Before sending a baked fish to table, take out the skewer. When done, it should have a handsome brown crust. If pork is disliked, it may be omitted altogether, and a tablespoonful of butter substituted in the stuffing. Basting should be done as often as once in ten minutes, else the skin will blister and crack. Where the fish is large, it will be better to sew the body together after stuffing, rather than to use a skewer. The string can be cut and removed before serving.
If any is left, it can be warmed in the remains of the gravy, or, if this has been used, make a gravy of one cup of hot water, thickened with one teaspoonful of flour or corn-starch stirred smooth first in a little cold water. Add a tablespoonful of butter and any catchup or sauce desired. Take all bones from the fish; break it up in small pieces, and stew not over five minutes in the gravy. Or it can be mixed with an equal amount of mashed potato or bread-crumbs, a cup of milk and an egg added, with a teaspoonful of salt and a saltspoonful of pepper, and baked until brown—about fifteen minutes—in a hot oven.
General directions have already been given. All fish must boil very gently, or the outside will break before the inside is done. In all cases salt and a little vinegar, a teaspoonful each, are allowed to each quart of water. Where the fish has very little flavor, Dubois’ receipt for boiling will be found exceedingly nice, and much less trouble than the name applied by professional cooks to this method—au court bouillon—would indicate. It is as follows:—
Mince a carrot, an onion, and one stalk of celery, and fry them in a little butter. Add two or three sprigs of parsley, two tablespoonfuls of salt, six pepper-corns, and three cloves. Pour on two quarts of boiling water and one pint of vinegar, and boil for fifteen minutes. Skim as it boils, and use, when cold, for boiling the fish. Wine can be used instead of vinegar; and, by straining carefully and keeping in a cold place, the same mixture can be used several times.