Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to pot

No, this is not a gardening post.

Potted Anything is what you take on picnics. Or whip from the freezer where the other pots lurk, and thaw for an easy appetizer or lunch. Potting turns leftovers into a class act.

All you need is the pot (ramekin, really), and small bits of leftover pork belly, say, or cooked shrimp, or smoked fish - chopped or shredded, and finally something to bind the bits: fat or butter.

Spread on bread or crackers cold, or at room or park temperature, the flavours are more muted than when warm, so I season that which I pot, highly.

Potting also encourages laborious use of English. It is so English.

This was: smoked mackerel left over from one of the several sambals I had made to photograph for the October menu for the book, last year. It is a riff on the Cape snoek sambal - but in New York I use mackerel or trout. The fish had been finely shredded (I use two forks to do this, in a bowl), already, then mixed with lemon juice to taste, and then I pressed it into ramekins. No salt needed in this case, because it was already very salty. I melted butter and poured it over the top, before chilling the pots to set the mixture.

The satisfying part is cutting a thick wedge out with your knife later, to press down onto a slice of good brown bread. And yes, October's book also has a recipe for Good Brown Bread. In fact, I may make some, later. Talking  about this has made very hungry.

Does anyone have a spare mackerel?


  1. Any potted meat or shrimp made into rillettes has my name all over it! I love the idea of using leftover mackerel (who has that?) with butter! Can you make me a brandade please (not really a potted fish, but sort of?) I am too scared I will eat the whole thing!

  2. There is a leftover piece of salmon in the 'fridge right now. I think that would make a nice pot. Thanks for the "recipe".

  3. Thank you. Never thought of making this before and it is such an easy thing to do!


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