Reading my Constance Spry Cookery Book, published in 1956, there is a surprising amount of recipes which are still current today and very popular. Take garlic butter – Constance has a recipe for garlic butter, an ounce of pounded blanched garlic to an ounce of butter, and Maître d’ butter which I have seen on menus – butter, chopped parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper… but she also has recipes for eleven other butters.
However, it’s not the butters which struck me, as the introduction to them: these ar of course used in many dishes… but as they are often useful for some of the foregoing kickshaws they may reasonably go in here’ and then she lists them below.
The foregoing kickshaws are little nibblies for cocktail parties, canapés and small savouries… but it was the word kickshaw which interested me… I’m not exactly sure I know what one is… Well, apparently it is ‘a fancy but insubstantial cooked dish, especially one of foreign origin’. I didn’t know that!! It comes from the French ‘quelquechose’… I think I might start using it! A posh London restaurant added the word to its canapés menu, but I don’t think it has caught on!
I might share a few kickshaw recipes some time, in the meantime here are the eleven butters:
- Montpelier – butter, cooked egg yolk, spinach leaves, tarragon, parsley, anchovy fillets, salt and pepper
- chivry or ravigote – butter, parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, shallot
- á l’indienne – butter, mango chutney, curry powder, made mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper
… and here is an article about the restaurant who wanted to bring back kickshaws:
What fun! I’ve always love the word “quelquechose,” but now I have a new one to play with!
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