Love a classic prawn cocktail but looking for a lighter yet creamy dressing? This yogurt Marie Rose tartare sauce was inspired by the one from Fish Butchery and mimics a creamy mayonnaise based dressing but with yogurt instead of mayonnaise or oil! It's every bit as delicious as a classic seafood sauce!
The origins of prawn cocktails are many and depends on the country that you come from. Some say it's Mexican, others say that it's British, others cite American recipes. Each differs slightly - the Mexican version doesn't contain mayonnaise while the British one always seems to. This version has a yogurt tartare crossed with a Marie Rose sauce because I wanted the best of both worlds flavour-wise.
What is Marie Rose Sauce? At its very simplest Marie Rose sauce or Thousand Island dressing is just tomato sauce or ketchup mixed with mayonnaise although you can also add other flavours like Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. It became popular in Britain because of Fanny Cradock who was a restaurant critic and tv cooking show host and cooking doyenne in a similar vein of Julia Child was to Americans and Margaret Fulton to Australians although the three women had quite different styles.
What is a tartare sauce? This is a classic sauce that is served with fish and consists of mayonnaise mixed with chopped onions, gherkins, and capers. Sauce Tartar comes from France, in particular the Eastern region of France. I loved combining both because all of these flavours go well together.
Prawn cocktails are a bit retro and they always remind me of Christmas. I'm thinking I'll probably serve a version this year at Christmas and I'll probably do it in individual glasses. I still can't believe Christmas is coming up so soon. I don't know about you Dear Reader, but I am utterly exhausted. I usually reach the end of the year and I'm done and barely make it over the line. But this year it's over a month before Christmas and I'm already at that stage.
This is a result of COVID malaise and exhaustion but also the frustrating process of trying to buy a home in Sydney. I normally love living in Sydney but housing affordability is a serious issue here that has to be fixed. There's disappointment at every turn as housing prices climb rapidly and sharply - an area that would have been affordable 9 months ago is now completely out of reach. Real estate agents underquote by 25% so you think you have a chance and then you realise that you never had a chance as a property goes for hundreds of thousands more than expected (sometimes half a million as we regularly experience!).
Our dream of an affordable and yet not lavish home keeps disappearing in front of our eyes with every passing day. If you happen to have generous parents that want to help out then you're one of the lucky ones but if you're like us and doing it on your own it is nothing short of a hellish and frankly depressing experience. I've never felt so close to tears so often.
So the only way to survive the holiday season? Like Halloween I want Christmas to be a bit more low key and this year I'll get everyone else to bring a dish. I'll also make easy recipes like this prawn cocktail. Or maybe I need to cut down on the prawns to be able to afford a house...
On a lighter, happier note: a new episode of my food podcast Your Cake Dealer is out and we hit 1,000 downloads (well we did in week 3)! Also Nina and I are finally recording together in the same room again. Thanks for putting up with the dubious sound quality - it will be much better from now on. This episode is all about Instagram and we spill the tea about the negs and positives of Instagram, how to market a business on Instagram, how to grow your Instagram business and how to suss out a fishy following. Also Cookie Queen Maddy from @lukeavenue drops in and tells us how she uses Instagram to drive her business! Listen to it on Spotify, apple or wherever you get your podcasts and don't forget to follow us on Instagram to see when the new episodes drop!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you know what you're serving this year for Christmas? Do you ever do a pot luck Christmas? Are you feeling the housing affordability crisis?
Prawn Cocktail With Yogurt Marie Rose Dressing
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
- 12 large prawns, cooked & peeled (around 300g/10.6ozs.)
- 1/2 baby cos lettuce
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 100g/3.5ozs. natural yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce/ketchup
- 1/2 golden shallot, finely chopped
- 30g/1oz. cornichons, finely chopped
- 30g/1oz. baby capers in brine, drained and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Step 1 - Peel the prawns and place in a bowl. Mix the yogurt, tomato sauce, shallots, cornichons, baby capers and lemon juice in a small bowl and then mix with the prawns.
Step 2 - Chop the lettuce up into ribbons and divide among 4 cups. Place 1/4 of the avocado into each cup and then place 3 saucy prawns on top. You can also cover these and serve them on the same day.