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February 26, 2010

Potted shrimp, dinner of champions

Potted shrimpRobert of Cross Keys' Free Market Friday post is loaded with buttery and deep-fried inspiration for a good exercise program. Here's RoCK. LV.

This week I started to think that the bourbon, ham and cocktail parties were starting to take a toll, so I started a fitness program. The program is ... ahem … a work in progress.

First thing was to join a gym. 

In my Cross Keys newsletter, there was a coupon for a free week at the neighborhood tennis club. Since free is always nice, I thought I should get active. I also decided if I had to go, I was going to bring the wife with me.
I knew that we would be facing an uphill battle the moment we walked into the club. Everyone else was wearing nice tennis whites and designer fitness apparel. Our t-shirts didn’t exactly convey a commitment to healthy living.  I was sporting a T-shirt from Tony Packo's, the Hungarian hot dog restaurant in Toledo, Ohio that I have written about in the past. It proudly proclaimed: “The Best Buns in Town.” The wife’s T-shirt was embossed with the emblem of Heinz Ketchup. Rest assured our complementing wardrobes were not planned. Well, they were not planned by us; the Fates may have had a role.
The next day came and the wife and I thought about going back to the gym. Not wanting to overdo it, we decided to stay home and make dinner. Now, what to have that would build on our previous day’s workout?  I went to my culinary library and pulled out my London cookbook. When looking for healthy cooking, what better place to look than the land that gave the world deep fried Mars bars? 
In this cookbook I somehow managed to find perhaps the unhealthiest recipe in all the British Isles, and of course it was what I made. The selection was potted shrimp -- a shrimp and butter dish. For those unfamiliar with this recipe, it is not some kind of shrimp scampi. Hell, Lean Cuisine offers shrimp scampi, but they’ll never offer potted shrimp.
The potted shrimp began with a pound of shrimp heated in a cup of clarified butter. The mixture was then poured into ramekins and refrigerated. A few hours later, another half cup of clarified butter was poured over top to seal in the goodness. Yes, butter poured over butter.
I would like to say that the decadence was restrained, but it was not. Potted shrimp is normally served with warm toast, but there was no toast in the house. No, we substituted butter and chive biscuits. 
I can say that we didn’t have dessert. Then again, I didn't have any Mars bars in the house.

Photo by Robert of Cross Keys

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 4:29 PM | | Comments (11)


Butter over butter. Sounds like something Paula Deen would make, ya'll.

Actually, what you had were the makings of high tea.

Billzappa, butter-on-butter seems to be a widespread Southern thing. Back when Nathalie Dupree had her New Southern Cooking show on PBS, she made Shrimp Paste, which involved baking a mixture of butter, chopped shrimp, and spices. While it could be served cold, she preferred to serve it hot, with buttered toast. I tried cooking it once for a party, and once was enough.

Damn, RoCK,
Just reading that made my arteries harden a little more. But it sure sounded tasty!

hmpstd, I once made Nathalie Dupree's "cheese boxes" for a party, and like you, never repeated the experiment. They were tasty (as I recall, Durkee's sauce was the secret ingredient), but probably not the healthiest choice.

Seasonal comment from Captcha: at March. Almost!

More Butter!

That really sounds good. But next time, use more butter.

Oops, sorry Joyce. Didn't realize you said the same thing!

Trixie, great minds ...

Bet some BACON would go pretty well in that!

Thanks Dahlink!

Mmm, butter and bacon!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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