But­tery shrimps… and an In­done­sian de­light

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

When you reach a ma­ture age, as I have, and you note all the con­stant me­dia cov­er­age of “healthy eat­ing”, you think of all the stuff that you’ve thrown down your throat over the years. Burg­ers. Fries. Potato crisps/chips. Bat­tered fish. Desserts, cakes and sweets. Bis­cuits. Beer, wines and spir­its. Oh, and lots more. And you won­der how you’ve man­aged to stay healthy. But, times they are a-chang­ing. Con­sider this ex­tract from an ar­ti­cle in the “New Yorker” mag­a­zine this week.

Just im­age, in a year or two. When your child asks you to take him or her for a burger, you’ll have to go some­where other than McDon­alds, be­cause they will only be sell­ing food that is “good for you”.

Peo­ple in Cyprus, of course, as soon as pros­per­ity ar­rived, took to Burg­ers, Hot Dogs, French Fries, cream-filled pas­tries and cakes and every­thing else that puts on weight. Cypri­ots’ waist­lines soon ex­panded con­sid­er­ably, to the point when, as in most western coun­tries, obe­sity is a ma­jor prob­lem to­day. In the western coun­tries that lead us (of­ten into temp­ta­tion), we are see­ing, on the hori­zon, the “Post Obe­sity Age”, in which it will be un­healthy, un-nat­u­ral, unso­cia­ble and prob­a­bly il­le­gal, to be over­weight. It used to take a war to keep us slim.

As a child in wartime (1939 – 1945), we got two ounces (55 grams) of but­ter per per­son, per week. To­day you can have at least half that in a de­li­cious dish called “Pot­ted Shrimps”, avail­able from a frozen food counter, near you, or even bet­ter, made at home. All you need is about 50 -75 grams of baby shrimps per per­son (if you can find the brown ones, th­ese are the best). Put the shrimps into small ramekins and pour over melted but­ter in which you have mixed well a pinch or two of Mace (Sch­warz is a good brand). They look nice, too.

My pic­ture also shows lit­tle ramekins of smoked trout paté, which is very easy to make. For four starter por­tions, you will need two smoked trout fil­lets, about 100 – 120 grams of a good cream cheese (such as “Philadel­phia), a dessert spoon­ful of creamed horse­rad­ish (more, or less, to your taste) and a few pinches of black pep­per. To make, just put all the in­gre­di­ents into your food pro­ces­sor and whizz un­til you have a lovely creamy paté.

Th­ese two lit­tle bowls of fishy de­lights can be ac­com­pa­nied by thin slices of brown bread and but­ter, gherkins or pick­led cu­cum­bers, olives, baby toma­toes and slices of cu­cum­ber. With a glass of chilled Xynis­teri – su­perb! two hours; overnight is best.

Skewer the chicken, and put un­der a very hot grill. This will take just a cou­ple of min­utes each side.

If you can’t find peanut but­ter, here is an­other recipe for your own sauce, from In­done­sia. 100g - 3 1/2 oz of ground roasted un­salted peanuts 3 tb­sps of sweet soy sauce (In­done­sian “Ke­cap Ma­nis” for pref­er­ence) or 3 tb­sps Chi­nese soy sauce + 1 flat tsp sugar 1 1/2 tb­sps ground co­rian­der 2-3 pinches of turmeric (one-third tsp) 2 tsps chili sauce 1 tsp minced gar­lic 180 ml / 6 fl oz tin co­conut milk 2-3 tsps palm sugar (or sub­sti­tute brown sugar) Salt Lemon juice

Com­bine all of the in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept salt and lemon juice, in a small pan with sugar and sim­mer for 2-3 min­utes. Cool. Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Use as a dip­ping sauce or spooned over flat­tened pieces of grilled or bar­be­cued chicken fil­let.

You can stir-fry al­most any com­bi­na­tion of veg­eta­bles. My sliced/chopped com­bi­na­tion, pic­tured, is: leek, mush­room, cab­bage, red pep­per. The packet by the plate is one of pre­coked noo­dles.

Go to www.east­ward-ho for more recipes, food and wine news and notes.

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