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Finding a box of memories.

        When I was growing up in the kitchen drawer there was a knife known as "The knife"! It had been a carbon steel dinner kni...


Going a Little Potty!

        I love having a treat at the back of the fridge for the days I need a quick supper after a long day or to bring to work for lunch. Smoked mackerel pate is one I tend to fall back on. 
I have been reading the lovely "Kitchen Essays" of Agnes Jekyll first published in 1922 (the original articles were first published in The Times). The "Potted Shrimp" recipe is one recipe that caught my eye. I had had these recently in a restaurant, but they were seasoned shrimp in a ramekin topped with butter, chilled and then warmed to soften the bottom half of the ramekin. They came with crisp toast, as I scooped out the hard top layer of butter on to the toast added the shrimp, pressed down with the knife, the shrimp fell off and the toast broke.

       I knew this was not what it was meant to be. Lady Jekyll had the answer, 'pound' most of the shrimp with the soft butter! So I set about 'pounding' my shrimp, which in my case were defrosted Atlantic prawns. My mortar was on the small side so I moved to a bigger bowl and a fork and I achieved a coarse pate in no time.

Potted Shrimp or Prawns

Potted Prawns

125g of shrimp after cooking and shelling or peeled Atlantic prawns defrosted
50g soft butter
mace blade
lemon zest
clarified butter
salt and pepper

      Dry the prawns on kitchen paper. Save 10 or 12 whole prawns. Put the rest of the prawns into a bowl with the butter, a grating of mace, a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest, a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.
     Mash all these together with a fork until combined. It should not be too smooth, then stir in the reserved prawns pack into ramekins and cover with clarified butter and chill.
Bring to room temperature before serving with Melba toast.

       If you prefer some dill or fennel could be chopped through instead of the mace. This is lovely for a picnic too.

Spread on crisp Melba toast

      This other recipe for a 'Mousse of Sardine and Egg' also caught my eye, I had a feeling it could be a fish paste and not very tasty, but I like it. It's not for people who like their fish not to taste of fish.
      The recipe recommends 'pushing' everything through a sieve, the egg went through easily enough but the mini processor was a godsend for the sardines! It is also recommended as an alternative to marmalade at breakfast time! That could be a shock to the unwary first thing.

Mousse of Sardine and Egg

The basic ingredients 

3 to 4 sardines
1tsp soft butter
salt pepper
1tbs lemon juice
2tbs cream
a couple dashes of tabasco
a dash of Worcester sauce
1 hardboiled egg

       Put everything except the hard boiled egg in to a mini food processor and blend Remove the blade from the processor and sieve in the hardboiled egg. Stir in to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning.

       Serve on crackers or with crudities. I spooned the rest into a small jar to be stored in the fridge.


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