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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scampi And Fried Baked Potato/ Gresham Hotel Dublin


The scampi is the same scampi from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin. They were a very popular item on the menu there during the sixties when I worked there. This has always been one of my favorite things from that period.
You make a regular frying batter from flour and milk and add half a bottle of beer. Any cheap beer will do. Leave it in a warm place to proof for a few hours and then add very finely chopped garlic and chopped parsley. Season the batter. Dredge the large shrimp in flour and coat them with batter then fry them as you would fish and chips. This batter will also do for fish and chips. You don't need a deep fryer to do this. Do it in a largish pot on top of the stove.
The potato:
Wash a good sized baker potato and bake it. When it is cold slice it into thick slices and deep fry the slices until crispy.
The fresh tartar sauce consists of: one part pickle, one part caper, one part onion all chopped up finely. add a little chopped garlic and seasoning plus a little lemon or lime juice and some chopped parsley. Mix that all together with mayonnaise and the juice of half of a lemon and you have perfect tartar sauce
The coleslaw is: equal parts of white cabbage, onion and carrot. All shredded very finely either with a knife or a machine made for that purpose. It is not a good idea to use a cheese shredder. Whatever you use the shred should be fine. Mix everything with a little red wine vinegar a little olive oil and a little lemon juice. This will serve to break down the vegetables overnight or over the course of a few hours. Add some chopped garlic and salt and pepper. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
The lemon juice , vinegar and salt will break down the vegetables over that time. When ready to use, or a few hours before, remove from fridge, drain juice into a little bowl and add mayonnaise. Then add the juices back until you get the consistency you want. Correct the seasoning and serve.
This, like the tartar sauce will last quite a while in the fridge.
This is the second serving for the one in the photo, I used it last week on another dish and I will finish it next week.
A note on the batter:
All flours are different so a recipe for batter is difficult. It should be about as thick as good country double cream. You can always add milk if it is too thick and add flour if not thick enough.
To check the batter: dip a spoon into the batter and drop a few drops into the hot oil. They should form balls or batter bubbles to tell you that the consistency is good. This is one of those trial and error things.

3 comments:

Evelyn said...

Yummy. I will have to try that batter soon. That looks like coleslaw on one side and raita in the small dish.

James Walsh said...

Evelyn that is a home made tartar sauce in the ramequin and homemade cole slaw on the plate. I will post the ingredients tonight.

Evelyn said...

Thanks for the recipe, Jim. You are very imaginative in your choice of food, and you seem to be almost a vegetarian.