CRAYFISH BISQUE: A CREOLE DISH
(La Cuisine Creole, 1885)
Parboil the fish, pick out the meat, and mince or pound it in a mortar until very fine; it will require about fifty crayfish.
Add to the fish one-third the quantity of bread soaked in milk, and a quarter of a pound of butter, also salt to taste, a bunch of thyme, two leaves of sage, a small piece of garlic and a chopped onion. Mix all well and cook ten minutes, stirring all the time to keep it from growing hard.
Clean the heads of the fish, throw them in strong salt and water for a few minutes and then drain them. Fill each one with the above stuffing, flour them, and fry a light brown.
Set a clean stewpan over a slow fire, put into it three spoonfuls of lard or butter, a slice of ham or bacon, two onions chopped fine; dredge over it enough flour to absorb the grease, then add a pint and a-half of boiling water, or better still, plain beef stock.
Season this with a bunch of thyme, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.
Let it cook slowly for half an hour, then put the heads of the crayfish in and let them boil fifteen minutes. Serve rice with it.