Over the years, The Domestic Godless have fallen victim to many libelous rumours, one of which is our supposed delight in the use of household pets. We have in fact made a point of avoiding anything of the sort.
The goldfish however is different. Often described as a cross between a pet and a screensaver, it is easily replaced*.
We suggest that they should be presented only on very special occasions as an outright delicacy, and this recipe treats it as such. Quenelles are delightful little mousses that may be served as canapés.
Please note that its preparation may take several hours and can be somewhat demanding - in fact we often send ours to a micro-surgeon who has plenty of time on his hands.
* depending on rarity, size and market value.
You will need a goldfish of five inches long - or larger, per person. Remember the larger or rarer the better, but some can cost thousands (unless achieved by alternate methods), so beware of fakes.
To kill the goldfish, we suggest that you simply pop it into the freezer for an hour or two, because battering the thing can discolour the eyes, skin and scales, which you will need to keep intact for later.
Once your fish is out cold, from one side of the fish only, very gently remove each scale individually and put to one side, remembering in which order they came off! Then with a sharp scalpel cut and remove an oval of skin and also put to one side.
Now remove the flesh. Ideally this should be done with a laser for safety and cleanliness, but a scalpel will do, and the longer the fish remains frozen the easier it will be. Let it defrost a little and then mash to a paste.
For the quenelles you will also need:
1 egg white beaten until stiff.
500ml of double cream (whipped)
1 or 2 drops of lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
Simply fold in all of the ingredients and either put in moulds or very gently, with a deep spoon, scoop out little portions (so that they take the shape of the spoon) and drop into a shallow pan of gently simmering fish stock. They only take a two minutes to cook, so set a timer! Lift them out with a fine spatula and place on a decorative plate. Dry off with a couple of seconds blast of a hair dryer.
Finally, replace the eyes, skin and scales (remembering the order), onto each quenelle for decoration.
Serve on melba toast or float in a pre-prepared lobster bisque.