Eastern Shore of Virginia Recipes


Provided by Priscilla C. Beachboard


Recipe By     : Margaret D. Crockett

Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :4:00

Categories    : Seafood

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method

--------  ------------  --------------------------------

   1                    terrapin

   1      tablespoon    butter

   1      tablespoon    flour

   1      pint          cream

   1      pinch         salt

   1      dash          cayenne pepper

   1      dash          nutmeg

   2                    egg yolks -- beaten

   1      tablespoon    lemon juice

   1      gill          Madeira or sherry (1/2 cup)

Before cooking a terrapin allow it to swim around in cold water for three or four hours to cleanse it.

Wash it off and plunge it head first into a pot of boiling water which kills instantly); cover pot tight. Boil not less than 15 minutes for very young ones;boil older ones until the feet skin easily. Take off the feet, removing from them the skin and toenals. Take off the lower shell any meat that may cling to it. Remove the head and tail. Carefully take the gall from the liver and any portion of the liver that looks greenish; it is best to cut all the liver possible and then remove the gall. Do not pull or squeeze it or it will surely break.

Remove the sand bag which is a brown spongy substance lying under the top shell on either side of the ridge; it can easily be distinguished. Pour all the remaining contents of the upper shell into a stew pan, leaving the four quarters as little picked up as possible.

Melt butter over low to medium heat; stir in flour. Add cream slowly; season with salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg . When the sauce is smoothly mixed and seasoned, add 1 pint terrapin meat. When steaming hot again, add the well-beaten egg yolks, lemon juice and wine. Serve at once.

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Suggested Wine: Madeira or sherry

Serving Ideas : Serve on toast points.

NOTES : During the years just before and after the turn of the century, terrapin, the common name for a diamondback turtle, was considered to be gourmet fare. The little animals were in such demand that they were hunted nearly to extinction. This recipe is from that era.

Do you have Eastern Shore of Virginia family recipes you would like to share with readers of this web site? If so, please e-mail them to Jack Burn jackburn@swva.net . Thanks

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