Potted Shrimp is a very popular appetizer in the UK.
500g(1 lb) cooked shrimp. I recommend frozen, shell off, tail off, 100-150 per pound.
¾ lb butter. Salted or unsalted to suit your taste.
Juice of a lemon.
½ teaspoon ground mace.
½ teaspoon ground pepper.
1 teaspoon anchovy paste.
Cayenne pepper to garnish.
Make sure the shrimp are all defrosted. Divide the shrimp between 6 ramekins. Do not pack them down.
Melt the butter in a pan over a very slow heat and then bring it slowly to a simmer. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Make sure the butter does not burn.
Then pour the butter through a cheesecloth into a jug removing all the solids. If you haven’t got a cheesecloth then use a sieve lined with a piece of kitchen roll.
Wipe the pan clean and then return the clarified butter to it and once again bring it gently to a simmer.
Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and then add the lemon juice, mace, pepper and anchovy paste and stir vigorously. Bring it back to a simmer and let it simmer for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove it from the heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes and then pour it over the shrimp in the ramekins until the shrimp are just covered. Make sure the seasoned butter goes in between the shrimp on to the bottom of the ramekin as well as over the top of the shrimp.
Put the ramekins in a refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Prior to serving make plenty of thin toast.
Serve individually with a pinch of cayenne pepper sprinkled over the top of each ramekin to garnish and the toast as an accompaniment.
You really need very small shrimp for this dish. The British call small shrimp shrimp and larger shrimp prawns You need “British Shrimp”. If you can get them try Oregon Pink Shrimp(200 – 250 per pound)
The butter procedure above is in essence making “drawn or clarified” butter. What you are doing is removing the milk solids from the butter.
This recipe is equally applicable to both crab and lobster. You can even use it for clams having firstly taken them out of their shells.
Another option is to have a potted shrimp salad. The best way to do this is to put the ramekin in shallow hot water for about 15 seconds then turn it upside down dropping the potted shrimp out of the ramekin on to a plate and serve with salad greens.
This recipe is not difficult, well within the capabilities of the amateur cook.