FISH A LA CREME.
(Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, 1884)
Four to six pounds of fish, one to one and a half pints of cream sauce, and one cup of cracker crumbs, moistened in one third of a cup of melted butter.
This is one of the most attractive and convenient methods of serving any kind of dry white fish, — cod, haddock. or cusk.
Clean the fish; cook in boiling salted water with one tablespoonful of vinegar till the flesh separates easily.
Drain, and when cool remove the skin and bones, and pick apart in flakes. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper.
Make a rich white sauce. Put a layer of fish on a platter suitable for serving. Cover with the white sauce, letting the fish soak up all it will; then arrange another layer of fish and sauce.
Moisten cracker crumbs in melted butter, and spread over the top with a fork. Set the platter in the oven over a pan of hot water, to keep the platter from cracking, and bake till the crumbs are brown.
Garnish with parsley.
The whites of two or three eggs, beaten stiff and salted, are sometimes used in the place of crumbs, but are not so palatable. Two or three tablespoonfuls of grated cheese may be mixed with the crumbs, if you like the flavor.
The sauce may be mixed with the fish; but be careful not to mash the fish or get it too moist. Then the fish may be piled on the platter, higher and broader at one end and giving the outline of a flat fish; or arranged in the form of a fish shaped like the letter S, and covered with the crumbs. Or, if the fish be not broken in boiling, take it up carefully on the drainer, remove the head, skin, and small bones from one side, put a platter over the fish and invert platter and fish together; then remove the skin and the backbone from the other side, leaving the fish as whole as possible. Cover with the sauce and crumbs, and bake as above. This is not so desirable as the first method, because some fine bones are liable to be overlooked, and the sauce is not so well mixed with the fish.