Fresh cod

(Recipe #59, page 138)

Scale the cod, gut it, and remove the fins. Wash the fish and cut off the head and tail (not too close). Cut the body into pieces 1–2 inches thick. Many consider the head a delicacy; if it is not too big, cut it in half and give it a preliminary cooking for 5 minutes in heavily salted boiling water; then add the other pieces and boil for an additional 10–15 minutes, constantly skimming the foam.

As soon as the fish is done, place it on a heated platter, garnish the platter with parsley sprigs, and serve with butter (which must not boil) and mustard along with boiled potatoes. Other choices include sorrel sauce, parsley sauce, shrimp sauce, and oyster sauce. At large meals, a second sauce is served in addition to melted butter. If the fish is to be brought to the table whole, which will preserve its juiciness, place it on a fish rack in cold salted water and cook it as described over high heat. The liver’s strong fishy flavor makes it inedible.

Translated by David Green.

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