Fish may be divided into two classes according to the amount of fat contained in their flesh: (1) white fish, or fish with flesh that contains little oil, the fat being secreted in the liver -to this class belong cod, haddock, halibut, turbot, flounder, trout, whitefish, smelts, perch; (2) oily fish, or fish in which the fat is distributed throughout the flesh-to this class belong salmon, eels, mackerel, bluefish, swordfish, shad, herring, cusk.

Selection And Care Of Fish

The freshness of fish may be determined as follows: (1) The flesh should be firm; (2) the eyes should be bright and bulging; (3) the gills should be red; (4) when placed in fresh water the fish should sink, not float.

To care for fish properly, it should be cleaned and drawn immediately, wiped dry, and kept on ice with the skin down, avoiding contact with other foods. Frozen fish may be thawed by placing it in cold water. Salt fish should always be soaked in cold water, skin side up.

Preparation Of Fish For Cooking

To prepare a fish for cooking it must be cleaned, skinned and boned.

To clean a fish the scales should be removed by scraping the fish from the tail to the head with a small sharp knife, and the fins removed by making an incision as close as possible to each side of the fin. The tail should then be cut off. If the fish is to be baked, the head and tail are left on, but the eyes removed. The body is opened by cutting from the gills along the front to the tail, the entrails removed, the inside cleaned, scraped, and washed out with cold water, and the fish then wiped dry.

To skin a fish the fins should be removed and the skin slit along the back and around the head and tail. The hand should be dipped in salt to keep it from slipping. The skin is then loosened below the head and drawn from the head down to the tail on one side of the body and then drawn from the other side of the body.

To bone a fish it should first be cleaned and skinned as directed. One should then begin at the tail and with a sharp knife under the flesh close to the backbone follow the bone its entire length, making as clean a cut as possible. This removes the flesh from one side of the fish. The fish may then be turned and the flesh removed from the other side, and any small bones that remain may be picked out.

Methods Of Cooking Fish

Boiled Fish

To boil small whole fish: (1) Clean the fish, leaving the head, tail, and fins, but removing the eyes; (2) weigh it; (3) place it on a rack in a fish kettle or coil it in a frying basket, and place it in an iron kettle; (4) cover it with warm water (Boiling water causes the flesh to contract and crack; cold water draws out the juices. Salmon, however, must be plunged in boiling water to preserve the color); (5) for each 2 quarts of water add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice; (6) bring the water quickly to the boiling point; (7) simmer the fish until it is done, allowing from 5 to 8 minutes to the pound according to the thickness of the flesh; or cook it until the flesh will separate from the bones; (8) drain it; (9) remove it to a folded napkin on a hot platter; (10) garnish it with parsley and lemon.

To boil pieces of fish cut from a large fish: (1) Clean the fish; (2) wrap it in a piece of cheese-cloth and tie it; (3) proceed as in boiling whole fish.

Court bouillon is used for boiling fresh water fish that have little flavor. Brown in 1 tablespoon of fat, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped onion, 1 stalk of celery; add 2 quarts of hot water, 1 cup vinegar, 3 peppercorns, 3 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and any fish trimmings; strain the liquid before putting the fish into it.

Table XXXIV. - Fish That May Be Boiled, And Sauces, Garnishes, And Vegetables Suitable For Each

And Vegetables Suitable For Each

Fish

Sauce

Garnish

Vegetables

Haddock.....

Egg

Parsley, cress

Potato balls

Salmon......

Tartar

Cress

Asparagus, carrots

Hollandaise

Lemon

French beans

Egg

Parsley

Rice

Halibut......

Bechamel

Cress

Potato croquettes

Hollandaise

Parsley

Tomatoes, green salad

Cod.........

Butter

Mashed potatoes

Caper

Carrots

Shrimp

Turnips

Oyster

Beets, greens

Mackerel.....

Caper Parsley

Flounder.....

Bechamel

Chopped parsley

Carrots, turnips

Trout.....

Horse-radish

Sole........

Bechamel

Carrots, spinach

Baked Fish

To bake whole dry fish: (1) Clean the fish, leaving the head and tail on, but removing the eyes; (2) stuff the fish with any fish stuffing desired; (3) sew up the fish; (4) place the fish on a greased rack or fish sheet in a fish pan or if these are not obtainable, place buttered strips of cheese-cloth under the fish, by means of which the fish may be lifted from the pan without being broken; (5) truss the fish in the shape of the letter S, doing this by a means of a long skewer thrust through it from head to tail; (6) cut three gashes on each side of the fish; (7) insert a thin slice of salt pork in each gash; (8) dust the fish with salt and pepper; (9) sprinkle it with flour; (10) put it in a hot oven, and bake it, allowing 15 minutes for each pound; (11) baste it frequently; (12) remove the fish to a hot platter; (13) remove the slices of pork; (14) fill the gashes with parsley; (15) garnish the fish with lemon; (16) strain the fat to be used as a foundation for sauce.

To bake fat fish: Proceed as for dry fish, but omit the pork.

Table XXXV. - Fish That May Be Baked Whole, And Sauces, Garnishes, And Vegetables Suitable For Each

Fish

Sauce

Garnish

Vegetable

Haddock............

Drawn butter

Egg

Hollandaise

Lemon Parsley

Mashed potatoes

Bluefish.............

Shrimp

Potato balls Lemon Parsley Cucumber

Cod.................

Oyster

Mackerel............

Lemon

Shad................

Lemon juice

Tomatoes Lemon

Mashed potatoes

Sea bass.............

Tomato

Parsley

Tomatoes

Tile fish.............

Maitre d'hotel

Parsley

Lemon juice

To bake cutlets and fillets: (1) Wipe the fish dry; (2) dust it with salt and pepper; (3) season it with lemon juice, if desired; (4) sprinkle it with bits of butter; (5) add 1/2 cup of water or other liquid; (6) place the fish in a hot oven allowing from 5 to 8 minutes for each pound, according to the thickness of the fish.

Table XXXVI. - Fish That May Be Baked In Steaks, Cutlets, Or Fillets, With Sauces, Garnishes And Vegetables Suitable For Each

Fish

Sauce

Garnish

Vegetables

Halibut........

Hollandaise

Tomato

Brown

Puree of peas

Tomatoes

Oysters

Potato balls

Haddock

. Oyster

Lemon

Onions

Salmon

Bernaise

Parsley Shrimps

Flounder.......

Bercy

Sifted egg yolk

Green peas, potatoes

Cusk...........

. Lemon juice

Horse mackerel. .

Lemon juice

Tile............

Tomato

Broiled Fish

To broil fish whole: (1) Clean the fish; (2) split large fish down the back, but do not split small fish; (3) if desired, remove the head and the tail;

(4) brush the fish with melted butter or oil seasoned with salt and pepper;

(5) place the fish, flesh side down on a well-greased broiler; (6) cook it for from 10 to 20 minutes according to the thickness of the fish, turning it often; (7) if the fish is thick, place the dripping pan under the broiler, and baste the fish with butter once or twice during the cooking and finish the cooking in the oven; (8) carefully separate the fish from the broiler, and slide it on to a hot platter; (9) spread it with maltre d'hotel butter.