Easy Fish Recipes, Cooking Fish
In selecting fish, choose those fish in which the eye is full and
prominent, the flesh thick and firm, the scales bright and fins
stiff. They should be well cleaned before cooking.
Ways of Cooking Fish
The usual ways of cooking fish are boiled,
fried and occasionally stewed.
Steaming fish (see steamed fish recipe) is much superior
to boiling, but the ordinary conveniences in most kitchens do not
admit of the possibility of enjoying this delicate way of cooking
fish. Large fish are generally boiled, mid sized ones baked or boiled,
the smaller kinds fried or broiled. Very big fish, such as cod,
(cod fish recipes) halibut (see
halibut recipes), etc., are cut
in steaks or slices for frying or broiling.
The heads of some fish, as the cod, halibut, etc., are considered
tidbits by many. Small fish, or pan fish, as they are ordinarily called, are
served without the heads, with the exception of brook trout and smelts; these are ordinarily
cooked whole, with the heads on.
Baking & Boiling
Bake fish slowly, basting often with butter and water. Salmon
is considered the most nutritious of all fish. When boiling fish,
by adding a bit of vinegar and salt to the water, it seasons and
prevents the nutriment from being drawn out; the vinegar acting
on the water hardens the water.
Seasoning & Garnishing
Fill the fish with a well prepared stuffing of rolled cracker
or stale bread crumbs, seasoned with butter, pepper, salt, sage
and any other aromatic herbs fancied; sew up; wrap in a well floured
cloth, tied closely with twine, and boil or steam. The garnishes
for boiled fish are: for turbot, fried smelts; for other boiled fish,
parsley, sliced beets, lemon or sliced boiled egg. Do not use the
knives, spoons, etc., that are used in cooking fish, for other food,
as they will likely give a fishy flavor.
Use of Water in Boiling
Fish to be boiled should be put into cold water and set on the
stove to cook very gently, or the outside will break before the
inner part is done. Unless the fish are small, they should never
be put into warm water; nor should water, either hot or cold, be
poured on to the fish, as it is liable to break the skin; if it
should be necessary to add a bit of water while the fish is cooking,
it ought to be poured in gently at the side of the cooking vessel.
Fish to be broiled should lie, after they are dressed, for 2
or three hours, with their inside well sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Salt fish should be soaked in water before boiling, according to
the time it has been in salt. When it is hard and dry, it will require
36 hours soaking before it is dressed, and the water must be changed
three or four times. When fish is not very salty, 24 hours, or even
one night, is enough.
Tips for Frying Fish
When frying fish the stove must be hot sufficient to bring the fat
to such a degree of heat as to sear the surface and make it impervious
to the fat, and at the same time seal up the rich juices. As soon
as the fish is browned by this sudden application of heat, the pan
may be moved to a cooler place on the stove, that the process may
be finished more slowly.
Most of the smaller fish are ordinarily fried. Clean well, cut off
the head, and, if quite big, cut out the backbone, and slice the
body crosswise into 5 or 6 pieces; season with salt and pepper.
Dip in Indian meal or wheat flour, or in beaten egg, and roll in
bread or fine cracker crumbs — trout and perch should not be dipped
in meal; put into a thick bottomed iron frying pan, the flesh side
down, with hot lard or drippings; fry slowly, turning when lightly
The following method may be thought better: Dredge the
pieces with flour; brush them over with beaten egg; roll in bread
crumbs, and fry in hot lard or drippings sufficient to cover, the
same as frying crullers. If the fat is piping hot, the fish will fry
without absorbing it, and it will be palatably cooked. When browned
on one side, turn it over in the fat and brown the other, draining
when done. This is a particularly good way to fry slices of big
fish. Serve with tomato sauce; garnish with slices of lemon.
Fat in which fish has been fried is just as good to use again for
the same purpose, but it should be kept by itself and not put to
any other use.
Other Fish Recipes
Shell Fish - Oysters, Lobsters, Clams, Crabs, & Frogs