Soak the fish for twenty-four to thirty hours in cold water, according to its dryness, before cooking, changing the water frequently, or better still leave the fish in a basin with the skin side uppermost, and let the water from the tap drip on it continually. When ready to cook, place it in a fish kettle with a drainer, or in a pan with a plate or dish under it, and cover it well with cold milk and water, or plain water. Let it come very steadily to the boil, and remove the scum as it rises; let the pan remain at the side of the stove for five or ten minutes more, taking care the fish does not boil fast, or it will break and become tough. When ready to serve take it up carefully, dish it on a neatly folded napkin or dish-paper, lightly brush the fish over with a little butter carefully melted, or pour just a little over the fish. Garnish with parsnips (see below), picked and blanched parsley, and the halves of hot hard-boiled yolks of egg. Hand round egg sauce, brown bread and butter, and quarters of lemon. If served à la Russe the parsnips and garnish should be handed in a separate dish. Allow a quarter of a pound of fish to each person.
Parsnips for Garnish
Peel and well wash the parsnips, and cut them crosswise in one and a quarter inch lengths; peel these pieces round so as only to get the tender outside part, cut them in Julienne strips, blanch them, strain, and rinse them well in cold water. Put them in a pan with boiling water, a little salt, and the juice of a lemon; boil gently for twenty to thirty minutes, taking care the parsnip is kept well under water, strain off the water, mix in a pat of warmed butter, a tablespoonful of little picked and blanched parsley leaves; put the parsnip in pretty neat bunches here and there round the salt fish with the halves of the hot hard-boiled eggs. These should be boiled for seven minutes.