As soon as the colored crawfish butter is become firmly set, through the coldness of the water, take it out and put it into a small basin and set in the refrigerator until wanted.
Reverting to the original recipe: Take the remainder of the crawfish and add thereto three anchovies, washed for the purpose, and also the crusts of French rolls, fried to a light brown color in butter. Pound all these thoroughly together and then put them into a stewpan with the broth that has been reserved in a basin, and having warmed the bisque thus prepared rub it through a sieve into a fine puree. Put this puree into a soup pot and finish by incorporating therewith the crawfish butter and season with a little cayenne pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Pour the bisque quite hot into the tureen in which have been placed the crawfish tails, and send to the table.
This is not so difficult as it appears when you are reading it and if you wish to have something extra fine take the necessary time and patience and prepare it.
Clams and Abalone's
We cannot dispose of the shell fish of San Francisco without a word or two about clams, for certainly there is no place where they are in greater variety and better flavor. In fact the clam is the only bivalve of this part of the coast that has a distinctive and good flavor. Several varieties are to be found in the markets, the best and rarest being the little rock clams that come from around Drake's Bay, just above the entrance to Golden Gate. These are most delicious in flavor and should never be eaten otherwise than raw. The sand, or hard shell, or as they are sometimes called little necks, are next in choiceness, and then come the Pismo beach clams, noted for their flavor and enormous size. The mud clam is good for chowder but not so good as either of the other varieties mentioned.
The Bohemian way to have your clams is to go to the shore of Bolinas Bay or some other equally retired spot, and have a clam bake, or else take a pot along with the other ingredients and have a good clam chowder. This, however, may be prepared at any time and is always a good meal.
Clam fritters when prepared according to the recipe given herein, is one of the best methods of preparing the clam, and it has the peculiarity of being so tasty that one feels that there is never enough cooked.
Of all the ways of cooking clams chowder takes precedence as a rule, and it is good when made properly. By that we do not mean the thin, watery stuff that is served in most of the restaurants and called clam chowder just because it happens to be made every Friday. That is fairly good as a clam soup but it is no more chowder than a Mexican soup approaches a crawfish bisque. There is but one right way to make clam chowder, and that is either to make it yourself or closely superintend the making, and this is the way to make it:
Take one quart of shelled sand clams, two large potatoes, two large onions, one clove of garlic, one sweet pepper, one thick slice of salt pork, one-half pound small oyster crackers, one-half glass sherry, one tablespoonful Worcestershire sauce, one tomato, salt, and pepper. In a large stewpan place the salt pork cut into small dice, and let this fry slightly over a slow fire until the bottom of the stewpan is well greased. Take this off the fire and put in a layer of potatoes sliced thin, on top of the salt pork, then a layer of onions sliced thin, and a layer of clams. Put on this salt and pepper and sprinkle with a little flour and then a layer of crackers. Chop the sweet pepper and tomato fine and mix with them the bruised and mashed garlic. On top of each succession of layers put a little of the mixture. Continue making these layers until all the ingredients are placed in the stewpan, and then pour on the top sufficient water to just show. Cover tightly and let cook gently for half an hour. Pour on the Worcestershire sauce and sherry just before serving. Do not stir this while cooking, and in order to prevent its burning it should be cooked over an asbestos cover.