TO FRY FISH
(Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, 1861)
For this purpose you must have some kind of fat. Either lard, butter, or dripping fat, would be excellent; but they must be bought, and cost a little money. True; but then, if you can afford yourselves a bit of meat occasionally, by dint of good thrift you should save the fat from the boiled meat, or the dripping from your baked meats, and thus furnish yourselves with fat for frying your fish twice a-week; and let me tell you that by introducing fish as an occasional part of your daily food, your health, as well as your pockets, would feel the benefit of such a system of economy. Suppose, then, that you have bought some cheap kind of fish, such as herrings, large flounders, plaice, small soles, or any other small or flat fish. First of all, let the fish be washed and wiped dry, and rubbed all over with a little flour.
Next, put about two ounces of fat, free from water, in a frying-pan on the tire, and, as soon as it is hot, put the fish in to fry, one or two at a time, according to their size, as, unless they have room enough in the frying-pan they do not fry well; this must be carefully attended to, and when the fish is a little browned on one side, turn it over with a tin fish-slice, that it may be fried on the other side also; and, as soon as done, place the fried fish on a dish and then fry the others.
When all your fish are fried, with what fat remains in the pan fry some onions, and place them round the fish, and, by way of adding an extra relish to your meal, just throw a few table-spoonfuls of vinegar, some pepper and salt, into the frying-pan, give it a boil up, and pour this round the fish.