This recipe was chosen for it’s multi-purposeness , because you can use this method for any of the above-mentioned seafood, or perhaps even a mixture of two or three.
Potting used to be a means of preserving, the clarified butter being used to make the contents impervious to air-borne microbes, etc. Properly potted food could last days, if not weeks, without the need for refrigeration. When required, the butter was removed and the potted food used for whatever purpose the cook had in mind.
Nowadays, potted food is consumed in much the same way as a pate, spread on crisp toast or crackers. In this adaptation, the butter used to bind the seafood is delicately infused with spices before being combined with the fish and seasoning.
Potted Shrimp, Prawn or Crayfish
100g clarified, unsalted butter
1 blade mace
1 slice nutmeg
270g cooked brown shrimp, prawns or crayfish
Extra clarified butter to seal
- Put the clarified butter and spices into a small pan and heat over a very low flame for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for a further 20 minutes.
- Remove the spices and combined with the seafood. NB British brown shrimp are tiny and perfect for spooning onto a finger of toast, so you might prefer to omit the next stage, and just season and pot them directly. Prawns and crayfish are larger and thus require chopping to make them easier to
pot as well as easier to spread when served.
- If you opt for chopping up the seafood, pour the mixture int a food processor and blitz intermittently until combined.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as required.
- Spoon into small pots or ramekins.
- Pour over a thin layer of clarified butter to seal.
- Chill in the fridge until required.
- Serve with hot buttered toast