Sunday, March 6, 2016

1924 Fish Florentine Recipe

     This recipe comes from a 1924 edition of "Recipes For Everyday", a publication that was available though Crisco.  As you can imagine, Crisco is an ingredient in all of the recipes.  Now I don't have anything against Crisco, I use it when baking cakes because there really isn't a substitute but I don't want to eat it in everything everyday.

     I've looked around but can't really find when this particular recipe originated, but it still exists today albeit in a very changed form.  Most recipes today just call for fried fish with sauteed spinach and tomatoes on top.  Having made this recipe a couple of times now I can say it is the superior of the modern recipes.  Don't be scared of the seeming complication of the recipe, it's rather easy and provides for a very flavorful meal.  The original recipe simply calls for cheese and does not elaborate which type of cheese is to be used.  I've used cheddar and cream havarti in my recipes and both worked rather well so use your imagination.

Fish Florentine

For the Fish:
16oz White Fish (Halibut, Cod, Flounder etc), cut into 4 fillets
4T Water from a bottle of mushrooms
1/2C Fish Stock

For the Topping:
1 Package Frozen Spinach or 2C Spinach, Cooked
1/2C Panko Breadcrumbs
2T Butter, melted
1/4tsp Salt
2T Grated Cheese

For the Sauce:
3/4C Liquid From Cooked Fish
3/4C Whole Milk
3T Flour
3T Sunflower Oil
1/2tsp Salt
1/4tsp Paprika
1/2C Grated Cheese

In a shallow baking pan, place the fish and pour over a mixture of the mushroom juice and fish stock.  Bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, mix the breadcrumbs, butter, salt and cheese in a bowl and set aside.  When the fish is done, pour off all the liquid leaving fish in pan and reserving 3/4C for the sauce mixing in the 3/4C milk.  In a saucepan, heat the oil and mix in the flour making a roux.  Let cook over med heat until the flour starts to take a color.  Pour in the stock & milk and along with the salt and paprika and continue to whisk until sauce starts to thicken.  Add in grated cheese and stir until melted then remove from heat.  Place cooked spinach in equal amounts on top of the fish fillets then drizzle over part of the sauce reserving half.  Top with breadcrumb mixture and return to 400° oven for ten minutes until breadcrumbs are browned.  Serve with remaining sauce.

The original recipe in case you feel like dressing a whole fish and
making a stock from the bones and scraps...

1 comment:

  1. That does look quite good! Making fresh fish stock may sound like a pain but if you have, say, some white wine, onion and herbs lying around when there are leftover fish scraps, it's very easy and it can be frozen for future chowder-making if you don't want to use it right away.

    For this recipe, since fresh spinach cooks so quickly it could probably be easily substituted for frozen...and perhaps use olive oil instead of the hydrogenated Crisco. Mixing some Parmesan with the default cheese might be good too.


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