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Old-time cookbook lauds fish as meat alternative

This week's recipes include Baked Salmon, Creamed Fish and Fish Loaf.
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

Authors of the 1923 Purity Flour Cookbook did not ignore “fish” when putting together recipes and meal preparation ideas.

“Fish is an important part of our food supply. It is not so nourishing as meat but if properly cooked it is more easily digested. Fish is usually served for variety and makes a nice change from meats and has the advantage of taking less time to cook,” says the fish introduction.

Because of there being so many fish varieties and so many ways of preparing it, “we should have no trouble in making an attractive dish.”

This week’s recipes are provided from this 100-year-old cookbook.

• • •

Baked Salmon

  • 4 lbs. salmon
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 pint bread crumbs
  • 4 tbsps. butter, melted
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 tbsps. grated onion
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup raw oysters, finely chopped
  • slices of bacon

Have a four-pound salmon or other fish. Wash it thoroughly and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. salt. Put in the ice box (refrigerator) and leave there for two hours.

Make a stuffing of crumbs, parsley, grated onion, salt and pepper, and chopped oysters.

Fill the body of the fish with the stuffing, sew up the opening and skewer.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with slices of bacon and bake in a hot oven until flaky.

• • •

Creamed Fish

  • 2 cups cold fish, any kind
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. onion juice
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • 2 tbsps. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup fine crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper

Make a sauce by creaming the flour and butter and adding to the hot milk. Place in the top of a double boiler and add the salt, pepper, onion juice and bay leaf. Stir until as thick as cream.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with some of the cold fish, flaked. Pour half the sauce over the fish. Place another layer of fish and the remainder of the sauce.

Sprinkle all the crumbs over the sauce and brown in a moderately hot oven. Serves 6.

• • •

Fish Loaf

  • 2 cups cold flaked fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup soft, fine bread crumbs
  • seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, curry, anchovy or Worcestershire sauce

Add bread crumbs to the flaked fish. Stir in beaten eggs and seasonings and mix well.

Place in a greased mould, cover and steam for 30 minutes. Serve hot with scrambled eggs.

Joyce Walter can be reached at


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