Posts Tagged ‘bass’
6 onions, large
Drippings from salt pork
5 lb. bass or cod
Whole cloves (1 or 2)
1 tbs. mushroom or tomato catsup
Oyster or other crackers
Sliced lemons (optional)
1 c. oyster liquor (juice contained in shells of fresh oysters) (optional)
Slice six large onions, and fry them in the gravy of fried salt pork. Cut five pounds of bass or cod into strips three inches long and one thick, and line the bottom of a pot with them. Scatter a few slices of onion upon them, a little salt, half a dozen black peppers, a clove or two, a pinch of thyme and one of parsley, a tablespoonful tomato or mushroom catsup, and six oysters; then comes a layer of oyster crackers, well-soaked in milk and buttered thickly. Another layer of fish, onions, seasoning, and crackers, and so on until all are used up. Cover with water, boil slowly for an hour and pour out. Serve with capers and sliced lemon. A cup of oyster liquor added to the chowder while boiling improves it.
Common Sense in the Household by Marion Harland, New York, 1871
Comment: The word “chowder” is seldom found without “clam” attached these days, but in fact it is a generic term for any sort of seafood soup. This one would seem to be so thick as to nearly qualify as a stew. This will require very careful cooking at very low heat to avoid burning the fish strips lining the bottom of the cooking vessel.
The “tomato or mushroom catsup” called for here is a more concentrated and highly spiced sauce than the versions usually found in stores today, as might be suggested by the use of only a tablespoonful to flavor this quantity of food. We have numerous recipes for both products but either one takes about six times longer to make than this chowder does, so the strongest commercial substitute sauce that can be found seems like a reasonable modification of strict historical accuracy.