Fish to be broiled are split down the back. After being washed and well dried, they should be rubbed with oil or butter, or the skin floured, to keep from sticking. The broiler should be made hot and greased with a piece of salt pork before the fish is laid on. The hot wires will sear the lines which should always show on broiled dishes. The fire must be clear and hot for small fish, more moderate for large ones, so the outside may not be burned before the inside is cooked. When there is danger of this, the broiler may be laid on a pan in the oven to complete the cooking. The broiler should be turned as often as the cook counts ten, and as the skin burns easily, it must be carefully watched. When done, the wires should be carefully raised from both sides so as not to break the meat, and the fish turned on to a hot dish and spread with butter, salt, and pepper, or better, a maitre d' hotel sauce. This sauce makes a more evenly distributed mixture. A wreath of watercresses laid around the fish makes a good garnish, and is an acceptable accompaniment to any broiled dish. Lemon is also used for garnish and flavor.
Shad, bluefish, and mackerel are most frequently cooked in this way.
Split the smelts down the back and remove the bone. Lay them on a hot broiler, which has been rubbed with suet, to prevent sticking. Broil over hot coals for two minutes on each side. Put into a dish some Bechamel sauce, and lay the broiled fish on the sauce, or they may be spread with maitre d' hotel sauce. Serve at once while very hot.