I'd like to shout the cause for Savouries from the rooftops of Olde London! Not really being a pudding sort of person, I'm a huge fan. Savouries are a peculiarly English sort of thing, rarely served here anymore (apart from at crusty old-fashioned London clubs), and, I doubt very much, anywhere else in the world.
What are they? They were (or are) a popular- and rather masculine- substitute for the pudding course, and usually involved some form of toast, mushroom, egg or smoked fish, and then flavoured with spicy stuff like Lea & Perrins, and Cayenne Pepper.
I've taken two recipes from Arabella Boxer's "Book of English Food". This gem of a book is all about English food from the 1920's and 1930's. For some reason, it's almost impossible to find (was the print run miniscule?), and I had to pay a crazy amount on the internet for a copy- and it took me about six months to track one down.
Anyway, if you're tempted to make a savoury; here's how you do it: First Mushrooms on Toast (or "Champignons en Croute", as they rather cheekily used to call it at The Gasworks Restaurant, Chelsea, circa 1985):
Take some slices of white bread, remove the crusts, and then cut them into small to medium sized squares. Spread both sides very thinly with butter, and then bake them for 10-15 minutes on your oven rack at 400 F (200 C), until they are golden and crisp. Frankly, it might be easier to just fry them in olive oil in a pan. Chop up some decent brown mushrooms and fry them in butter for several minutes until they are soft. Lots of water should come out- you want to drain that off.
Next, make a classic white sauce. You should remember this from other posts: a knob of butter in the pan, flour- to make a roux, then milk and a bit of stock, salt and pepper. You want the white sauce to have a creamy consistency. Mix it in with the mushrooms, and add chopped parsley, and a splash of Lea & Perrins. Pour the mushroom mixture onto the fried bread squares, and then top off the dish with a grilled mushroom. You can serve them on a plate with a watercress garnish.
The other recipe is for Scotch Woodcock. This has nothing to do with Woodcock, game, or birds of the feathered variety. You take some anchovy fillets, and soak them in milk for about ten minutes. Make some fried bread squares (as before). Next, mix up some scrambled eggs the classic way- remember, just butter and eggs on a very low heat, and definitely no milk. But stir in some cream, salt and pepper when they are almost done. Pile the creamy scrambled eggs onto the fried bread, top them with two anchovy fillets in a cross pattern, and garnish with capers and a bit of watercress.