When very salt and dry, this must be long-soaked before it is boiled, but it is generally supplied by the fishmongers nearly or quite ready to dress. When it is not so, lay it for a night into a large quantity of cold water, then let it lie exposed to the air for some time, then again put it into water, and continue thus until it is well softened. Brush it very clean, wash it thoroughly, and put it with abundance of cold water into the fish kettle, place it near the fire and let it heat very slowly indeed. Keep it just on the point of simmering, without allowing it ever to boil (which would render it hard), from three quarters of an hour to a full hour, according to its weight; should it be quite small and thin, less time will be sufficient for it; but by following these directions, the fish will be almost as good as if it were fresh. The scum should be cleared off with great care from the beginning. Egg sauce and boiled parsnips are the usual accompaniments to salt fish, which should be dished upon a hot napkin, and which is sometimes also thickly strewed with chopped eggs.
Boil the fish by the foregoing receipt, or take the remains of that which has been served at table, flake it off clear from the bones, and strip away every morsel of the skin; then lay it into a very clean saucepan or stewpan, and pour upon it the sharp Maitre d'Hotel sauce of Chapter IV (Sauces).; or, dissolve gently two or three ounces of butter with four or five spoonsful of water, and a half-teaspoonful of flour; add some pepper or cayenne, very little salt, and a dessertspoonful or more of minced parsley. Heat the fish slowly quite through in either of these sauces, and toss or stir it until the whole is well mixed; if the second be used, add the juice of half a lemon, or a small quantity of Chili vinegar, just before it is taken from the fire. The fish thus prepared may be served in a deep dish, with a border of mashed parsnips or potatoes. to boil cods sounds.
Should they be highly salted, soak them for a night, and on the following day, rub off entirely the discoloured skin; wash them well, lay them into plenty of cold milk and water, and boil them gently from thirty to forty minutes, or longer, should they not be quite tender. Clear off the scum as it rises with great care, or it will sink, and adhere to the sounds, of which the appearance will then be spoiled. Drain them well, dish them on a napkin, and send egg sauce and plain melted butter to table with them.