Stewed cucumbers and brown shrimp

Stewed cucumbers and brown shrimp


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This is an elegant, warm salad that plays on the flavours of traditional potted shrimp. Cooked cucumber recipes are relatively common in older cookbooks but seldom seen these days. I find their texture particularly pleasing – a slippery delight. The pairing of cucumbers and seafood is indisputable so this dish is an easy match.

This works well with most shellfish – the orange flesh of mussels would look (as well as taste) particularly fine against the pale green. In this instance leave out the nutmeg. The dish would also act as a good accompaniment to flat fish, such as sole.

Slice the cucumber lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Cut on a jaunty angle into 1cm slices
Place the clarified butter in a frying pan and once sizzling hot, add the cucumbers. Stir around in the pan at a high heat, allowing their liquid to evaporate. Cook for 5–10 minutes until the cucumbers are cooked but still retain a faint crunch
Season with the salt, black and white pepper, cayenne (if using) and a few scrapes of nutmeg. Add the lemon juice and toss together. Check the seasoning to make sure you’re happy
Add in two-thirds of the picked herb leaves and the brown shrimp and mix together
Place on a serving platter and sprinkle over the remaining herbs
This dish must be served warm, as otherwise the butter starts to solidify into an unappealing texture once it cools
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