Monday, January 10, 2011

Entree Fish

Original Text:
"Chop fine four whitefish, and rub them through a fine wire seive, put this in a mortar with a quarter of a pound of fresh butter, an equal quantity of bread crumbs, pound these until well mixed; season with pepper, salt and nutmeg, add three yolks of eggs, beating all for five minutes, then add two whole eggs, mix all well together; then take up in a basin, add a spoonful of cream and the juice of a lemon, next shake some flour on a clean board or slab, divide the ingredients into twelve equal parts, roll these, with the hand dipped in flour, in small oval shapes, dip in beaten eggs and place them in a frying pan with butter; when fried sufficiently dish them close together, fill the centre with cooked mushrooms or truffles, pour round some sauce of lemon and egg, and the gravy made from the bones of the fish; any kind of good fish can be cooked the same way."
Translation & Modern Redaction:
  • 8 Lbs. of Ground Whitefish
  • 8 Tbs. Butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs (seasoned or unseasoned)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • Two Eggs
  • 1 Tbs. Cream
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cups Flour

For Frying:

  • 8 Tbs. Butter (1 Stick)

Clean, bone, skin, and filet 8 pounds of whitefish. Using a large wire sieve, rub the chopped whitefish through until fine. Mix together with 8 Tbs. (1 stick) of butter & 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Add pepper, salt, and nutmeg, mixing together after each addition. Mix in 3 egg yokes and mix for 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs and mix in cream and lemon juice.

Flour a cutting board or work surface with a portion of the flour above. In a bowl, scramble 4 eggs for dipping the fish cakes. In a frying pan, melt half a stick of butter to fry the fish cakes.

Spoon out the fish mixture onto the floured board, and roll into oval cake shapes. Dip floured cakes in the egg mixture, and place in the hot frying pan. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes per side, turning twice to ensure thorough cooking. Once golden brown, and slightly raised, remove from pan. Serve hot and garnished with fresh slices or wedges of lemon.


Extremely tasty fish cakes! The nutmeg flavoring is a nice addition, and served with a lemon caper or Hollandaise sauce is a perfect addition. Original recipe states that any kind of fish could be cooked in this way, but slightly less firm fish are easier to work with. Suggestion: Whitefish, pike, orange roughy, or mahi mahi. A little lemon pepper or ground horseradish introduced with the spices would be nice additions.

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