The Jewish Manual/Chapter III

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When fish is to be boiled, it should be rubbed lightly over with salt, and set on the fire in a saucepan or fish-kettle sufficiently large, in hard cold water, with a little salt, a spoonful or two of vinegar is sometimes added, which has the effect of increasing its firmness.</div

Fish for broiling should be rubbed over with vinegar, well dried in a cloth and floured. The fire must be clear and free from smoke, the grid-iron made quite hot, and the bars buttered before the fish is put on it. Fish to be fried should be rubbed in with salt, dried, rolled in a cloth, and placed for a few minutes before the fire previous to being put in the pan.


Soles, plaice, or salmon, are the best kinds of fish to dress in this manner, although various other sorts are frequently used. When prepared by salting or drying, as above directed, have a dish ready with beaten eggs, turn the fish well over in them, and sprinkle it freely with flour, so that the fish may be covered entirely with it, then place it in a pan with a good quantity of the best frying oil at boiling heat; try the fish in it gently, till of a fine equal brown colour, when done, it should be placed on a cloth before the fire for the oil to drain off; great care should be observed that the oil should have ceased to bubble when the fish is put in, otherwise it will be greasy; the oil will serve for two or three times if strained off and poured into a jar. Fish prepared in this way is usually served cold.


Prepare the soles as directed in the last receipt, brush them over with egg, dredge them with stale bread crumbs, and fry in boiling butter; this method is preferable when required to be served hot.


Take some cold fried fish, place it in a deep pan, then boil half a pint of vinegar with two table spoonsful of water, and one of oil, a little grated ginger, allspice, cayenne pepper, two bay leaves, a little salt, and a table spoonful of lemon juice, with sliced onions; when boiling, pour it over the fish, cover the pan, and let it stand twenty-four hours before serving.


Put an onion, finely chopped, into a stew-pan, with a little oil, till the onion becomes brown, then add half a pint of water, and place the fish in the stew-pan, seasoning with pepper, salt, mace, ground allspice, nutmeg, and ginger; let it stew gently till the fish is done, then prepare the beaten yolks of four eggs, with the juice of two lemons, and a tea spoonful of flour, a table spoonful of cold water, and a little saffron, mix well in a cup, and pour it into the stew-pan, stirring it carefully one way until it thickens. Balls should be thrown in about twenty minutes before serving; they are made in the following way: take a little of the fish, the liver, and roe, if there is any, beat it up finely with chopped parsley, and spread warmed butter, crumbs of bread, and seasoning according to taste; form this into a paste with eggs, and make it into balls of a moderate size; this is a very nice dish when cold; garnish with sliced lemon and parsley.


Take three or four parsley roots, cut them into pieces, slice several onions and boil in a pint of water till tender, season with lemon juice, vinegar, saffron, pepper, salt, and mace, then add the fish, and let it stew till nearly finished, when remove it, and thicken the gravy with a little flour and butter, and the yolk of one egg, then return the fish to the stew-pan, with balls made as directed in the preceding receipt, and boil up.


Fry some fish of a light brown, either soles, slices of salmon, halibut, or plaice, let an onion brown in a little oil, add to it a cup of water, a little mushroom ketchup or powder, cayenne pepper, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice, put the fish into a stew-pan with the above mixture, and simmer gently till done, then take out the fish and thicken the gravy with a little browned flour, and stir in a glass of port wine; a few truffles, or mushrooms, are an improvement.


Take a portion of the fish intended to be dressed, and stew it down with three pints of water, parsley roots, and chopped parsley, and then pulp them through a sieve, then add the rest of the fish, with pepper, salt, and seasoning; and serve in a deep dish.


Clean the fish thoroughly, put it into a saucepan, with a strong rich gravy, season with onion, parsley roots, allspice, nutmegs, beaten cloves, and ginger, let it stew very gently till nearly done, then mix port wine and vinegar in equal quantities, coarse brown sugar and lemon juice, a little flour, with some of the gravy from the saucepan, mix well and pour over the fish, let it boil till the gravy thickens. Pike is excellent stewed in this manner.


Fillets of salmon, soles, &c., fried of a delicate brown according to the receipt already given, and served with a fine gravy is a very nice dish.

If required to be very savory, make a fish force-meat, and lay it thickly on the fish before frying; fillets dressed in this way are usually arranged round the dish, and served with a sauce made of good stock, thickened and seasoned with cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and mushroom essence; piccalilli are sometimes added cut small.


Carefully clean a fresh haddock, and fill it with a fine forcemeat, and sew it in securely; give the fish a dredging of flour, and pour on warmed butter, sprinkle it with pepper and salt, and set it to bake in a Dutch-oven before the fire, basting it, from time to time, with butter warmed, and capers; it should be of a rich dark brown, and it is as well to dredge two or three times with flour while at the fire, the continual bastings will produce sufficient sauce to serve with it without any other being added.

Mackarel and whiting prepared in this manner are excellent, the latter should be covered with a layer of bread crumbs, and arranged in a ring, and the forcemeat, instead of stuffing them, should be formed into small balls, and served in the dish as a garnish.

The forcemeat must be made as for veal stuffing, with the addition of a couple of minced anchovies, cayenne pepper, and butter instead of suet.


Open them, cut off the tails and heads, soak them in hot water for an hour, then wipe them dry; mix with warmed butter one beaten egg, pour this over the herrings, sprinkle with bread crumbs, flour, and white pepper, broil them and serve them very hot.


Cut off the heads and tails, open and clean them, lay them in a deep pan with a few bay leaves, whole pepper, half a tea-spoonful of cloves, and a whole spoonful of allspice, pour over equal quantities of vinegar and water, and bake for an hour and a half, in a gentle oven; herrings and sprats are also dressed according to this receipt.


Cut in small pieces any cold dressed fish, turbot or salmon are the best suited; mix it with half a pint of small salad, and a lettuce cut small, two onions boiled till tender and mild, and a few truffles thinly sliced; pour over a fine salad mixture, and arrange it into a shape, high in the centre, and garnish with hard eggs cut in slices; a little cucumber mixed with the salad is an improvement. The mixture may either be a common salad mixture, or made as follows: take the yolks of three hard boiled eggs, with a spoonful of mustard, and a little salt, mix these with a cup of cream, and four table-spoonsful of vinegar, the different ingredients should be added carefully and worked together smoothly, the whites of the eggs may be trimmed and placed in small heaps round the dish as a garnish.


Cut in small pieces halibut, plaice, or soles, place them in a deep dish in alternate layers, with slices of potatoes and dumplings made of short-crust paste, sweetened with brown sugar, season well with small pickles, peppers, gerkins, or West India pickles; throw over a little water and butter warmed, and bake it thoroughly.


This is such a delicate fish that there are few cooks who attempt to dress it without spoiling it; they should not be touched but thrown from the dish into a cloth with a handful of flour; shake them lightly, but enough to cover them well with the flour, then turn them into a sieve expressly for bait to free them from too great a quantity of the flour, then throw the fish into a pan with plenty of boiling butter, they must remain but an instant, for they are considered spoilt if they become the least brown; they should be placed lightly on the dish piled up high in the centre, brown bread and butter is always served with them; when devilled they are also excellent, and are permitted to become brown; they are then sprinkled with cayenne pepper, and a little salt, and served with lemon juice.

This receipt was given by a cook who dressed white bait to perfection.


Take two pounds of dressed fish, remove the skin and bones, cut in small pieces with two or three anchovies, and season well, soak the crumb of a French roll in milk, beat it up with the fish and three eggs: butter a mould, sprinkle it with raspings, place in the fish and bake it; when done, turn out and serve either dry or with anchovy sauce; if served dry, finely grated crumbs of bread should be sprinkled thickly over it, and it should be placed for a few minutes before the fire to brown.


Make a force-meat of any cold fish, form it into thin cakes, and fry of a light brown, or enclose them first in thin paste and then fry them. The roes of fish or the livers are particularly nice prepared in this way.


Shred finely any cold fish, season it, and mix with beaten eggs; make it into a paste, fry in thin cakes like pancakes, and serve hot on a napkin; there should be plenty of boiling butter in the pan, as they should be moist and rich; there should be more eggs in the preparation for omelets than for fritters.


Take any dressed fish, break it in small pieces, put it into tin scallops, with a few crumbs of bread, a good piece of butter, a little cream if approved, white pepper, salt, and nutmeg; bake in an oven for ten minutes, or brown before the fire; two or three mushrooms mixed, or an anchovy will be found an improvement.


Break the fish into pieces, pour over the beaten yolk of an egg, sprinkle with pepper and salt, strew with bread crumbs, chopped parsley, and grated lemon peel, and squeeze in the juice of lemon, drop over a little warmed butter, and brown before the fire.