COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTElSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
H. G. CLAYTON, DIRECTOR
BOARD OF CONTROL
George J. White, Sr., Mt. Dora Frank M. Harris, Chairman
Eli H. Fink, Jacksonville St. Petersburg
W. F. Powers, Secretary Hollis Rinehart, Miami
Tallahassee N. B. Jordan, Quincy
STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D., President of the University'
J. Wayne Reitz, Ph.D., Provost for Agriculturel
H. G. Clayton, M.S.A., Director of Extension
Marshall O. Watkins, M. Agr., Assistant Director2
F. W. Parvin, B.S.A., Assistant to the Director
Agricultural Demonstration Work, Gainesville
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor'
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editor'
L. O. Griffith, A.B.J., Assistant Editor
J. N. Joiner, B.S.A., Assistant Editor2
J. Lee Smith, District Agent
K. S. McMulien, B.S.A., District Agent
F. S. Perry, B.S.A., District Agent
H. S. McLendon, B.A., Soil Conservationist
R. S. Dennis, B.S.A., Executive Officer, P. & M. Admin.3
C. W. Reaves, B.S.A., Dairy Husbandman
N. R. Mehrhof, M. Agr., Poultry Husbandmanl
J. S. Moore, M.S.A., Poutlryman
A. W. O'Steen, B.S.A., Supervisor Egg-Laying Test, Chipley
0. F. Goen, D.V.M., Animal Husbandman
James A. McGregor, B.S., Assistant Animal Industrialist
L. T. Nieland, Farm Forester
H. G. Hamilton, Ph.D., Agricultural Economist'
Charles M. Hampson, M.S., Agricultural Economist, Farm Managementl
D. E. Timmons, M.S.A., Economist in Marketing
John M. Johnson, B.S.A., Agricultural Engineer
Fred P. Lawrence, B.S.A., Citriculturist
W. W. Brown, B.S.A., Boys' 4-H Club Agent
Joe N. Busby, B.S.A., Assistant Boys' 4-H Club Agent
A. M. Pettis, B.S.A., Farm Electrification Specialist3
John D. Haynie, B.S.A., Apiculturist
V. L. Johnson, Rodent Control Specialist3
J. Russell Henderson, M.S.A., Agronomisti
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Vegetable Crops Specialist'
Stanley E. Rosenberger, M. Agr., Asst. Veg. Crops Specialist
Forrest E. Myers, M. Agr., Assistant Veg. Crops Specialist
Home Demonstration Work, Tallahassee
Anna Mae Sikes, M.S., State Agent
Ethyl Holloway, B.S., District Agent
Mrs. Edyth Y. Barrus, B.S.H.E., District Agent
Joyce Bevis, A.M., Clothing Specialist
Mrs. Bonnie J. Carter, B.S., Home Improvement Specialist
Grace I. Neely, M.S., Asso. Economist in Food Conservation
Mrs. Gladys Kendall, A.B., Home Industries and Marketing Specialist
Lorene Stevens, B.S., Girls' 4-H Club Agent
Ruth Lemmon, B.S.H.E., Asst. Girls' 4-H Club Agent
Negro Extension Work, Tallahassee
Floy Britt, B.S.H.E., Negro District Agent
J. A. Gresham, B.S.A., Negro District Agent
SCooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
2 On leave. 3 In cooperation with U. S.
The Catch -----
How to Do It ----.--
Containers for Canning ---------
Preparation for Canning -------
Packing and Processing ....----- -
Soft-Fleshed Fish -.........- -
Firm-Fleshed Fish --------
Cooling ----- ---------- .---------------
Eat Them Bones and All ----..
Fish Chowder ------------------
Fish Roe ----------.......-------
Shrimp ...-- --------
Oysters Clams Coquina -----
Spiced Pickled Fish .. ---
Spiced Pickle Vinegar Sauce --.
Florida Fish Stew -----------.. .---
Pinebark Stew ----
Pinebark Stew 4-H Brand
Salting and Smoking Fish ----------
Salting Fish ----- ----- ---------
Smoked Fish --------- .
------------------------- -- 5
------------------------ ---------- 6
--- --- 10
--------------------- -------- 8
.---------------------- -- -- -- 8
------------------------ ---- 9
.........-. ------ 10
----. -------- 12
---------------------------- --- --- -------- 12
--. ------------ 13
Flavorsome Recipes Using Fresh or Canned Fish.. ---------------.- 16
Creamed Fish Flakes-------------------- 16
Fish Hash ....-------------- ---- 17
Oven-Cooked Fish------------------------------ 17
Fish Flake Casserole....------------------------- 17
Tomato-Fish Chowder ... ----------------.---------- 18
Smoked Fish in Milk--.....------------------------- 18
Smoked Fish Croquettes ..------------ ----------- 18
Smoked Fish Flakes Scalloped with Potatoes ....------.. -- ------- 18
Baked Smoked Fish ... --..---..------------.--.. 19
Smoked Fish with Scrambled Eggs.. ---------------.--------- 19
Smoked Fish Sandwich Spread .---..-..---------- 19
Fish Fries and Hushpuppies.. ------------ -- -..-. 19
Howell Hushpuppies .........----------------...--- 20
Good Dressings Relishes Sauces for Fish ---....-... ....- --...----- 20
Russian Dressing ..... ----------...------------------------ 20
Citrus Relish --.......--..-----..---...----- -------.-- ------------------ 20
Indian Relish Mayonnaise -----.....-..... ---------.-------- ------------- 21
Shellfish Cocktail Sauce...-...---------------------------------- 21
Tartar Sauce .....-----.----------------- -------------------- 21
References .....---------------------- ----------------- 21
FISHING' for FUN an' FOOD!
From the fishermen who set out in their boats with a
"kicker" to catch the first run of shad or a "mess" of goggle-
eyes to the small boy with his bamboo pole and line finished
with a bent pin (perhaps even playing hooky from school), this
great crowd of outdoor devotees love to go fishing-and they
like to eat their catch. They know the sweet flavor of fresh
caught fish, fried to crisp, golden brown deliciousness over a
camp fire or broiled in the home kitchen. The flavor of such
fish lingers long in the memory. We must admit that it is a
feast for a king when there comes to the table a beautifully
baked snapper or a platter of broiled crawfish or mullet, mackerel
or blue runner. He is taste-blind who would not warm to the
sweet and subtle delicacy of bass, bream or speckled perch fried
in corn meal and served with hushpuppies piping hot or eat with
gusto and grits the lowly mullet with a flavor that would delight
the great chefs of history. Let's go fishing!
ON THE COVER
The whole family enjoys fishing, whether the catch
be large or small. And in Florida there are thousands
of attractive places to fish-on lakes, streams, Gulf
or ocean. The scene on the cover is on the Panasoff-
kee River near Lake Panasoffkee.
Canning, Salting, Smoking, Cooking
BY ISABELLE S. THURSBY
Economist in Food Conservation, Retired
The supply of fish in Florida is so varied in its abundance it
would seem that nature intended it to be one of our principal
foods. From the Atlantic coast to the Gulf, from the rivers and
streams and from Florida's incomparable fresh water lakes,
comes this wide range of food fish. Mullet, mackerel, red snap-
per, grouper, bream and bass are only a few of the most common
varieties. In addition to the finny .members of water tribes,
there are also shellfish and crustaceans-shrimp and scallop,
coquina, crabs, crayfish or crawfish, turtles and terrapin. All
are of interest and of value in the diet and are table delicacies
of the highest order. All may be canned or frozen by the
careful, provident Florida family having the initiative and
Fish and shellfish furnish an excellent source of highly
digestible protein, the most essential and valuable constituent
of all fish, and have easily digested, important fats. As a rich
source of minerals and vitamins fish are among the most inter-
esting, fascinating and valuable of food products. In no case
have any foods gained more recognition as having unique dietary
value than have the fish and shellfish which the waters of
Florida, both salt and fresh, provide.
Quick freezing preserves fish in perfect condition. When
thawed and immediately cooked such fish appears on the table
in as good condition and as wholesome as though it had been
A great crowd of outdoor men and women, who love to go
fishing, often have a larger catch than can be used immediately.
This, then, is their opportunity to salt, pickle, smoke perhaps,
freeze or can this fine food for future use. Families living by
the sea or near inland lakes or rivers have sources of securing
fish at small cost. City families who spend vacations at the
beaches or lakes may find it practical to take canning equipment
with them. Then bass, mackerel, kingfish, grouper, crab, shrimp,
oysters and many other delicious, healthful, fine-flavored fish-
ery products may be preserved right at the source of supply.
6 Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Time was when people who lived near the water were the only
ones who knew the delicate, delicious flavor of fresh fish, but
canning and freezing have changed all that. Fish canned by
proper methods lends itself to a great variety of uses in savory
full-flavored stews and scallops, chowders and croquettes, sand-
wiches, salads, souffles and pastes-all appetizing and nourish-
ing and prepared at a minimum of time, effort and expense.
How to Do It
The studies made in the Bureau of Fisheries, United States
Department of the Interior, indicate that fish purchased at
average wholesale prices make the cost of home-canned pro-
ducts packed from such fish relatively higher than that of
commercially canned products. It is profitable to can fish only
when the raw material is obtained below wholesale price or
Fig. 1.-Fishing is fun for all members of the family and often provides'
wholesome food, too.
when surplus catches of little or no commercial value are avail-
able to the home canner. In many localities progressive dealers
are glad to advise when the varieties are in season and in abund-
ance. HOWEVER, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD
FISHERY PRODUCTS BE CONSIDERED FOR CANNING IF
NOT ABSOLUTELY FRESH AND IN GOOD CONDITION.
Canning must be restricted to proved varieties where it is
known definitely that the fish are edible and will result in a
product of high quality and nutritious value. Fish may be large
or small, lean or fat, but in good condition. Certain general
principles based on research and experience are followed in
canning of all fish and seafood, just as in the canning of meats.
Details of methods and processes may vary with the individual
product, but the essentials of each step must be followed care-
All fish, due to their tender, delicate structure, are damaged
easily if roughly handled. Avoid bruising the flesh in any way
or exposing the fish to sun and wind, as spoilage begins early
and progresses rapidly. It is of primary importance that all
fish, including shellfish, be handled with great care. Can or
otherwise preserve them as speedily as possible after catching.
BE CAREFUL ABOUT THE FRESHNESS AND QUALITY
OF FISH FOR CANNING. NEVER ATTEMPT TO CAN FISH
UNLESS THE PRESSURE COOKER IS IN GOOD REPAIR
AND IS HANDLED CORRECTLY.
Containers for Canning
Pint size glass jars may be used, though No. 2 tin cans
are preferable for canning most fish products. Jars with wide
mouths and short necks are more convenient for packing. Plain
tin cans may be used for most fish, but "C" enamel is suggested
for clams, coquina, crabs, shrimp, scallops and oysters. As tin
containers may be cooled rapidly, their use in canning fish is a
great advantage; over-cooking during the cooling process low-
Preparation for Canning
Fish should be thoroughly bled as soon as caught. Imme-
diate bleeding delays spoilage and improves the color of the
flesh. The blood of fish decomposes much more easily and
quickly than flesh; so if blood is removed early and carefully,
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
chance of spoilage is lessened. Cut the throat with a knife and
dress the fish as soon as possible. If the canning procedures are
to be delayed hold the cleaned fish in crushed ice. Scale or
skin, according to the type of fish. Remove head, tail, entrails
and any dark membrane. Take particular care to remove the
blood near the backbone. Wash quickly in water. The back-
bone may be left in small fish but should be removed from the
large fish and be utilized with the flesh that adheres to it.
Make a tasty, nutritious chowder of the cleaned heads, backbone,
and other usable scraps.
Cut the cleaned fish into can length pieces. Soak in brine
(made by using 1 cup of dairy salt to 1 gallon of water) 10
minutes to one hour, depending on size. This preliminary treat-
ment draws out blood, improves flavor and firms the flesh by
removing some water. It is always advisable to brine the fish in
order to take full advantage of this dehydrating effect in prep-
aration for canning. Use sufficient brine to completely cover the
fish and always make it fresh for each lot of fish.
Packing and Processing
Soft-Fleshed Fish.-Remove the fish from brine and drain.
Pack firmly but gently, filling containers flush with the top
Fig. 2.-Placid streams and lake shores abound in Florida and provide
plenty of places for fishing.
rims, alternating heads and tails in order to secure a compact
fill. Alternating skin side with flesh side too gives a more
attractive looking pack when using glass. Submerge the open
jars or tins in a kettle of hot brine (1/. cup salt to 1 gallon of
water). Bring to a boil and boil 15 minutes. Cooking in brine
furnishes a rapid and efficient method of removing additional
water from the fish, thus insuring a better fill. Remove con-
tainers, invert and drain 5 minutes. Discard the liquid. For
lean fish it is desirable to add 2 tablespoons of salad oil to each
container. This oil enriches the fish and facilitates the removal
of more shapely pieces from the container. Wipe all sealing
surfaces carefully. Process pints 100 minutes at 10 pounds
Soft-fleshed fish, like the bluefish, red snapper, mackerel
and many more, are best handled as directed above.
Firm-Fleshed Fish.-Remove from salt solution and drain
firm-fleshed fish like shad and pack solidly into wide mouth
pint jars or No. 2 tins. Add no liquid. Adjust tops, seal and
process 1 hour and 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. If tins
are used place lids loosely on filled cans. Steam tins in pressure
cooker for 15 minutes at 2120 F. without fastening cooker
cover. Remove tins, seal immediately and process 100 minutes
at 10 pounds pressure.
When very large fish are used steam them in a cooker or
bake in an oven until practically cooked. Cool for several hours
to insure firm texture and good flavor, then separate the meat
from the skin and the bones. Pack large pieces or flakes in
pint containers. Fill closely to within 1/4 inch of top. If fish
has little fat, first add 2 tablespoons of salad oil to each empty
container. Seal hot and process immediately for 90 minutes at
10 pounds pressure.
Cool all canned fish immediately and thoroughly after pro-
cessing. Plunge tins into cold water and spread glass jars apart
for free circulation of air. Then store in a cool, dark, well
Eat Them Bones and All!
Bones, in canned fish which are properly softened, may be
eaten. They are good sources of calcium and phosphorus. For
instance, shad, to many tastes, is the sweetest of fish and many
10 Florida Agricultural Extension Service
a man for love of it has risked his life--almost-upon his skill
in removing the myriads of tiny bones. When the surplus catch
is canned and the bones are softened in the pressure cooker the
shad may be enjoyed to the fullest-bones and all.
Use the backbone from large fish and the flesh that adheres
to it, the cleaned heads and other usable fish scraps for making
a valuable, nourishing fish chowder. Barely cover with cold
water and cook until meat may be separated easily from the
bones. Remove the bones from the stock. Strain stock from
the boned fish. For each pound of fish, add 4 medium onions
and 4 stalks of celery cut fine, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and
2 teaspoons of salt. Add stock and simmer until somewhat con-
centrated. Pack boiling hot into heated pint jars or No. 2 tins,
leaving 1/4 inch head space. Process immediately 45 minutes
at 10 pounds pressure. When ready to serve, milk or tomato
juice and other seasonings may be added.
The food value of this delicacy is high, particularly from
the standpoint of protein. It is provided well with vitamins and
is especially rich in iodine. As a canned product the roe of chan-
nel bass, mullet, shad and certain other fish is excellent; how-
ever, the roe of some fish is said to cause severe illness. Know
Wash and clean the roe thoroughly, taking care not to break
membranous skin. Soak from 2 to 3 hours in brine (1 cup salt
to 1 gallon water). Drain. Simmer gently in a weak brine for
5 minutes. Pack hot, seal and process roe 60 minutes at 10
Shrimp should be canned only at or very near the source
of supply'. Behead as soon as taken out of the water. By doing
this, the black streak, or so called "sand vein", is removed with
Shrimping is one of Florida's most productive industries and shrimp
the most popular of all the shellfish. Shrimping, already of large propor-
tions, received a tremendous impetus in January of 1950 when vast new
fields of shrimp were first discovered near Key West and later at other
points on the Gulf coast. This new species of shrimp is known as the pink
or coral shrimp because of its rosy color. It is jokingly referred to as
"pink gold." These shrimp are of large size, firm and of better keeping
quality than the white shrimp. Likewise they are of a more delicate flavor
and the meat is as pink before cooking as that of ordinary shrimp is after
the head. This becomes impossible if the shrimp stands more
than 30 minutes. This practice greatly improves the finished
product in quality, flavor and color. Keep in fine crushed ice
after beheading. Shrimp spoil easily and icing not only pre-
vents spoiling but makes them peel easier. Peel shrimp and
wash carefully. Cover generously with brine (1 pound salt to
1 gallon water) and boil 6 to 10 minutes, depending on size of
the shrimp. Pack at once in "C" enamel tins or pint glass jars.
Fill with weak, hot brine (1 teaspoon salt to 1 quart water)
to 1/4 inch from top of container. Exhaust tins 10 minutes. Seal
at once and process in containers, either No. 2 tins or pint jars,
45 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Cool as rapidly as practical.
When opened by hand any oysters not ABSOLUTELY
FRESH are detected and must be discarded. The shell opens
when the mollusk dies, making it easy to detect the bad ones.
Rinse each in clear cold water, taking care that no shell or grit
is adhering. Pack oysters in lacquered tins or glass jars; 16
ounces are required to fill a pint jar or No. 2 tin. Fill with boil-
ing brine (1/ cup salt to 1 quart water) to 1/ inch of top.
Exhaust tins 10 minutes. Seal at once. Either container is
processed 45 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Cool as quickly
Clams may be canned in the same manner as oysters. Dis-
card all broken or discolored clams, then wash well before shells
are opened. Can whole or minced.
Donax, the teeny, teeny clams commonly called coquina or
periwinkle, may be scooped up in all their abundance on many
Florida beaches during certain seasons of the year and between
tides and waves-that is if you are quick enough with your
colander or seive. This bivalve, in its multicolored shell, cans
more easily than the big fellows because preparation for making
the delicately-flavored, distinctive broth is so simple. They may
be washed in clean salt water to remove all sand and bits of
sea weed. Then place in a kettle, barely cover with water and
slowly bring to a boil with an occasional stir. The little clams
open their shells and season the liquid with their delicious
juices. Simmer gently several minutes after boiling point is
reached then drain from the shells.
No seasoning is needed and the broth may be served hot or
chilled. If fortunate enough to secure a surplus of coquina, the
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
broth should be filled hot into suitable pint containers, sealed
at once and processed 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.
Spiced Pickled Fish
Cut fish into container-length pieces and soak in brine (1 cup
salt to 1 gallon water) 60 minutes. Drain about 10 minutes.
Pack into pint containers rather loosely. Fill with spiced vinegar
sauce half strength (diluted with an equal amount of water).
Place in hot water to a level of 2 inches below top of container.
Bring water to a boil and boil 20 minutes. Invert containers on
a wire rack and drain for about 3 minutes. Add to each con-
tainer a slice or two of raw onion, a half bay leaf, a few mixed
spices and enough full strength fresh vinegar sauce to cover the
fish. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil or other good oil to each con-
tainer. Exhaust, seal and process immediately for 50 minutes
at 10 pounds pressure.
Spiced Pickle Vinegar Sauce
2 quarts vinegar (preferably 1 tsp. each, whole black pepper,
distilled) cloves, mustard seed, celery
1 quart water seed
1 tbsp. sugar 1 small red pepper pod
,'2 tbsp. salt 1 small clove garlic
1 whole bay leaf
Add sugar and water to vinegar. Put in spices (tied loosely
in cheesecloth) and allow mixture to simmer (never boil) for
30 minutes. Strain.
If prepared for immediate consumption and not intended
for canning, proceed as above stated. Pack cooked fish into
quart jars or other large containers with one or more raw
sliced onions between layers. Pour over it the hot liquid with
seasonings. Cover and keep in a cool place. In a few days the
liquid will form a jelly around the fish. The liquid in the recipe
is enough for one gallon of fish. If held in refrigeration, it will
keep for several weeks.
Florida Fish Stew
2 lbs. dry-meated fish (weigh 2 medium onions, minced
after it is cleaned, skinned, 2 tbsp. ripe pimientos or sweet
boned and cut in pieces as peppers, chopped
for serving) 1 tbsp. mixed spices
1 qt. canned tomatoes or 1 tbsp. lemon juice or good
6 large fresh ones vinegar
% cup good cooking oil 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley,
2 cloves finely sliced garlic salt, paprika and a little sugar
Put tomatoes into a sauce pan and season with salt, pepper,
and just a little sugar. Add spices and let simmer for 30 min-
utes. Add chopped pimiento. Let simmer until fish is ready.
In a frying pan heat 1/3 cup cooking oil and add garlic and
onion. Cook until soft but do not brown. (This is best done by
covering pan with a close-fitting lid.) Add this to tomatoes,
and if mixture is too thin, allow it to simmer until it is as thick
After fish is cleaned, boned, and skinned, cut it in service-
able pieces (about 5 to the pound), sprinkle it with salt and cook
on both sides in the remainder of oil until a light brown color.
Add lemon juice and parsley to the tomato mixture; taste it
and add more salt and paprika if needed. Add fish. If to be
served immediately, let simmer in a heavy kettle on back of
stove where it cannot stick or burn until thoroughly done. If to
be canned, pack before the final simmering into glass jars or
inside lacquered tins. Fill containers to 1/4 inch of top. Seal
boiling hot. Process No. 2 tins or pint jars 45 minutes at 10
pounds pressure; No. 3 tins or quart jars, 60 minutes at 10
pounds pressure. A delectable stew-serve over dry, fluffy rice.
(For 30 people)
This dish is popular for picnics in the South and is espe-
cially popular in Florida. A white-meated fish that is firm
when boiled is preferred; sunfish, bream or bass are frequently
1 lb. bacon 2 tbsp. salt
15 lbs. white meated fish, 1 lb. butter
dressed and split 5 cups catsup
5 lbs. diced potatoes 2 tsp. black pepper
11/ lbs. sliced onion 1 tsp. red pepper
2 tbsp. curry powder 1 bottle Worcestershire sauce
A large Dutch oven or heavy kettle and a large frying
pan are desirable for cooking the stew. Mince the bacon and
fry it dry in the kettle. Add the onion and just enough water
to cover the potatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then
add the split fish, mixing it with the potatoes and onions. Cook
the whole for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
While the fish is cooking melt the butter in the frying pan
and mix the rest of the ingredients into the hot butter. Dip some
of the liquor from the kettle into the frying pan and stir con-
stantly. The result is a rich dark-colored gravy or sauce. Serve
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
large pieces of fish with the potatoes, on toast or with rice, the
gravy being poured over the portions of stew as served.
Pinebark Stew-4-H Brand
5 lbs. cleaned fish (catfish, 1 qt. fine cut okra
bream, seabass, trout, red 12 whole peppercorns
snapper or similar fish) 1 bay leaf (optional)
6 medium onions, minced 1 lb. diced carrots
1 clove garlic, minced (optional) Salt and pepper
1 bunch celery, cut fine 1 pint pimientos or equivalent
1 at. tomatoes or equivalent in fresh pimientos, peeled, or
fresh tomatoes sweet peppers may be used.
2 cups olive, peanut or other
Heat oil in a heavy kettle. Add minced onions and gar-
lic and cook until tender. Next add tomatoes, pimientos,
whole pepper, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.
Add fish, cut in suitable pieces. If large fish is used, remove
the backbone and large fins. Cover the fish well with the vege-
table mixture and simmer until tender. If too thick, add a little
water. Pack boiling hot into lacquered tins. Seal at once. Pro-
cess No. 2 cans 80 minutes at 10 pounds pressure; No. 3 cans,
90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Serve hot poured over rice
boiled Southern style.
Salting and Smoking Fish
Both salting and smoking of fish should be more generally
practiced as a measure of food economy, although neither is
on a par with canned fish in convenience and year-round sea-
sonableness. Along our Florida coast the full value of salt and
smoked fish has not been really appreciated. Choice products
may be purchased here and there from a few commercial pro-
ducers, but every fisherman's family should have delicious,
salted and smoked products in its pantry. Salted mullet, for
instance, properly cured is among the choicest of Florida fishery
products and smoked mullet is a gastronomic delight that should
be more commonly enjoyed.
Salting Fish.-Salted mullet are at their best after they
have been pickled from 1 to 6 weeks; after that they begin to
deteriorate in quality. Hence, they should be canned early in
the salt process.
Dry salting is considered the best curing method. Fish for
salting, as for canning, must be properly and meticulously
handled. Cleaning must be done thoroughly and carefully. A
"dairy fine" salt is recommended for use. Without cold storage
facilities, however, even the best prepared salt fish after a few
months' time may begin to deteriorate. It is best then to can
the salt fish before this stage sets in.
Many delicious dishes may be prepared from salt fish, in-
cluding broiled, baked or boiled fish, fish chowders, and salads
and combination dishes with vegetables. According to authori-
ties there is more food value in salted than in fresh fish, due
mainly to the elimination of the water in the salting process.
So for the sake of health, variety and economy, more salt fish
should be used as a desirable change in the menu.
Smoked Fish-From coast to coast smoked fish of numerous
kinds is fast becoming a delicacy enjoyed by many fish-loving
families. Likewise canned smoked fish products are being used
increasingly by inlanderss" who are unable to secure strictly
fresh fish in their markets. So a good slogan is "Smoke Fish at
Home, Then Can or Freeze for Future Use."
The smoking of fish is a more widespread institution with
our women perhaps than with men. The women's products are
used for home consumption while men are oft-times more in-
terested in smoking for the trade than for the home pantry.
Since it is a product that does not hold longer than a few weeks
and even then must be held under refrigeration, canning the
surplus becomes a popular, practical measure of enjoyment and
economy. Many all-day meetings of home demonstration clubs
are built around the smoking and canning of an abundant catch
of the neighborhood's fishermen, be the catch mullet, king mack-
erel, or a bushel or more of those distinctive Southern delica-
It is not difficult to smoke or to can the fish after it is
smoked, whether left whole or cut into fillets. General principles
governing smoking and handling cured meats may be followed
in smoking fish.
Smokehouses need not be of expensive material nor diffi-
cult to construct. Satisfactory ones for small lots of fish are
made of cast-off roofing iron, tin road signs, discarded packing
cases or other waste material. Or, of course, they may be built
for permanence, properly constructed of wood or of brick or
stone and cement. Ask your County Home Demonstration Agent
for directions for constructing a smokehouse, if interested.
Large, tight barrels with both ends knocked out may be used.
The top is replaced with a piece of old tin or heavy burlap. The
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
top should hold adequate smoke but at the same time permit
sufficient ventilation to keep the fire from going out. Wire net-
ting is used for shelves and the first shelf or tray should be
be placed 18 to 24 inches from the fire. Oak, hickory, bay, man-
grove, saw palmetto roots, cocoanut husks or other non-resinous
wood and hardwood sawdust is used for keeping the low, smold-
ering fire that is required.
The fish are prepared for smoking in the same way as for
canning except that a heavier salt solution is desirable and the
period for soaking is usually prolonged over that for canning.
Smoke the fish until richly browned, well flavored-not too
dry and yet not juicy. The time required for the operation may
be anywhere from 6 to 10 hours, depending on weather condi-
tions, size and thickness of fish or fillets, warmth of smoke and
personal preferences. Immediately upon completion of the
smoking period can the fish. Pack carefully in tins or glass jars
and process 60 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. This absolutely
inhibits spoilage, if properly done. It also insures a more con-
venient supply of a most delectable, ready-to-serve food at low
This appetizing product may be served in a cream sauce, be
broiled in butter or milk, escalloped, used in potato balls and in
many other ways. Combined with hard-cooked eggs, chopped
pickles and onion and moistened with salad dressing, it makes
a sandwich de luxe. Covered with tomato juice and baked in a
slow oven until juice is absorbed gives another savory, appetiz-
Flavorsome Recipes Using
Fresh or Canned Fish
Creamed Fish Flakes
Fish flakes may be prepared from boiled or smoked fish by
cutting or breaking into coarse pieces.
40 lbs. (20 qts.) fish flakes 1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. salt
Six qts. white sauce to which may be added chopped hard-
cooked eggs, cooked or canned chopped mushrooms, chopped
peppers, minced onion, parsley or grated cheese. Warm the
white sauce. When it is hot, add the fish with as little stirring
as possible, then any other ingredients desired, and heat thor-
In inland communities where fresh fish may not be readily
available, seafood suppers still may be prepared by utilizing
canned fish or shellfish. In such a recipe as given directly above,
canned fish may be substituted for the boiled or smoked fish.
11'cups minced onion 4 cups cooked potato, finely
2 cups minced green pepper diced
4 cups flaked fish 1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Fry onions and pepper in skillet until lightly browned. Add
fish, diced potatoes and seasoning. Cook until well browned,
adding more fat if needed. Serves 8 people.
(A quickie and a great improvement over frying)
Cut the fish into portion-size pieces, after removing bones
and skin. Prepare a shallow bowl of salted milk (11/ tsp. salt
to 1 cup milk) and a plate of finely sifted bread crumbs. Dip
the fish first into salted milk and then into crumbs. Place in a
greased pan and sprinkle a little melted shortening or oil over
the surface and bake in a very quick oven for 10 to 15 minutes,
depending on the thickness of the slices. When baked to a deep
golden brown, remove from pan to a hot platter, garnish with
parsley and serve with tartar sauce. This method saves fat and
labor and gives a better result. Diluted canned milk may be
used. Try it!
Fish Flake Casserole
2 tbsp. fat 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 cups milk 6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
2 tbsp. flour 2 cups flaked fish
1/ tsp. salt 1 cup cooked peas
14 tsp. pepper 1 cup buttered bread crumbs
1/ tsp. celery salt 2 tbsp. onion juice
Blend fat, flour and seasonings together in top of double
boiler. Add milk. Cook until slightly thick, stirring constantly.
Cover bottom of a greased casserole with buttered crumbs, ar-
range layers of sliced eggs, fish and peas with white sauce on top.
Sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake in moderately hot oven
(4000 F.) 30 minutes or until crumbs are nicely browned.
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
% cup chopped onion 2/2 cups condensed tomato soup
4 tbsp. fat or puree (No. 1 can)
3 cups flaked fish 21 cups milk
1% cups cooked celery 1 tsp. salt
1% cups cooked carrots /2 tsp. pepper
1% cups cooked potato
Brown onion slightly in fat. Combine fish, diced vegetables,
soup, milk and seasoning. Heat slowly but thoroughly. Serves
Smoked Fish in Milk
3 lbs. smoked fish 3 tbsp. butter or good cooking
1 cup whole milk or cream oil
Pepper and salt to taste
Place fish skin side down on a greased baking pan or skillet.
Pour the milk over the fish, adding butter and pepper and cook
slowly in oven or over slow fire from 8 to 12 minutes. Remove
to platter and pour the liquid about the fish.
Smoked Fish Croquettes
2 cups smoked fish flakes 2 eggs-use 1 in croquette
1 cup mashed potatoes, hot or mixture; 1 in which to dip
cold croquette when crumbing
11/2 tsp. salt 1 clove garlic mashed and
% tsp. pepper rubbed over mixing bowl
Bread crumbs if desired
Combine potatoes, salt, pepper, fish flakes and well beaten
egg. Mix thoroughly and form into croquettes. Roll in fine
bread crumbs, then in beaten egg to which water or thinned
canned milk has been added, drain and roll in bread crumbs
again. Fry in deep hot cooking oil or fat at 3900 F. until nicely
browned. Drain and serve hot.
Smoked Fish Flakes Scalloped with Potatoes
1 pint cold flaked fish 1 cup smoked fish stock
4 tbsp. oil 2 cups cold potatoes
4 tbsp. flour 1 tbsp. tabasco sauce
2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice Pepper
1 cup milk
Make a smooth cream sauce of oil, fat, liquid. Add season-
ing and blend well. Place a layer of potatoes in greased casserole,
then one of fish, one of cream sauce. Repeat until ingredients
are used. Top with sauce. Bake until browned.
Baked Smoked Fish
Two cold smoked fish, or the amount needed by the family
for one or more meals. Sometimes it is advisable to freshen
in cold water 1 hour or more before cooking. Place in a greased
baking pan, flesh side up. Sprinkle well with any good cooking
oil, then sprinkle with finely diced onion and carrot. Cover with
milk. Bake from 20 minutes to 1 hour, according to thickness
of flesh and length of time fish have been smoked. Baste from
time to time as milk evaporates. Remove to platter. Serve hot.
Smoked Fish with Scrambled Eggs
% cup smoked fish, flaked 2 tbsp. tomato juice
4 tbsp. butter or margarine % tsp. curry powder or tumeric
4 to 6 eggs 1/ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. minced parsley
Brown the fish lightly in the melted fat in a heavy frying
pan. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over fish.
Stir slowly over low heat until thickened as desired.
Smoked Fish Sandwich Spread
Remove bones and skin from smoked fish. Put fish through
the fine blade of a food chopper. Mix with salad dressing or
French dressing and lemon juice until of a smooth consistency to
spread easily. Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce, horse-
radish, grated or chopped onion, garlic, dill pickle or other sea-
soning. To serve, spread a good layer on buttered whole wheat
or rye bread. Add a leaf of lettuce or a spreading of pickles or
relish on a thin slice of tomato and cover with another slice
of the buttered bread.
Fish Fries and Hushpuppies
Fish fries held on the bank of a river or lake are always an
enjoyable occasion, affording a festive means of cooking and
eating fish, freshly caught by members of the party. The fish
are dressed, salted and peppered and rolled in corn meal then
fried in a large kettle or frying pan of hot fat on the picnic
stove or an open fire.
It is the local custom to serve hushpuppies with fried fish.
These are cooked along with the fish or in the fat remaining in
Florida Agricultural Extension Service
the frying pan or kettle. Hushpuppies are commonly made by
mixing 2 cups corn meal, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon
salt, 1 medium size onion finely chopped with ,i/ to 3 cup of
milk or water. These are shaped into small pones, dropped into
the hot fat and cooked to an appetite-whetting golden crispness.
They must be served hot with the fried fish.
For a hushpuppy of a slightly different flavor and texture
to above, try the following:
% cup corn meal 1 tbsp. baking powder
1% cup flour 1 egg
Z tsp. salt 1 large onion, chopped fine
1/ tsp. sugar 1 tbsp. chili sauce
/2 cup milk with enough water to make the mixture of drop thickness
Sift dry ingredients together, add milk and unbeaten egg,
mix well. Add just enough water to make a batter that is too
thick to pour and almost thick enough to pick up in the fingers.
Add onion and chili sauce. Mix and drop by small spoonfuls
into deep hot fat. Fry until golden brown.
Good Dressings Relishes -
Sauces for Fish
To 3/ cup mayonnaise add 1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
fine; 1 tablespoon chopped green pepper; 1 tablespoon chopped
chives or onion and 1/3 cup chili sauce. Stir in the juice of half
a lemon or a calamondin. Delicious served with fish, tomato or
2 apples, cored but not peeled 1 orange
1 grapefruit 1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice
1/ cup sugar
Put apples through food chopper, using coarse blade. Quar-
ter the orange, remove seeds, put through food chopper with
rind. Peel grapefruit, remove all membrane and seeds. Cut in
small pieces. Combine ingredients, add sugar, chill overnight
to blend flavors. Makes 3 cups.
Indian Relish Mayonnaise
To 1 cup mayonnaise add 1 or 2 tablespoons India relish or
tomato soy, and mix. Use with any vegetable, egg, cold meat or
fish salad. Also makes a delicious sandwich filling.
Shellfish Cocktail Sauce
%/ c. tomato catsup 6 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp. horseradish Celery salt and tabasco sauce
1/ tsp. salt to taste
Shake the ingredients of the cocktail sauce in a jar or wide-
mouthed bottle until well mixed. Allow about 2 tablespoons of
the sauce to each 1/ dozen oysters or shrimp. All cocktails
should be thoroughly chilled before serving.
1 tbsp. chopped olives 2 tbsp. chopped cucumber
1 tbsp. chopped parsley pickles
1 cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp. capers
Use a sour mayonnaise or add to the 1 cup of mayonnaise
about one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon dry
mustard. Mix the chopped pickles, capers and chopped parsley
with the mayonnaise. Chill until very cold in your refrigerator.
It should be quite thick when served. Do not mix too long be-
fore serving. Good with fish, hot or cold.
The following publications are highly recommended to those
interested in fishing and the utilization of fishery products. The
Florida booklets are beautifully illustrated in color, hence one
may easily become familiar with the salt and fresh water fish
that swim Florida waters and the laws and regulations pertain-
ing toH the catch.
Anyone interested in choice fishery products may study the
instructions given by these technologists and become expert in
the fine art of canning, salting and smoking.
Fish for Food from Farm Ponds, Farmers Bulletin No. 1938. May 1943.
Home Canning of Fishery Products by Norman D. Jarvis and Joseph
F. Puncochar. Conservation Bulletin No. 28, Fish and Wild Life Service.
22 Florida Agricultural Extension Service
May be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C., 5c.
Home Preservation of Fishery Products (Salting, Smoking and Other
Methods of Canning Fish at Home), by Norman D. Jarvis. Fishery Leaflet
No. 18, Fish and Wild Life Service, 1945, U. S. Dept. of Interior, Wash-
ington, D. C.
A Cardboard Smokehouse by Walter A. Rust. No. 141, July 1946. Fish
and Wild Life Service, U. S. Dept. of Interior, Washington, D. C.
Smoking Shrimp by Leo Young, July 1948. Fishery Leaflet 312, Fish
and Wild Life Service, U. S. Dept. of Interior, Washington, D. C.
Dry Salting Mullet, Red Drum (Channel Bass) and Kingfish (King
Mackerel) by Norman D. Jarvis. Fishery Leaflet 136, Sept. 1946. Fish and
Wild Life Service, U. S. Dept. of Interior, Washington, D. C.
How to Cook Fish, Fishery Leaflet 106. Fish and Wild Life Service,
Merchandise Mart, Chicago 54, Illinois.
Fish Cookery in the Open by W. T. Conn. Fishery Leaflet 35, Fish and
Wild Life Service, Merchandise Mart, Chicago 54, Illinois.
Available Publications on Fisheries, Fishery Leaflet 9, Fish and Wild
Life Service, Merchandise Mart, Chicago 54, Illinois.
Many of the publications listed in this leaflet are free while others
may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
Florida Seafood Cookery. Florida State Department of Agriculture,
Tallahassee, Florida. 1944. Excellent.
Florida Seafood Recipes. Florida State Board of Conservation, Talla-
hassee. 1950. Another excellent booklet.
Florida Salt Water Fishing. Florida State Board of Conservation,
Tallahasee. 1948. A beautiful, informative booklet including many good
The Freezing Preservation of Foods by Tressler and Evers. Avi Pub-
lishing Co. 1947.
Into the Freezer and Out by Tressler, Evers and Lucy Long. Avi
Publishing Co. 1946.
Hints on Smoking Fish and Other Seafoods. Special Publication 1949.
University of Miami Marine Laboratory.