Friday, June 09, 2006

Retro Recipe Challenge #1

Laura Rebecca's Kitchen is on a quest for those Retro Recipes that time probably hasn't been that kind to. You'd have to think that these dishes must have had, at one point, some kind of gastronomic worth.

There was one dish that immediately came to mind. By the time the 80's rolled out it was something most people laughed at. That dish is the ubiquitous "Prawn Cocktail" the sight of which used to scare me, with it's combination of sad iceburg lettuce, forlorn shrimp and lurid orange sauce.

Delia Smith in her "Winter Collection" revisits this dish and re-creates the original which didn't sound too bad and once assembled it actually looked appetising - hopefully you'll agree!

prawn cocktail© by haalo

Prawn Cocktail For 2

6 raw prawns (these are Queensland Tiger Prawns)
2 Cos Lettuce leaves, shredded
¼ Avocado, diced finely

Cocktail Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise (home-made preferred)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (I used tomato paste)
salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare the Prawns:

Shell the prawns leaving the tail tip intact - then de-vein the prawns.
Heat a little oil in a pan and quickly sear the prawns, grinding over with salt and pepper as they cook. This should only take a minute or two at the most. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Make the sauce:

In a small bowl add the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice & tomato ketchup/paste. Mix and then season to taste with salt and finely ground pepper.
Cover and keep in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

Assemble the dish:

Keep two prawns aside to garnish the top of the dish. Slice the remaining prawns into a small dice.

Take two martini glasses.

Place some shredded cos lettuce at the base of the glass then top with half the diced avocado. Sprinkle over the diced prawns then spoon over with a little of the sauce. Repeat with another layer of lettuce and avocado then top with a whole prawn. Serve the extra sauce on the side.

prawn cocktail© by haalo

The Verdict:
It really was a delicious and clean flavoured dish - maybe it just might come back in fashion.


  1. Thanks for your submission to the Retro Recipe Challenge, Haalo! Those prawns look pretty darn good!

  2. Actually I think it looks pretty good. You're lucky to live where there are such lovely prawns. Here they are horribly expensive.

  3. Thanks Laura Rebecca - the prawns were thoroughly enjoyed!

    Hi Kalyn - queensland tiger prawns are delicious - sweet and almost lobster like in taste and texture; our seafood isn't quite as reasonable as it was since the rest of the world seems to have discovered it and wants to try some!


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