Those kings of the New Orleans French Market, the Red Snapper and the Redfish, are used in making the pride and glory of the New Orleans cuisines, a good Courtbouillon. More generally and with finer results the Redfish or Poisson Rouge is used. This Fish may always be known by the single spot on the tail. The old Creoles have a tradition that this was the fish that the Apostles brought to the Savior when he performed his great miracle of the loaves and the fishes. They hand down the quaint legend that the Savior took up this fish between his fingers and blessed it, and it was ever after a marked fish in the waters, the imprint of the Lord’s fingers having remained on the spot where He held up the fish and blessed it and offered it to His Father. They hold the Redfish in reverent veneration, and never fail to tell the little children when cooking it: “Those are the marks of the Lord’s hand.”
To make a real Courtbouillon slice the Redfish in fine, clear-cut pieces, after having thoroughly washed and cleaned it. Make a Roux by putting two tablespoonfuls of lard in a deep pan or kettle. When hot add gradually two tablespoonfuls of flour, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Throw in about ten or twelve well-mashed allspice, and three sprigs each of chopped thyme, parsley, bay leaf and sweet marjoram, one clove of garlic and one large onion, chopped very fine. Add tomatoes. Pour in one glass of good Claret, add about one quart of water, and let it boil well. Then add salt and Cayenne to taste, and when this has boiled about five minutes add the Fish, putting in slice by slice. Add the juice of a lemon, and let all boil about ten minutes. Serve with French-Fried Potatoes.
A Courtbouillon of Red Snapper is made in the same way.