A retro 70’s prawn cocktail starter is truly back in fashion – this is my updated take on an old classic. It graced our Christmas table this year and was a really big hit. My Marie Rose sauce has been pimped up with a little smoked sriracha hot sauce and the layers in the glass ramekins (verrines) I used consist of shredded sweet Gem lettuce, diced cucumber with dill, brown shrimps, diced green apple and juicy King prawns. It’s an easy make-ahead starter and you can serve it all-year round from store cupboard and freezer ingredients. We served it with a lightly chilled glass of 2020 Viré Clessé “Vielles Vignes” from Majestic. Delicious!
- Serves 4
- 400g good quality North Atlantic cooked King prawns – I used Waitrose frozen
- 2 x 70g packs of Fisherman brown shrimps
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small dice
- 1/2 a cucumber, de-seeded and chopped into small dice
- 6 sprigs of dill
- 1 baby gem lettuce, washed, dried and thinly shredded
- 2 tbsps cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 4 slices of lemon
- Marie Rose sauce: 175g good quality mayonnaise, 3tbsp tomato ketchup, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp brandy, a few drops of Tabasco, 2 tsps smoked Sriracha hot sauce (I use the Eaten Alive brand)
- First, prepare all the ingredient layers, making sure you defrost your prawns in advance. The chopped cucumber should be mixed with a little oil and vinegar, a pinch of salt and 2 sprigs of the finely chopped dill. Mix the chopped apple with a little of the vinegar to prevent it from turning brown. Mix the Marie Rose sauce components in a small jug or bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you prefer.
- In each glass ramekin create the layers. Ensure each dish has an equal amount of every layer. The base is a bed of shredded lettuce, then a layer of cucumber, a layer of brown shrimps and a layer of green apple. Pour a quarter of the Marie Rose sauce over each apple layer in the ramekins. Layer the large prawns in a circle on top of the sauce – I used 7 or 8 in each ramekin. Garnish with a twisted slice of lemon and a sprig of dill. You could also dust it lightly with a little smoked paprika.
- Refrigerate until you need to serve.
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