Fish is exceedingly insipid if sufficient salt be not mixed with the water in which it is boiled, but the precise quantity required for it will depend, in some measure, upon the kind of salt which is used. Fine common salt is that for which our directions are given; but when the Maldon salt, which is very superior in strength, as well as in its other qualities, is substituted for it, a smaller quantity must be allowed.
About four ounces to the gallon of water will be sufficient for small fish in general; an additional ounce, or rather more, will not be too much for cod fish, lobsters, crabs, prawns, and shrimps; and salmon will require eight ounces, as the brine for this fish should be strong: the water should always be perfectly well skimmed from the moment the scum begins to form upon the surface.
Put a small bit of saltpetre with the salt into the water in which it is boiled: a quarter-ounce will be sufficient for a gallon.
Never leave it in the water after it is done; but if it cannot be sent to table as soon as it is ready to serve, lift it out, lay the fish-plate into a large and very hot dish, and set it across the fish-kettle; just dip a clean cloth into the boiling water, and spread it upon the fish; place a tin cover over it, and let it remain so until two or three minutes before it is wanted, then remove the cloth, and put the fish back into the kettle for an instant that it may be as hot as possible; drain, dish, and serve it immediately: the water should be kept boiling the whole time.
Lay some slices cut from the fat part of pork in a deep stew-pan, mix sliced onions with a variety of sweet herbs, and lay them on the pork; bone and cut a fresh cod into thin slices, and place them on the pork, then put a layer of pork, on that a layer of biscuit, then alternately the other materials until the pan is nearly full, season with pepper and salt, put in about a quart of water, cover the stew-pan very close, and let it stand, with fire above as well as below, for four hours; then skim it well, and it is done.
Clean the fish with scrupulous care, particularly the back-bone, then lay the fish into the fish-kettle and cover it with cold water, strewing in a handful of salt (and a small pinch of saltpetre, if you have it), and place it over a moderate fire. Clean off the scum carefully, and let it boil very gently till it is done; then drain it, as directed for cod-fish, and dish it nicely - garnished with hard-boiled eggs, cut in halves. Celery sauce, or anchovy sauce, is the proper kind for these fish, or plain melted butter.
Scrape very clean a dozen or more of fine anchovies, and soak them in plenty of spring water from two to six hours; then wipe them dry, open them, and take out the back-bones, without dividing the fish. Season the insides highly with cayenne, close the anchovies, dip them into the French batter of Chapter VI (Forcemeats)., or into a light English batter, and fry them a pale amber-colour: in from four to five minutes they will be quite sufficiently done.