To make a Bisque of Carps

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Accomplisht Cook

By Robert May

Published 1660

  • About


Take twelve handsome male carps, and one larger than the rest, take out all the milts, and flea the twelve small carps, cut off their heads, take out their tongues, and take the fish from the bones, then take twelve large oysters and three or four yolks of hard eggs minc’d together, season it with cloves, mace, and salt, make thereof a stiff searse, add thereto the yolks of four or five eggs to bind, and fashion it into balls or rolls as you please, lay them into a deep dish or earthen pan, and put thereto twenty or thirty great oysters, two or three anchoves, the milts & tongues of the twelve carps, half a pound of fresh butter, the liquor of the oysters, the juyce of a lemon or two, a little white wine, some of the corbolion wherein the great carp is boil’d, & a whole onion, so set them a stewing on a soft fire, and make a soop therewith. For the great carp you must scald, draw him, and lay him for half an hour with other carps heads in a deep pan, with as much white wine vinegar as will cover and serve to boil him & the other heads in, then put therein pepper, whole mace, a race of ginger, slic’t nutmeg, salt, sweet herbs, an onion or two slic’t, & a lemon; when you have boiled the carps pour the liquor with the spices into the kettle where you boil him, when it boils put in the carp, and let it not boil too fast for breaking, after the carp hath boil’d a while put in the heads, and being boil’d, take off the liquor and let the carps and the heads keep warm in the kettle till you go to dish them. When you dress the bisk take a large silver dish, set it on the fire, lay therein slices of French bread, and steep it with a ladle full of the corbolion, then take up the great carp and lay him in the midst of the dish, range the twelve heads about the carp, then lay the fearse of the carp, lay that into the oysters, milts, and tongues, and pour on the liquor wherein the fearse was boil’d, wring in the juyce of a lemon and two oranges, and serve it very hot to the table.