This section is from the book "Progressive Cookery", by E. M. Hinckley. Also available from Amazon: Progressive Cookery.
To be good fish must be fresh. Select those with flesh firm, eyes clear, the fins stiff, the gills red and hard to open. The success of the French in preparing fish is owing to the extreme care which they take both in the buying and the treatment before cooking. After cleaning carefully, lemon juice is squeezed over the fish, then peppered, salted and strewed with powdered sweet herbs and let stand one hour before cooking. Lemon juice makes fish flaky.
Take two large mackerel or sole, have them boned. Stuffing: One dessertspoon of sifted sweet herbs, one cup of crumbs, two ounces of butter, one onion or shalot, one of chopped parsley, one of mushrooms. Spread the stuffing over the fish, season, place the other fish on top, with two ounces of butter dropped in bits over it. Put in oven, bake half an hour. When baked sprinkle with bread crumbs browned in hot butter, a little lemon juice, and serve with piquante sauce.
Fillet three flounders, season and marinate with four tablespoons of melted butter, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of chopped parsley. Poll them up, skewer, then roll in bread crumbs, then in egg, then again in dry stale bread crumbs. Fry four minutes in fat hot enough to brown a bit of bread in one minute. Serve with remoullde sauce. One flounder will cut into four fillets. To vary these, enclose an oyster or mushroom. Wooden toothpicks may be used for skewering. Marinate is to dip in melted butter. Use a wire basket to fry in.
Select six tomcods of equal size. Clean and stuff with dry stuffing. Season the outsides with salt and pepper, squeeze over it a few drops of lemon juice. Have ready six sheets of soft white paper, oiled, longer and wider than fish, put fish in center of paper. Lay on the paper one tablespoon of cooked fine herbs, lay the fish on top, spread another tablespoon of herbs and dressing on the fish, then fold the paper and turn up the edges. Serve hot in paper with Sauce Tartare.
Chop one onion, fry in two tablespoons of butter five minutes, then add double the quantity of finely minced mushrooms and a grain of garlic, season with one-half teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of pepper, and tablespoon of chopped parsley. Cook ten minutes longer and then let it cool. Remove the grain of garlic.
Fillet four flounders and sprinkle over a few drops of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, let them stand awhile. Melt three tablespoons of butter and dip the fish in. Lay in the center of the fish two large oysters, or a spoonful of California oysters. Fold the smaller end over the larger and skewer with small skewer. Dip in egg and bread crumbs and bake or fry, whichever is preferred. If baked put pieces of butter over the top. Serve with Sauce Piquante.
Take fish of suitable size, prepare as before directed, put in a fish dish, cover with olive oil, then spread thickly with slices of tomatoes; hake till skin cracks. Serve with any sauce preferred, garnish with slices of raw tomatoes and sliced egg and parsley.