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John’s Prawn Cocktail

A bit of a retro classic, but with a twist, these prawns are worthy of a comeback! Perfect for a first course or a light luncheon, everything can be made ahead of time and then assembled in a tick. The shrimp are succulent, the sauce is just tangy enough, and the lettuce adds precisely the right crispness — all in, this is a great go-to recipe for family or friends. And seriously, it’s just FUN to eat anything in lettuce cups!

John’s Prawn Cocktail

For the Rose Marie sauce:

2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1-2 tbs. tomato ketchup
1 tbs. tarragon or while wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 egg yolk
pinch of paprika

For the Prawns:

1 Baby Gem or butter lettuce
12 cooked tiger prawns*
pinch of dried thyme
1 red chili or red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
lemon wedges, to serve

Put all the ingredients for the Rose Marie sauce, along with a pinch of salt, in a blender and blitz until you have a pink sauce. Alternatively, you can use a hand-held whisk to do this.

Remove 6 medium-sized leaves from the lettuce and shred the smaller ones. Combine the shredded lettuce with the prawns, thyme, and red chili or pepper. Arrange the whole lettuce leaves on a plate and spoon the prawn mixture into each one. Drizzle with the sauce and serve with lemon wedges.

*To cook the shrimp: place them on a baking sheet, season and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F.

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