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tench In A Baking Dish


This is an excerpt from The Neapolitan recipe collection
(Italy, 15th c - T. Scully, trans.)
The original source can be found at University of Michigan Digital General Collection

Tench in a Baking Dish. Get a good three-pound tench, scrape it until it becomes white, and remove its teeth; get ten walnuts, half a quatrino of parsley, marjoram, a little mint, a chick-pea-sized amount of garlic and a lot of pepper, and grind everything together with saffron, a little oil, unground raisins and the tench's liver; when you have ground it all up, push the mixture through the tench's throat-but first remove its insides through its mouth with some sort of hook that will not break the gallbladder; alternatively, open it slightly near its head and put in the filling through the opening; then set it in a baking dish large enough for the tench and boil it with half a beaker of vinegar, half a beaker of verjuice and two beakers of water with an ounce of must syrup, more or less depending on whether you want it sweet; add in whole raisins, plums, sour cherries and an onion fried in good oil; at the end get chopped parsley, mint and marjoram, and add them in for a boiling; remove the tench from the baking dish, put it in a small plate with good spices and lemon juice, and serve it with everything that was in the baking dish.

If the tench is small, fry it.

Those that are between one-half and one pound, split them along the spine and fry them; [serve them] garnished with orange [juice] or verjuice.

Moreover, you can cook a large tench on the grill, making for it the filling described above in the Three-Pound Tench [first paragraph, above]; make a basting sauce for it of vinegar, pepper, salt and saffron, cooking it slowly and using a sprig of rosemary to baste it often with that sauce.

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