Smear some tissue Manila paper with butter. Clean the fish, leaving head and fins on. Season with salt and Cayenne pepper. Roll each fish separately in a piece of the buttered paper. Place the fish in a pile and envelop them in a large sheet of paper. Then wrap the bundle in a newspaper, and dip this in water for five minutes, or long enough to saturate the newspaper. Scrape a hole in the middle of a bed of coals, and bury the package in the embers. Leave it there ten to twenty minutes, depending upon size. The newspaper will scorch, but the inner wrappers will not. The result is a dish fit for Olympus. (Up Be Graff).
None but fish of good size should be boiled. If the fish is started in cold water and not allowed to boil hard, it will be less likely to fall apart, but the flavor will not be so good. It is better to wrap the fish in a clean cloth and drop it into boiling water well salted. A tablespoonful of vinegar, or the juice of a lemon, improves the dish. Leave the head on, but remove the fins. Boil very gently until the flesh will easily part from the bones. Time depends on species; from eight to ten minutes per pound for thick fish, and five minutes for small ones.
Boiled fish require considerable seasoning and a rich sauce, or at least melted butter, to accompany them. Besides vinegar or lemon, onions, carrots, cloves, etc., may be used in the water. Recipes for sauces follow. (See also pages 63 and 80).
2 heaped tablespoonfuls butter. 1 heaped tablespoonful flour. 1 teaspoon ful salt. 1/8 teaspoonful pepper.
Put the butter in a cold pan, and rub into it the flour, salt, and pepper, beating well. Then pour on a scant half-pint boiling water. Cook two minutes. Use immediately.
2 tablespoonfuls butter.
2 heaped tablespoonfuls flour. 1 pint milk.
1/2 teaspoon ful salt. 1/8 teaspoonful pepper.
Cook butter until it bubbles. Add flour, and cook thoroughly. Remove from direct heat of fire, but let it simmer, and add the milk in thirds, rubbing into a smooth paste each time as it thickens. Season last.
Cold fish that has been left over is good when heated in this sauce. It can be served thus, or baked and some chopped pickles sprinkled over the top.
Make a white sauce as above, add a teaspoonful of curry powder, and some pickles, chopped small, with a little of the vinegar.
3 tablespoonfuls sugar. 1/2 pint milk.
1 scant tablespoonful butter.
Put the milk, sugar, and thin rind of the lemon into a pan and simmer gently ten minutes. Then add the juice of the lemon and the butter rolled in flour. Stir until butter is dissolved and strain or pour off clear.