To Fry Tench

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The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy

By Hannah Glasse

Published 1747

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Slime your Tenches, slit the Skin along the Backs, and with the Point of your Knife rise it up from the Bone; then cut the Skin across at the Head and Tail; then strip it off, and take out the Bone; then take another Tench, or a Carp, and mince the Flesh small with Mushrooms, Clives, and Parsley. Season them with Salt, Pepper, beaten Mace, Nutmeg, and a few Savory Herbs minced small. Mingle these all well together; then pound them in a Mortar, with Crumbs of Bread, as much as two Eggs soaked in Cream, the Yolks of three or four Eggs, and a Piece of Butter. When these have been well pounded, stuff the Tenches with this Farce: Take clarified Butter, put it into a Pan, set it over the Fire, and when it is hot, flour your Tenches, and put them into the Pan, one by one, and fry them brown; then take them up, lay them in a coarse Cloth before the Fire to keep hot. In the mean time, pour all the Grease and Fat out of the Pan, put in a quarter of a Pound of Butter, shake some Flour all over the Pan, keep stirring with a Spoon till the Butter is a little brown; then pour in Half a Pint of White Wine, stir it together, pour in Half a Pint of boiling Water, an Onion stuck with Cloves, a Bundle of Sweet Herbs, and a Blade or two of Mace. Cover them close, and let them stew as softly as you can for a quarter of an Hour, then strain off the Liquor, put it into the Pan again, add two Spoonfuls of Ketchup, have ready an Ounce of Truffles and Morells, boiled in Half a Pint of Water tender, pour in Truffles, Water and all, into the Pan, a few Mushrooms, and either Half a Pint of Oysters, clean washed in their own Liquor, and the Liquor and all put into the Pan, or some Crawfish; but then you must put in the Tails, and after clean picking them, boil them in Half a Pint of Water, strain the Liquor, and put into the Sauce; or take some Fish Melts and toss up in your Sauce: All this is just as you fancy.

When you find your Sauce is very good, put your Tench into the Pan; make them quite hot, then lay them into your Dish, and pour the Sauce over them. Garnish with Lemon.

Or you may for Change, put in Half a Pint of stale Beer, instead of Water. You may dress Tench just as you do Carp.