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570.—OYSTER VOL-AU-VENT. (Fr.Vol-au-Vent aux Huîtres.)

Ingredients.—1 lb. of puff-paste, 24 oysters, 2 ozs. of butter, 1 oz. of flour, the yolks of 3 eggs, ¼ of a pint of fish stock or milk (about), ½ a gill of cream, ½ a teaspoonful of lemon juice, salt and pepper, parsley.

Method.—Roll out the paste as directed in the preceding recipe. Take a large, fluted oval cutter, dip it into hot water, and stamp out 2 pieces of paste. Remove the centre of one piece of paste with a hot wet smaller cutter. Wet the edge of the piece of paste which is intact, place the ring of paste on the top of it, and brush the surface with yolk of egg. Bake in a hot oven; when done, scoop out a little of the inside, fill with the oyster mixture (see oyster patties), and decorate with a little lobster coral and parsley.

Time.—To bake, about 20 minutes. Average Cost, 3s. to 3s. 6d., exclusive of the paste. Sufficient for one vol-au-vent. Seasonable from September to April.

571.—PERCH, BOILED. (Fr.Perche bouilli.)

Ingredients.—4 perch, salt.

Method.—The peculiarity of the perch is the difficulty experienced in removing its scales. Sometimes it is boiled and the scales removed afterwards, but a better plan is to plunge the fish for 2 or 3 minutes into boiling water, and then scale it. Before boiling, the fish must be washed in warm water, cleaned, and the gills and fins removed. Have ready boiling water to cover the fish, add salt to taste, and boil them gently from 10 to 20 minutes, according to their size. Serve with Hollandaise or melted butter sauce.

Time.—10 to 20 minutes. Average Cost, 6d. to 1s. each. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable from May to February.

Note.—Tench may be boiled the same way. and served with the same suaces.

The Perch (Fr. perche).—This is one of the best and most common of fresh-water fish found in nearly all the rivers and lakes of Britain and Ireland, and the whole of Europe within the temperate zone. It is extremely voracious, and has, contrary to the usual nature of fresh-water fish of prey, the peculiarity of being gregarious. The teeth of the perch are numerous and large: its scales are ctenoid, or comb-shaped; the gill-cover and dorsal fin are furnished with spines; the tail and pectoral fins are of a bright red colour. May to the middle of July to the best season for angling for perch. Large numbers of this fish are bred and preserved in the ponds of Hampton Court and Bushey Park. The perch possesses great vitality, and will live for a considerable time out of water if its gills be kept moist. The bass is frequently called the sea-perch. The Climbing Perch of India, by a remarkable arrangement of the cells of the pharyngeal bones, which retain moisture in the gills for a considerable period, is able to migrate overland in search of a fresh supply of water when the pools in which it has been living are dried up. It progresses by means of its stiff spiny fins. The name "climbing perch" has been given to the fish from the supposition that it climbs the rough stems of the palm-trees.

572.—PERCH, FRIED. (Fr.Perche frite.)

Ingredients.—4 perch, egg, breadcrumbs, frying-fat, salt, pepper, flour.