Boiled turbot

(Recipe #64, pages 139 – 140)

Turbot is considered the crown jewel of fish; many consider its head, tail, and fins the most delicious parts of the fish. Scale the turbot and eviscerate it very carefully so that the gall bladder can be separated whole from the liver. Cut out the small stones found under the skin on the black side of the fish, wash the fish with salt and water, cut off about 6 inches of the tail, and cut off the head leaving at least ½ inch of flesh around it. Each piece provides 1 portion.

Using a knife and mallet, divide the body in half lengthwise, then cut the two halves crosswise into pieces of appropriate size. Place the pieces and a handful of salt in cold water for ½ hour. Then cook them in heavily salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, removing the scum. The fish is done when a fin can be pulled off easily. If you want to serve the fish whole, boil it on a fish rack (if no rack is available tie it in a napkin) set on a plate in a kettle of cold salted water. As soon as it is done, remove the rack, drain the fish, place it on a warm platter, and garnish it with parsley.

In March and April, when sorrel is still fresh and tart, a sorrel sauce is good; otherwise serve a crayfish sauce, shrimp sauce, or a butter sauce. Thoroughly boiled potatoes with slowly melted butter, lemon juice, and mustard are also good with turbot.

Translated by David Green.

Note: Davidis provided the translation of Steinbutt as Turbot in her cookbook.-Ed.

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