Baked Pike

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The easiest and at the same time the safest manner for removing the scales from any kind of fresh-water fish is to lay it in the sink, to pour boiling water from the spout of a kettle over both sides of the fish, and then as soon as—through the action of the scalding-hot water— the brightness of the scales of the fish has become dulled, immerse the fish in cold water, and you will then find it an easy matter to remove the scales with a blunt knife, or even with the fingers : and thus the pike being scaled, drawn, and washed clean, fill the inside with veal stuffing; truss it in the form of an S; put it in a baking-dish with a pint of common wine, or cyder, or a little stock; half a pound of butter, a glass of catsup, a little anchovy, and some chopped parsley and shalot; set the pike in the oven to bake until it is done, remembering that it must bo frequently basted with its own liquor, and that the heat of the oven must not be fierce, as in that case it would burn up the moisture and spoil the fish.

When thoroughly done through, lift the pike carefully on to the dish, with two fish-slices; strain the liquor it has been baked with into a stewpan; thicken it with two ounces of butter kneaded with two ounces of flour; add a spoonful of Oude sauce (to be had in greatest perfection at Crosse and Blackwell's warehouse, Soho-square), a few sliced gherkins, and a glass of sherry; stir the sauce over the fire for ten minutes, pour it over the fish, and send to table.

Small pike may also be cut up and stewed in similar manner to eels, carp, &c.; larger fish of this kind may be cut in thin slices, which, being placed in very cold pump water, will by that means become crimped, providing that the fish be nearly alive.

When treated in this manner, crimped slices of pike form a great luxury; and may bo served when boiled, or fried, as prescribed for dressing crimped cod, with every variety of sauce directed to be served with cod-fish or salmon.

No. 277