Soles Stewed in Cream

Ingredients

  • soles, 3 or 4: boiled in water 2 minutes.
  • cream, ½ to whole pint
  • salt, mace, cayenne: fish stewed, 6 to 10 minutes.
  • Juice of half a lemon.

Method

Prepare some very fresh middling sized soles with exceeding nicety, put them into boiling water slightly salted, and simmer them for two minutes only; lift them out, and let them drain; lay them into a wide stewpan with as much sweet rich cream as will nearly cover them; add a good seasoning of pounded mace, little cayenne, and salt; stew the fish softly from six to ten minutes, or until the flesh parts readily from the bones; dish them, stir the juice of half a lemon to the sauce, pour it over the soles, and send them immediately to table. Some lemon-rind may be boiled in the cream, if approved; and a small teaspoonful of arrow-root, very smoothly mixed with a little milk, may be stirred to the sauce (should it require thickening) before the lemon-juice is added. Turbot and brill also may be dressed by this receipt, time proportioned to their size being of course allowed for them.

Obs.—In Cornwall the fish is laid at once into thick clotted cream, and stewed entirely in it; but this method gives to the sauce, which ought to be extremely delicate, a coarse fishy flavour which the previous boil in water prevents.

At Penzance, grey mullet, after being scaled, are divided in the middle, just covered with cold water, and softly boiled, with the addition of branches of parsley, pepper and salt, until the flesh of the back parts easily from the bone; clotted cream, minced parsley, and lemon-juice are then added to the sauce, and the mullets are dished with the heads and tails laid even to the thick parts of the back, where the fish were cut asunder. Hake, too, is there divided at every joint (having previously been scaled), dipped into egg, then thickly covered with fine bread-crumbs mixed with plenty of minced parsley, and fried a fine brown; or, the back-bone being previously taken out, the fish is sliced into cutlets, and then fried.

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