Recently, I was approached by Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers to participate in a Vincent Price cook-a-long with other food bloggers from around the world. Turns out that Vincent was also a gourmet cook. (This makes him more scary in my eyes.) Mother thought it was a good way for me to make friends, so I said yes.
Folks, I’ve seen a lot of frightening recipes in my day, but none as terrifying as the one Jenny sent me. The recipe called for “plaice fish” (Where do I find that? Aquarium World?), something called a “fluted tube” (sounds painful) and FOUR cockadoodle frying pans! To make matters worse, I had to whip this up on Halloween night. Have you met the kids in my area? Trust me, they don’t take kindly to waiting.
Anyways, I did what any caker would do and simplified, simplified, simplified. Here’s Vincent’s recipe, followed by my cakerified version. Which is better? I'll leave that in your capable hands, dear reader.
Cook 4 medium potatoes in salted water until very tender. Drain and mash. Beat in 3 tablespoons butter and enough hot cream to make fluffy potatoes that are still stiff enough to be pressed through a fluted pastry tube. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over simmering water.
Poach 4 fillets of plaice (about 1 ¼ lb.) in a cup of water with a ½ pint of dry white wine, the juice of one lemon, ½ teaspoon and ¼ teaspoon of white pepper for 5 minutes. Remove fillets and keep warm. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to a ¼ pint.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in each of 4 small frying-pans. In one, sauté 4 oz. of button mushrooms for 5 minutes. In another, 4 oz. shrimp for 5 minutes. In a third, toss 4 oz. herring roes floured for 5 minutes; in the last, cook 4 sliced scallops for 5 minutes.
Fill a forcing bag, fitted with a large fitted tube, with the mashed potatoes and press out fluted ribbon down the centre of a large serving platter. On one side press out 3 ribbons from centre to edge of platter, making 4 evenly divided compartments. Arrange the fillets on the other side in the long compartment. Put platter into a warm oven to keep warm.
In saucepan beat 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon flour and ½ pint cream. Strain ¼ pint of reduced fish liquid into the egg-cream mixture and cook, stirring rapidly, until sauce is hot and slightly thickened. Be careful not to let it boil. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Pour sauce over fish fillets only and garnish with parsley.
MUCH EASIER CAKER VERSION
Take a box of fish sticks and cook according to package directions. Cook instant mashed potatoes according to package directions. Open can of shrimp. Open can of water chestnuts (because who can afford scallops?) Make tapioca (because who can afford herring roes?) Open can of mushrooms.
Put the potatoes in a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off and squeeze it out in some squiggly lines on a platter. Then arrange your mushrooms, shrimps, water chestnuts and tapioca in the compartments. Then add your fish sticks and sprinkle with dried parsley. Eat and ponder what you’re going to do with all your spare time.
What did my fearless fellow food bloggers get up to with their Vincent Price recipe? Check them out:
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers - Oxtail Creole
Emily of Dinner is Served 1972 – Beef Heart Stewed
Cathy of Battenburg Belle – Deviled Shrimp and Rice
Sally of My Custard Pie – Deviled Rib Bones
Ruth of Mid Century Menu – Unwealthy Wellington
Angela of Glamorous Glutton – Steak Moutarde Flambe
Lauren of The Past on a Plate – Ayrshire Poacher’s Roll
Mimi of The Retro WW Experiment – Chinese Chicken
Carol of Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab
Erica of Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster
Susie of Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams
Lisa of Beyond the Fringes – Calf’s Liver Marine
Helen of Zelda’s Secrets – Champignons Grilles Marie Victoire
Saucy Cherie of CookBook Cherie – Liver Risotto
(With all due respect, who's really the wise one here?)
P.S. Bazaar-o-Rama 2013 starts this Friday! Check back for all the