International Styles

Easy Fish Recipes, Cooking Fish

Selecting 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, baked, broiled, 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

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.

Broiling Fish

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

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 browned.

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.

Salmon Recipes Mackerel Other Fish Recipes

See Also:

Shell Fish - Oysters, Lobsters, Clams, Crabs, & Frogs

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