Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cookery…week two…

Right…so for my adult life until today I had considered anchovies something on the order of sinister and nasty. I had been told they were. Yeah. I was also told I loved shrimp at an impressionable age and I stuff myself with them to this day. There is an English…condiment…for lack of a better word for it called Patum Peperium or Gentleman’s Relish. The real stuff is made by a single company in the UK and they don’t exactly want to share the recipe. My hat is off to Ray and Pam Williams for this very, very tasty copycat. N.B.: I’ve never had the real stuff. I don’t know how close a copy this, in fact, is. I do know that it’s very good, especially thinly spread on freshly toasted homemade English Brown Bread and topped with soft scrambled eggs.

"Patum Peperium was invented in 1828 by an Englishman called John Osborn. The original "Gentleman's Relish "made from a blend of anchovies, butter, exotic herbs and spices. This classic recipe has remained a secret over the years, passed down through generations by word of mouth. Today, this delicacy is only made at Elsenham where the original recipe is still in use. This is my version of this recipe."

4 oz Anchovies in Olive Oil (2 cans)
¼ tsp Dill Weed
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ tsp Ginger Powder
¼ tsp Lemon Peel
¼ tsp Ground Mace
½ tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
4 Tbsp Butter
Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Directions: Process in blender until smooth

My notes are as follows: I used nutmeg, freshly grated, in place of mace (couldn’t find my grinder at that moment). I added a pinch or so of white pepper in addition to an equal amount of cayenne. I used my homemade Worcestershire sauce. My anchovies were Agostino Recca again obtained from Central Grocery here in the French Quarter. I also used only lemon zest not full peel – if you try this and you use full peel tell me how it turns out.

This was Major Kitchen Project #3. Project #4 is tomorrow (homemade red sauce from San Marzano tomatoes). So far there are only Minor Kitchen Projects in line behind this. Major #5 looms but stock making is a little ways off for a while. I’m sure to be pickling and canning some more English goodies…pickled onions, homemade Branston pickle. I have to laugh. I’m in the home of Creole and Cajun food. I’m typically a bistro style cook (and the aforementioned cuisine adapts itself nicely to such). And my last few Major Projects are English. There is comedic value in there somewhere.

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