Sunday, 6 May 2012
Potted shrimps (or .... don't let them be seen naked)
One of the delicacies of the Morecambe Bay area is potted shrimps and, frankly, if you can find them ready-potted by one of the wonderful local fisheries, then buy them and enjoy. If you happen to be in the area, or if you have an enlightened fishmonger, you might just find them sold naked.
There are all kinds of recipes for potted shrimps and each Lancashire (and Cumbrian) family probably has its own secret ingredient. Some contain mace, others have cayenne pepper, nutmeg, ground cloves, all types of spice. But on a recent holiday on the shores of Morecambe Bay Auntie Anne picked up some undressed shrimps and so faced the challenge of what to add to them.
The travelling food store that goes everywhere with us on our self-catering trips happened to include ground allspice and smoked paprika - and so that's what went in the mix. Added to that were a good twist of freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Melt down a goodly chunk of the best butter you can afford, and stir in the spice mix. Then force the whole lot into some sort of container (a mug will do if you're desperate) and let it set.
Give it at least half a day to mature and for all the flavours to blend, then warm it gently (don't microwave it - the shrimps will go chewy) and spread it on toast or any other kind of warm bread product. The crumpets were a recommendation from a local. A very good idea too!