Posts Tagged ‘oyster’
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.
1 young fowl
Oysters (enough to fill the cavity of the fowl)
White Sauce (if desired)
Take a young fowl, fill the inside with oysters, put it into a jar, and plunge the jar in a kettle or saucepan of water. Boil it for one hour and a half. There will be a quantity of gravy from the juices of the fowl and oysters in the jar; make it into a white sauce, with the addition of egg, cream, or a little flour and butter; add oysters to it, or serve up plain with the fowl…the dish loses nothing of its delicacy and simplicity.
From Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine, reader- contributed recipe from the issue of January, 1861.
Comment: This is perhaps the only recipe of either past or present time which we have seen call for cooking a bird in what amounts to a double boiler. The technique was used on smaller cuts of beef or poultry to produce the substance known as “meat tea,” often used as a therapeutic agent in cases of illness or injury. It is difficult to see how a bird, even a “young’ and presumably small one, can be cooked through with this procedure in the amount of time given. It would seem just as quick and a great deal safer to simply roast the creature, stuffed as indicated and with sauce made as directed with the pan juices.