You may or may not know that the ‘Marie Rose’, or ‘Cocktail Sauce’ which accompanies a prawn-cocktail was first created by Fanny Cradock in the 1960s. Her original sauce was made from tomatoes, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon-juice and pepper. Subsequent versions have been simplified to just tomato-ketchup and mayonnaise, which is now the standard version used.
Ketchup contains sugar, which is ‘off limits’ to diabetics and those on a ketogenic diet. My version of this classic therefore substitutes the ketchup for tomato purée. This makes it low-carb but every bit as delicious.
To make the sauce, take two heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise and squeeze in a good tablespoon of lemon-juice. Grind in black pepper, then add a teaspoon of tomato-purée. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until smooth. Next stir in half of your prawns, keeping the rest aside to garnish.
Form a bed of lettuce in your salad-bowl. Inch-length chunks of celery laid on top of this add a pleasing textural variation. Quickly drizzle vinaigrette or olive-oil over the leaves, then spoon your prawns-in-sauce all over the salad. Arrange the remaining prawns at intervals across the surface, keeping the tails-on for decoration.
Sprinkle a few cubes of feta over the dish and finally shave a flourish of deliciously-salty parmesan over the top. A good squeeze of lemon sees the dish complete!
Prawn-cocktail must be the ultimate late-twentieth-century starter; one that time has been unable to diminish. If you haven’t had it for a while, then try it as above. You’ll soon be reminded what’s kept the dish so universally popular for the last 50 years!
Thanks for reading and bon ap!