Monday, 25 May 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Making The Borrower's Potted Shrimp

Potted shrimp, eh?

Well, who'd have thunk it, but what a little gem!

Neither Andy or I, (or any of my family, except my dear Nanny who loved all things gloopy from a shell) can abide seafood. 

Fishes, yes. Proper real fishes with fins and tails, that swim, and taste of haddock or trout or sardines or something tasty, yes. 

Prawns are a bit of a funny one for me. For years I've not liked them but discovered they are quite acceptable in special fried rice from Hong's. And our fish van on the high street once had such exquisite looking tiger prawns that I felt a rush of braveness and bought a few to try. I fried them in chilli oil and they were really very delicious, tender and sweet.

But they are so very very beautiful, and ... CUTE! I find it hard to eat cute things, and I find prawns and shrimps really rather adorable, with their beady little eyes, that I am quite torn about finding them delicious.

I DRAW them, as CHARACTERS. I go to SEE them at the AQUARIUM. Because they are irresistibly beautiful. I love seeing them in rockpools, with the sunshine glowing through them and the salty water making them almost invisible. So, eating shrimp, is ... difficult. Usually I just avoid it but sometimes I give in.

The borrowers can each only manage one shrimp each. These little brown shrimp are very tiny, about the size of a baked bean. So one of me needs quite a few to make a good snack, let alone a meal. 

The recipe asks for 400g of brown shrimp. However, this 100g pack costs about £3 so I'm quartering the recipe as it handily quarters the price as well!

Our nice man with the fish van is parked on the high street every Wednesday til 1pm, so on my way to work this week I popped by, having first seen the brown shrimp there weeks ago, but not having read the Borrowers yet. (I have read them all before, and love them dearly.) Last week he'd had no shrimp and yesterday when I went along I couldn't see any either but he had kindly saved me a pack. So when I got home I got straight on with potting them up while our sausages and tatoes baked.

It's very simple, you basically fry the shrimp in butter for a few minutes, then put them in a ramekin and chill them. Then you melt a load of butter and pour it over the shrimp to form a seal. Apart from the addition of a pinch of cayenne pepper and nutmeg while frying, that's all there is to it. I added some salt and pepper too. And we don't have any ramekins so I used egg cups. As I was reducing the amount anyway, it made 4 little cups, to have on toast at the weekend. I'm thinking that when you tip it all out onto hot toast, the butter will melt into the toast nicely rather than get in the way. 

I did taste a couple of the shrimps before potting them, and they really are quite a delicacy. So sweet and tasty. And it does them good to sit tight in the fridge for a couple of days, so I'm looking forward to a tasty morsel on Saturday.

If you like prawns, I'm sure you'll love brown shrimp. They are very expensive, so not an everyday snack, but you can swap them for normal pink prawns and do the same thing. You can pot any meat you like really, and there's something very pleasing about it all. 

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