Chives are those wispy hollow stalks, a member of the onion family, they carry a distinctive but mild onion flavour. They grow in clumps from a single bulb base and carry a truly beautiful flower.
The flowers are edible - sprinkle them on salads or use them in a chive butter are just a couple of ways you can use them.
The dish I've decided to make is an old English Standard and came about as soon as I saw these at my fishmongers
School Prawns - the perfect ingredient to make Potted Shrimp!
The original dish uses mace or nutmeg and cayenne as flavourings but I'll be using chives and getting that kick from Shichimi Togarashi. The dish is a bit of a fiddle but well worth it for the end result.
Potted School Prawns250 grams school prawns
125 grams salted butter
chives, cut finely
Since the ingredients are going to be bathed in butter, it's important that you use a really good butter. I've used this
Oddly enough, although 180 acres is an Australian business, this butter comes from New Zealand
Prepare the butter:
Cut the butter into even pieces and place in a pan over a very low heat. It must melt slowly.
Take a good sized bundle of chives, trim the end and then slice very finely.
tumble some of the slices chives into the pan and when the butter has fully melted, remove from the heat. Add another large spoonful of chives and a sprinkling of Shichimi Togarashi and allow to cool and infuse.
Prepare the School Prawns:
Rinse the prawns under cold water and then plunge into a pot of rapidly boiling water - boil for 30 seconds or until they just change colour, drain immediately.
The bodies of these prawns are quite soft so all you need to remove are the spikey bits - the head, legs and tail tip.
Add the prepared prawns to your cooled butter along with a little more chives and stir well to combine. Spoon out into two small glass bowls - make sure that the butter completely covers the prawns.
Cover the bowls and place in the fridge to set.
You don't want the butter to completely harden, the aim is to serve it at a spreadable consistency. While traditionally you'll serve it alongside melba toast, I've toasted thin slices of a good sourdough baguette.
Be generous when serving.
It's a luxurious combination - smooth chive flavoured butter, sweet and succulent prawn meat, warm crisp toast and a gentle kick of spice. Life doesn't get much better than this.