A Lenten dainty particularly suited to the home luncheon table
For a simple home lunch, an attractive dish is made in the following way:
Take stale bread cut into three-inch cubes; then hollow them out so that a box is shaped. Butter these well outside and in, and put in a hot oven to brown and crisp. The bread used should not be very stale, nor should it be left in the oven long enough to dry through.
Make a pate sauce of any fish that the fancy will suggest; any fish that has been left from another meal will do. or buy fresh for the purpose. If fresh fish is used, boil it until perfectly tender, then let it cool and shred it up fine, leaving no bone in it.
Make a rich bechamel sauce and have it a little thicker than usual; add the shredded fish, fill the boxes and serve with a little sprig of parsley or add bread crumbs and brown in a fiery oven for an instant. Use as flavoring lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce, red pepper, paprika, salt to taste. Sometimes wine may be added, and to the lover of cheese, the whole dish may be changed by grating fresh dairy cheese over the top of the boxes when filled and then browned.
As to the kinds of fish that may be used: Chopped oysters, scallops or clams are delicious; shredded cod, blue or white fish. shad, porgies, smelts, catfish, salmon or even halibut left from steaks served at the previous meal all make good filling. Lobster, crab, shrimps and turtle make the dish still different and increase the field of choice and variety.
The fish box is a success if the box has been properly made, and the bechamel sauce is good — but there is the trouble. We do not make good sauces; we are afraid to try our hand at them. Make a trial of your skill with bechamel. It is a standard sauce and can be flavored to meet different occasions.