Small John Dories Baked

Author’s Receipt—good


We have found these fish when they were too small to be worth cooking in the usual way, excellent when quite simply baked in the following manner, the flesh being remarkably sweet and tender, much more so than it becomes by frying or broiling. After they have been cleaned, dry them in a cloth, season the insides slightly with fine salt, dredge a little flour on the fish, and stick a few very small bits of butter on them, but only just sufficient to prevent their becoming dry in the oven; lay them singly on a flat dish, and bake them very gently from fourteen to sixteen minutes. Serve them with the same sauce as baked soles.

When extremely fresh, as it usually is in the markets of the coast, fish thus simply dressed au four is preferable to that more elaborately prepared by adding various condiments to it after it is placed in a deep dish, and covering it with a thick layer of bread crumbs, moistened with clarified butter.

The appearance of the John Dories is improved by taking off the heads, and cutting away not only the fins but the filaments of the back.