Prawns - Victorian Recipes
From 'The Dictionary of Daily Wants' - 1859
PRAWNS, HOW TO BOIL. - Throw the prawns into plenty of fast-boiling water,
to which salt has been added in the proportion of six ounces to the gallon; take off all
the scum, and boil the prawns for eight or nine minutes. As soon as they are tender,
drain them thoroughly in a cullender, and spread them out on a soft cloth to cool; or
dish them on a napkin, and send them hot to table, when they are liked so. Ready-dressed
prawns may be preserved fit for eating at least twelve hours longer than they would
otherwise keep, by throwing them for an instant into boiling salt and water when they
first begin to lose their freshness, and afterwards draining them.
PRAWNS POTTED.- Boil, and pick a sufficient number of prawns, then pound
them in a mortar, and mix them up into a paste, with a little butter; season with white
pepper, salt, and a little allspice, then press into the pots, and cover with clarified
PRAWN JELLY. - Make a savoury jelly of calf's feet or cow-heel, a piece
of skate or trimmings of turbot, with horseradish, lemon-peel, an onion, and a piece of
lean bacon. When boiled to a jelly, strain it; and when cold, take off the fat, keep back
the sediment, and boil it up with a glass of white wine, the juice of a lemon, and the
whisked whites and crushed shells of four eggs. Do not disturb it by stirring. When
boiled, let it settle for twenty minutes, and run it through a jelly bag. Pour some of
the jelly into a deep dish; when it has solidified, put in prawns, with their backs
downwards, fill up the dish with the jelly, and when cold turn the whole out.
PRAWN PIE. - Have ready as many well cleaned prawns as will nearly fill
a pie-dish. Season with pounded mace, cloves, a little cayenne, or chili vinegar. Put
some butter in the dish, and cover with a light puff paste. It will require about
three-quarters of an hour to bake it.
PRAWN SOUP.- Boil a hundred prawns in a little water, vinegar, salt, and
a few sweet herbs; save the liquor. Pick the prawns, and pound the shells together with
a small roll. Pour the liquor over the sheila in a sieve, and then pour two quarts of
fish stock over them. Tear a lobster into small pieces, and add this with a quart of
good beef stock to the whole. Simmer gently, savour with pepper and salt, thicken with
floured butter, and serve.