To Boil Cod Fish

Method

[In highest season from October to the beginning of February; in perfection about Christmas.]

When this fish is large the head and shoulders are sufficient for a handsome dish, and they contain all the choicer portion of it, though not so much substantial eating as the middle of the body, which, in consequence, is generally preferred to them by the frugal housekeeper. Wash the fish, and cleanse the inside, and the back-bone in particular, with the most scrupulous care; lay it into the fish-kettle and cover it well with cold water mixed with five ounces of salt to the gallon, and about a quarter of an ounce of saltpetre to the whole. Place it over a moderate fire, clear off the scum perfectly, and let the fish boil gently until it is done. Drain it well* and dish it carefully upon a very hot napkin with the liver and the roe as a garnish. To these are usually added tufts of lightly scraped horse-radish round the edge. Serve well-made oyster sauce and plain melted butter with it; or anchovy sauce, when oysters cannot be procured. The cream sauce., is also an appropriate one for this fish.

Moderate size, 20 to 30 minutes. Large, ½ to ¾ hour.

* This should be done by setting the fish-plate across the kettle for a minute or two.

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