Recipe: Bake Fish

Good-sized FISH, that is, FISH weighing 4 or 5 pounds, are usually baked. When prepared by this method, FISH are very satisfactory if they are spread out on a pan, flesh side up, and baked in a very hot oven with sufficient fat to flavor them well. A FISH of large size, however, is especially delicious if its cavity is filled with a stuffing before it is baked.
When a FISH is to be stuffed, any desired stuffing is prepared and then filled into the FISH in the manner shown in Fig. 18. With the cavity well filled, the edges of the FISH are drawn together over the stuffing and sewed with a coarse needle and thread, as Fig. 19 shows.
Whether the FISH is stuffed or not, the same principles apply in its baking as apply in the ROASTing of meat; that is, the heat of a quick, hot oven sears the flesh, keeps in the juices, and prevents the loss of flavor, while that of a slow oven causes the loss of much of the flavor and moisture and produces a less tender dish.

Often, in the baking of FISH, it is necessary to add fat. This may be done by putting fat of some kind into the pan with the FISH, by spreading strips of bacon over the FISH, or by larding it. In the dry varieties of FISH, larding, which is illustrated in Fig. 20, proves very satisfactory, for it supplies the substance in which the FISH is most lacking. As will be observed, larding is done by inserting strips of bacon or salt PORK that are about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick into gashes cut into the sides of the FISH.

Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3
Volume 3: Soup; Meat; Poultry and Game; Fish and Shell Fish (Year 1928)