Friday 7 August 2009

potted sandwich savouries

potted sandwich savouries

For most of the world, picnic season has been and gone. You've had barbecues, you've eaten ice cream in little wafer cones (with flakes! Ooh, I really want a flake), you've replaced hot meals with salad and ice-pops.

But, this is Britain.

Cue me talking about the weather for a bit, not that it's been anything I can't summarise with the word 'RUBBISH' (-Look at me, being all family-friendly). Our holiday activities are less planning picnics and more building arks.

potted prawn

But say you woke up tomorrow and it was gloriously sunny, and you just knew you couldn't go one more moment without dragging your friends to the nearest park, and kicking back on a picnic blanket with little triangular sandwiches and a Victoria sponge and a big jug of Pimms & lemonade.

...Wait, let me rephrase that. Say you woke up tomorrow and it was the Edwardian era...

Alright, but I've found that sometimes if you make plans with enough determination, sometimes the world co-operates, which is maybe how come we had our first sunny day in weeks today, when we'd decided to go to the beach ('come hell or high water', in my mum's words: I pointed out that high water was fairly likely), and when I coincidentally had just the sandwiches we needed to hand.

potted prawn + soda bread

Okay, so most people are unlikely to get too excited over this post. I understand. You're really holding out for the cake. But see, I can give you cake any day of the week (and my next post is gonna feature the most deliciously squidgy white chocolate and hazelnut number, so hold out for that). And in the meantime, how about adorable little dishes of potted prawns or chicken; set with tarragon or parsley scented butter until they're almost like pate, and perfect for spreading onto soft squares of white or brown bread and cutting into triangles - and then you could dip one edge into some finely chopped chives, just in case this isn't cute enough for you yet, and then you could display them in a little tumbling pile on a cakestand, and - why am I getting this enthusiastic over what is essentially sandwich filling?

Turns out I can get excited over just about anything, hm.

I made a quick loaf of
sodabread to spread these onto (mostly for photographic purposes, I admit) but sliced bread is probably best for sandwiches. Incidentally, don't mind the photos in which it isn't fully set and it seems to be swimming with butter; it's perfectly spreadable when left in the fridge.

soda bread

Potted Sandwich Savouries

These are adapted from 'You' magazine, a supplement with the Mail on Sunday (don't judge me; I like the sudoku), and even though I wasn't really sure what they, you know, were, they looked cute enough to try. Personally, I loved the prawn (which tasted more buttery) but my mum leaned towards the chicken (in which the tarragon flavour was more pronounced). They're definitely simple enough to try both, though.

For the chicken:
200g (7oz) cold skinless roast chicken (ideally dark meat, such as thighs)
1 tsp finely chopped tarragon
75g (2.5 oz) butter
salt & cayenne pepper, to taste
squeeze of lemon juice

1. Finely chop the chicken. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a lowish heat and stir in the chicken and tarragon. Season well with salt & cayenne pepper, then remove from the heat and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

2. Pack the mixture into a small serving bowl or pot, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to cool and chill for several hours until fully set (like I absolutely haven't in the photographs). Use either as a sandwich filling or serve in the pot at the table, as a pate.

For the prawns:
Replace chicken with 200g shelled king prawns, rinsed and patted dry.
Replace tarragon with 1 tsp rinsed small capers & 1/4 tsp ground mace (I had neither, so used chopped flat leaf parsley)
75g (2.5 oz)
salt & cayenne pepper, to taste
squeeze of lemon juice

(Follow the same instructions as for the chicken, but using a food processor to finely chop the prawns)

potted prawn + soda bread


Irina @ PastryPal said...

Well, a girl's got to eat something besides cake, right? I think I'd go for the chicken. No, wait, the prawn. No wait...

Julia @ Mélanger said...

I am excited by homemade soda bread! Just lovely. I hear you re: the weather. We have long, long summers here, which ISN'T the most enjoyable at times - too hot, too sticky, too long.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've heard of this potted sandwich fillings! how awesome with the dense soda bread!

Poorni Pillai said...

You know, my favorite recipes aren't actually desserts- they're sandwich fillings. I just love sandwiches! It's a good thing you've reminded me of it- I think I'll post about my favorite childhood sandwich soon! Beautiful bread and fillings :)

Adam said...

Yeah it sometimes it's tough when you have to eat actual good for you food :) Cakes are great, but if you're a serious 5"2' bodybuider, you need prawn protein. Looks like you're on your way :)

And I like that word squidgy. Don't know what it means, but I like it!

grace said...

i don't really like true picnics, with the blanket and the ground-sitting and the bugs, but now you've somehow managed to make it sound appealing. nice little sammich filling, indigo!

Anonymous said...

I'm a sucker for picnics, so this post gets me totally excited! The sodabread looks good, btw. Have never tried one before. I thought they were wholemeal bread initially :P Will give it a try!

Having said all that, I'm looking forward to the cake in the next post!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is not a cake--but it sounds very delicious and is a perfect summer meal. YUM.

Lori said...

We too have ahd an incredible amount of rain. I have some woeful tomato plants to prove it. Hardly any tomaotes or even leaves.

On a better note these sandwiches look lovely. Okay now I am like holding out for that cake. Bring it on girl!

Kerstin said...

What gorgeous bread! My hubby would be completely excited about the spread as well. I can't wait to see the hazelnut cake!

peasepudding said...

I love your English humour on your Blog, totally relate to the ark bit since I come from Northern England but now luck enough to live in NZ! Look forward to your white choc cake recipe and more humour! Thanks

buy an essay said...

Thanks for sharing recipe, will give it a try. Hope it won't disappoint us. Keep sharing recipes with us