- 750g fresh cooked whole prawns or 400g prawn meat
- 100g good quality butter
- 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg, ground (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or sweet paprika (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, ground (or to taste)
- salt (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
This recipe is based on Eliza Acton's 'Potted shrimps, or prawns', subtitled 'Delicious' (1855).
You can save quite a bit of time and energy by using a food processor, but at the expense of the properly melded texture achieved by pounding in a mortar. Cheat perhaps, giving yourself a head start with a quick pulse to start things along, and then proceed the traditional way, using mortar and pestle.
|Peel and devein the prawns, then chop them finely. Pound them in a mortar and pestle with the spices and a quarter of the butter until smooth, adding more butter a tablespoon or so at a time, and lemon juice, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning. |
Transfer the mixture to a small 'pot' or ramekin and garnish with a parsley leaf or sprinkle of cayenne or paprika.
Serve on crisp toast.
|Cook's tip: the lemon juice helps cut the richness.|