Old School Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce
I'm not sure if it was all those prawns on the Christmas table or a nostalgic stroll through my mum's well loved copy of The Australian and New Zealand Complete Book of Cookery (a giant red leather number from the 1970s) over the holidays but the need to make a really old school classic prawn cocktail had been nagging in the back of my mind for the last few days. So...it just had to be done for a retro-chic Friday night soiree for two.
I can remember tucking into many a prawn cocktail at the local RSL on trips to see family in QLD and country NSW on holidays as a little kid. The prawn cocktail was also a star feature at any big family gatherings or parties. Most memorably, the prawn cocktail was the great start to mum's fabulous dinner parties whilst I was growing up. Mum even had these amazing two layered serving dishes, in which you could place shaved ice in a small dish underneath the cocktail glass to keep the prawns well chilled - so chic!! It seems like such a shame that this classic little number has all but disappeared from many party menus - especially when it is so well accompanied by a lovely toasty glass of champagne. I love the vintage vibe of the prawn cocktail, it's all a little bit "Mad Men" and I'm determined to get it back into my menu planning!!
While my mum's classic 1970s recipe calls for cream in the Marie Rose sauce, post Christmas, I went with the Greek yoghurt option, which made the sauce a little lighter and a little brighter. I also really cranked up the cayenne pepper to give the dish a really spicy finish. This is such a shamelessly easy starter to make - especially when you have poured yourself a little glass of champagne and the smooth strains of Burt Bacharach are playing in the background......