3068. PIKE with SAUERKRAUT and BACON

serves six

2 lb. of pike or other firm white-meat fish, cut in fillets
water or fish stock, to cover
3 onions
1 stalk celery, with leaves
6 peppercorns
salt
8 slices bacon, diced
1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
sauerkraut
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sour cream
paprika
6-8 cooked crawfish tails or shrimps (optional)

Poach fish in water or stock along with 1 sliced onion, celery, peppercorns, and a little salt. When flaky, remove fish; strain and reserve stock. Fry bacon and as fat becomes rendered add 2 diced onions. Fry slowly until bacon and onion are golden brown. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish and sprinkle bottom and sides with bread crumbs, tapping out excess. Place a layer of sauerkraut in the dish, add a layer of the onion and bacon mixture and another of fish. Repeat layers in that order until dish is full, ending with sauerkraut. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour, and sauté over low heat for about 5 minutes or until flour begins to take on color. Measure stock and, if necessary, add enough water to make 2 cups. Add to butter and flour mixture along with the sour cream. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and paprika to taste. Place crawfish or shrimps around top of sauerkraut. Add sauce and a generous layer of bread crumbs dotted with remaining butter. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until sauce is golden brown and bubbling.

bacon recipe courtesy of: The Horizon Cookbook: An Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, by the Editors of Horizon Magazine. American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., 1968