Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chow Down to Eurovision 2014 - United Kingdom

Good evening world this is the United Kingdom calling, the bridesmaid of Eurovision having placed 2nd 15 times in the contest's history.

In recent years the UK has turned to the more well know mature performer so I thought for the Chow Down to Eurovision I would need to do the same.

My inspiration comes from one of the UK's most amazing (mature) female cooks, but without just announcing it lets have a little game of who am I.....
  • I am a reality show icon
  • I am know for my skills when it comes to pastry
  • I source my produce from my local supplier "Reg"
  • I'd be embarrassed by dry pheasant
  • My friends adore me!


Yes I'm not Mary Berry I'm Valerie Holiday from Come Dine With Me!
 Image via Youtube
I first saw Come Dine With Me when AB and I were traveling and so when it came to commercial TV in Australia, the dvd recorder was set!

If you haven't seen it, it's the other show along with Masterchef that was ripped off to become My Kitchen Rules.

This series of 5 guests is the best in the whole history of the program, Val, Nigel (Nigel, Nigel), Bernard, Paul and the entertaining Dawn who was the only contestant to fall asleep at her own dinner party. (I was very sad to hear of Dawn's passing last year, so young. RIP Dawn)
Allow Valerie to demonstrate her recipe (about 6 minutes in)....but it's not how I made it.

 Vikki told us what Love Is in 1985, but I'm not 100% convinced it isn't Valerie in her younger day, either that or Jane Turner playing Princess Diana


While Valerie is a welcomed guest at the to the Chow Down to Eurovision sadly I don't have my own pheasant supplier and budget cuts meant I wasn't paying $40 for the one I could get.  So even though the UK was represented by salmon and caper pie with mash potato last year, it had to be the seafood shell, there was no way I was doing that fruit pastry!
The key ingredient here is the shells that "you can get at the fish mongers, forgetting how much you paid, and wash them in the dishwasher, over and over again"
Valerie's Prawn Shells
  • 40g butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g parmesan rated
  • 400-500g green prawns
  • 6-8 chives finely chopped
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml milk
  • Boil the potatoes
  • Mash the potatoes with butter and milk, pinch of salt to a pipe-able texture
  • In a medium saucepan melt the butter on high heat
  • Add the flour and combine to make a paste
  • Cook for flour for about 1 minute
  • Slowly add some milk while whisking to avoid lumps
  • Reduce the heat and continually stir
  • As the sauce thickens add more milk and continue to stir
  • Repeat till all milk is used and sauce has thickened
  • Add grated parmesan and stir through
  • Add the prawns to the hot sauce, this and the time in the oven will cook them enough
  • Season with salt and pepper and add chives
  • Spoon the prawns into the shell and place on an oven tray
  • Pipe the potato around the shell (no 2 designs are the same)
  • Bake at 190°C for 10-15 minutes till the potato starts to brown
  • If you don't have old shells lying around the place, a ramekin would do the trick.
  • I can honestly say, I will probably never make this again....but enjoy!
To brown it up more without over cooking the prawns, pop it under the grill for 1-2 minutes.

Molly Smitten-Downes performed Children of the Universe for the United Kingdom in Copenhagen. 

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