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Fried Risshewes - one type of Kickshaw
"Think of a cross between a mince pie and fig roll wrapped in saffron pastry then fried. Glorious!"
Image: sambilton.com

'Kickshaw' is a term used from the 16th to 19th Centuries to indicate any type of small 'fancy' accompaniment dish. The word possibly derives from the French 'quelque-chose' just meaning 'some thing'.

The commonest type of Kickshaw seems to have been the sort of fried dumpling, or tiny puddings, known as a Frian or Ryschewys, or, if in a pea-pod shape 'peascods'.

The comedy recipe book 'A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling' of 1726 says of the character "Sir John Pudding" that "most of the Kickshaws now in vogue, are but his Inventions".

Both 'The Queene-Like Closet' by Hannah Woolley (Wooley 1672) and 'The Accomplisht Cook ' by Robert May (Robert May 1660) claim to offer the reader "the best Directions for all manner of Kickshaws".

'Kickshaws' as interpreted by Jeremy Lee’s Quo Vadis in Soho, 2013
Image: http://i.telegraph.co.uk

Shakespeare's Henry IV has; "A joynt of Mutton, and any pretty little tinie Kick-shawes."

Original Receipt in 'The Queene-Like Closet' (1672) by Hannah Woolley (Wooley 1672)

184. To make Kickshaws, to bake or fry in what shape you please. Take some Puff-paste and roul it thin, if you have Moulds work it upon them with preserved Pippins, and so close them, and fry or bake them, but when you have closed them you must dip them in the yolks of Eggs, and that will keep all in; fill some with Goosberries, Rasberries, Curd, Marrow, Sweet-breads, Lambs Stones, Kidney of Veal, or any other thing what you like best, either of them being seasoned before you put them in according to your mind, and when they are baked or fryed, strew Sugar on them, and serve them in.

Original Receipt from 'A new booke of Cookerie' by John Murrell, 1615 (Murrell 1615)

To make Kicks-Shawes.
Take the Kidney of a Veale, or Lambe, or if you haue neither of both, then take the Eare of a Mutton, fat and all. Boyle it, and mince it fine: season it with Nutmeg, Pepper, and Salt. Then take two or three Egges, a spoonefull of Rosewater, two or three spoonefuls of Sack, as much grated Bread, as will worke them like Lithpaste.

Then floure your moulds, and fill them with that paste: then roule a thinne sheet of paste, wet it and couer it ouer: frye them, and turne them into small Dishes, and keepe them warme in the Ouen, serue them at Dinner, or Supper. If you will bake them then you may turne them into the Dish raw, out of your moulds, and ice them with Rosewater and Sugar, and set them in the Ouen, when your Pyes are halfe bakte.

To make some Kickshawes in Paste, to Frye or Bake, in what forme you please.
Make some short puff-paste, rowle it thinne: if you haue any moulds you may worke it vpon your moulds, with the pulp of Pippins, seasoned with Sinamon, Ginger, Sugar, and Rosewater, close them ip, and bake them, or frye them: or you may fill them with Gooseberryes, seasoned with Sugar, Sinamon, Ginger, and Nutmeg: rowle them up in yolkes of Egs, and it will keepe your Marrow being boyled, from melting away, or you may fill them with Curds, boyled up with whites of Egges, and Creame, or yellow with the yolkes, and Cream, and it will be a tender Curde: but you must season the Curd with parboyld Currins, three or foure sliced Dates put into it, or sixe bits of Marrow, as big as halfe a Walnut: put in some small pieces of Almond-paste, Sugar, Rosewater, and Nutmeg. And this will serue for any of these Kickeshawes, eyther to bake, or for a Florentine in puftpaste: any of these you may frye or bake, for Dinner or Supper.

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