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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/245

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139.—BOUILLABAISSE. (Another Method.)

Ingredients.—3 pints of fish stock, 1 Spanish onion, 2 tablespoonfuls of salad oil, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, the yolks of 2 eggs, 2 ozs. of crême de riz (or rice-flour), 1 glass of white wine (if liked), salt and pepper, fillets of fried fish.

Method.—Slice the onion finely and fry until golden brown in the salad oil. Stir in the crême de riz, add the stock, and stir until it boils; remove the scum as it rises, then cover, simmer gently for ½ an hour, and rub through a tammy-cloth or fine hair sieve. Return to the saucepan, and bring nearly to boiling point. Beat the yolks of eggs, add to them the cream, strain into the soup, and stir by the side of the fire until the soup thickens slightly, but without boiling, or it may curdle. Add the wine, and season to taste. Have ready some SMALL fillets of sole, turbot, cod, or other white fish, fried in a little salad oil; place them in the tureen and pour the soup over them. Serve with fried croûtons, and cut lemon.

Time.—About 1 hour. Average Cost, From 1s. 9d. to 2s. per quart. Seasonable at any time. Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

140.—CRAYFISH SOUP. (Fr.Bisque d'Ecrevisses.)

Ingredients.—20 to 30 crayfish, 2 boned anchovies, 4 ozs. of butter of rice, 1 French dinner roll, 1 small onion, 2 cloves, 2 quarts of fish stock, ¼ of a pint of milk, about ¼ of a pint of cream, 1 teaspoonful of lemon-juice, salt and pepper.

Method.—Remove the gut from the centre fin of the tail of each crayfish. Shell the fish, and pound the shells, half the tails, and the anchovies, in the mortar, with the butter. Place the pounded materials in a stewpan, stir until hot, then add the rice, previously washed and drained, the onion and cloves. Fry for about 15 minutes, then pour in the stock, bring to the boil, and simmer until the rice is tender. Meanwhile soak the crumb of the French roll in the milk until soft and add it to the soup. When the rice is sufficiently cooked rub the soup through a tammy-cloth or fine sieve, and return it to the stewpan. Re-heat, season to taste, add the lemon-juice, cream, and the remainder of the crayfish tails. Serve with croûtons of fried or toasted bread.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, 3s. Seasonable all the year. Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.

The Crayfish or Crawfish (Fr.: Écrevisse), or river lobster, is a long-tailed, ten-footed crustacean resembling the lobster, and similar to it in its habits. It was considered a delicacy by the Greeks and Romans, and was eaten by them seasoned with pepper and other condiments. Crayfish are best preserved alive by keeping them in baskets with fresh grass or plants such as the nettle, or in a vessel containing only a slight depth of water. As the crayfish requires a quantity of air, the water should be frequently renewed.