This delicious Marie Rose sauce is the secret to a memorable prawn cocktail. Nigella Lawson says that the Marie Rose sauce originating in England, is the same as the Thousand Island Dressing, however the latter is the condiment spread on the Reuben sandwich, whilst Marie Rose is traditionally served with the Prawn cocktail. It was invented by British cook Fanny Cradock, but who was Marie Rose, I am still searching.
The legendary Margaret Fulton, back in 1968 in her signature Cookbook, suggested serving a seafood cocktail with 2 chilled oysters, and 1/3 cup cooked prawns, drizzled with cocktail sauce. I prefer to eat my oysters separately au naturel with just a squeeze of lemon juice rather than in the cocktail, and 1/3 cup of prawns just doesn't seem enough anymore, however it depends on how many you are catering for I suppose, and the cost and availability of prawns. I allow 3-4 prawns per person and added four oysters on the side for good measure. Mr. HRK detests oysters, his aversion matches my passion for them, all the more for me I say. So I gave him a couple of extra prawns to compensate.The appealing thing for me about this dish besides it's deliciousness, is that no cooking is involved, the sauce can be prepared up to 3 days in advance, the salad prepared in the morning and the prawns shelled the same day as well. Just assemble, adorn and eat. It's that simple, enjoyed with a nice chilled white wine of course.
1/4-1/2 of a freshly washed crunchy, and chilled Iceberg or Gem lettuce, sliced thinly
1 Lebanese cucumber halved lengthways, seeds removed, and sliced thinly across
12 fresh oysters if you like them
Marie Rose Seafood Sauce:
This is my recipe for Marie Rose Sauce which I often make well in advance allowing it time to chill and the flavours to infuse.It can also be served in a bowl as a delicious sauce to accompany a seafood platter.
Serves 6 easily
1 cup (300g) whole egg mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Tomato Sauce or Ketchup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (definitely not bottled)
2 teaspoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1. Combine the mayonnaise, tomato sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and paprika in a small bowl or a decorative mug, if you are serving it on the side for a seafood platter.
2. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill. This sauce recipe will keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
If it is hot weather, I place my serving glasses in advance in the refrigerator to chill as well.
Assembling your Prawn Cocktail;
Fill your serving dishes 3/4 full with lettuce and sliced cucumber.
Top the lettuce with the chopped prawns, and drizzle over enough sauce to cover the prawns. Sprinkle very lightly with a little more ground paprika.
Add a sliver of lemon to the side of the glass, and a wedge on the plate, and add an edible flower for some extra adornment if you wish. My nasturtiums are in flower so I added one of those to each glass to match the prawns.
Thanks for dropping by and please stay safe away from bushfires if you are an Aussie.