Prawns are plain boiled and eaten as a salad component or in sandwiches, or occasionally as a garnish to fish or meat dishes. They have little other use in English cookery.
Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management' edited by Isabella Beeton, 1861 (See Mrs.B)
TO BOIL PRAWNS OR SHRIMPS.
299. INGREDIENTS. - 1/4 lb. salt to each gallon of water.
Mode. - Prawns should be very red, and have no spawn under the tail; much depends on their freshness and the way in which they are cooked. Throw them into boiling water, salted as above, and keep them boiling for about 7 or 8 minutes. Shrimps should be done in the same way; but less time must be allowed. It may easily be known when they are done by their changing colour. Care should be taken that they are not over-boiled, as they then become tasteless and indigestible.
Time. - Prawns, about 8 minutes; shrimps, about 5 minutes.
Average cost, prawns, 2s. per lb.; shrimps, 6d. per pint.
Seasonable all the year.
TO DRESS PRAWNS.
300. Cover a dish with a large cup reversed, and over that lay a small white napkin. Arrange the prawns on it in the form of a pyramid, and garnish with plenty of parsley.
BUTTERED PRAWNS OR SHRIMPS.
313. INGREDIENTS. - 1 pint of picked prawns or shrimps, 3/4 pint of stock No. 104, thickening of butter and flour; salt, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste.
Mode. - Pick the prawns or shrimps, and put them in a stewpan with the stock; add a thickening of butter and flour; season, and simmer gently for 3 minutes. Serve on a dish garnished with fried bread or toasted sippets. Cream sauce may be substituted for the gravy.
Time. - 3 minutes.
Average cost for this quantity, 1s. 4d.
[Illustration: THE SHRIMP.]
THE SHRIMP. - This shell-fish is smaller than the prawn, and is greatly relished in London as a delicacy. It inhabits most of the sandy shores of Europe, and the Isle of Wight is especially famous for them.
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