently simmering, and
on no account let it boil fast, as the fish would have a very unsightly
appearance. When the meat separates easily from the bone, it is done;
then take it out, let it drain well, and dish it on a hot napkin. Rub a
little lobster spawn through a sieve, sprinkle it over the fish, and
garnish with tufts of parsley and cut lemon. Lobster or shrimp sauce,
and plain melted butter, should be sent to table with it. (See Coloured
Plate E.)

_Time_.--After the water boils, about 1/2 hour for a large turbot;
middling size, about 20 minutes.

_Average cost_,--large turbot, from 10s. to 12s.; middling size, from
12s. to 15s.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Sufficient_, 1 middling-sized turbot for 8 persons.

_Note_.--An amusing anecdote is related, by Miss Edgeworth, of a bishop,
who, descending to his kitchen to superintend the dressing of a turbot,
and discovering that his cook had stupidly cut off the fins, immediately
commenced sewing them on again with his own episcopal fingers. This
dignitary knew the value of a turbot's gelatinous appendages.


338. Take the crumb of a stale loaf, cut it into small pyramids with
flat tops, and on the top of each pyramid, put rather more than a
tablespoonful of white of egg beaten to a stiff froth. Over this,
sprinkle finely-chopped parsley and fine raspings of a dark colour.
Arrange these on the napkin round the fish, one green and one brown

TO CHOOSE TURBOT.--See that it is thick, and of a yellowish white; for
if of a bluish tint, it is not good.

[Illustration: THE TURBOT.]

THE TURBOT.--This is the most esteemed of all our flat fish. The
northern parts of the English coast, and some places off the
coast of Holland, produce turbot in great abundance, and in
greater excellence than any other parts of the world. The London
market is chiefly supplied by Dutch fishermen, who bring to it
nearly 90,000 a year. The flesh is firm, white, rich, and
gelatinous, and is the better for being kept a day or two
previous to cooking it. In many parts of the country, turbot and
halibut are indiscriminately sold for each other. They are,
however, perfectly distinct; the upper parts of the former being
marked with large, unequal, and obtuse tubercles, while those of
the other are quite smooth, and covered with oblong soft scales,
which firmly adhere to the body.

[Illustration: TURBOT-KETTLE.]

FISH-KETTLES are made in an oblong form, and have two handles,
with a movable bottom, pierced full of holes, on which the fish
is laid, and on which it may be lifted from the water, by means
of two long handles attached to each side of the movable bottom.
This is to prevent the liability of breaking the fish, as it
would necessarily be if it were cooked in a common saucepan. In
the list of Messrs. Richard and John Slack (see 71), the price
of two of these is set down at 10s. The turbot-kettle, as will
be seen by our cut, is made differently from ordinary
fish-kettles, it being less deep, whilst it is wider, and more
pointed at the sides; thus exactly answering to the shape of the
fish which it is intended should be boiled in it. It may be
obtained from the same manufacturers, and its price is L1.


339. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of cold turbot, lobster sauce left from
the preceding day, egg, and bread crumbs; cayenne and salt to taste;
minced parsley, nutmeg, lemon-juice.

_Mode_.--After having cleared the fish from all skin and bone, divide it
into square pieces of an equal size; brush them over with egg, sprinkle
with bread crumbs mixed with a little minced parsley and seasoning. Lay
the fillets in a baking-dish, with sufficient butter to baste with. Bake
for 1/4 hour, and do not forget to keep them well moistened with the
butter. Put a little lemon-juice and grated nutmeg to the cold lobster
sauce; make it hot, and pour over the fish, which must be well drained
from the butter. Garnish with parsley and cut lemon.

_Time_.--Altogether, 1/2 hour.

_Seasonable_ at any time.

_Note_.--Cold turbot thus warmed in the remains of lobster sauce will be
found much nicer than putting the fish again in water.


340. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of cold turbot, Italian sauce. (See

_Mode_.--Clear the fish carefully from the bone, and take away all skin,
which gives an unpleasant flavour to the sauce. Make the sauce hot, lay
in the fish to warm through, but do not let it boil. Garnish with

_Time_.--5 minutes.

_Seasonable_ all the year.

people compared soles to partridges, and sturgeons to peacocks,
so they found a resemblance to the turbot in the pheasant. In
the time of Domitian, it is said one was taken of such
dimensions as to require, in the imperial kitchen, a new stove
to be erected, and a new dish to be made for it, in order that
it might be cooked and served whole: not even imperial Rome
could furnish a stove or a dish large enough for the monstrous
animal. Where it was caught, we are not aware; but the turbot of
the Adriatic Sea held a high rank in the "Eternal City."


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