Prawn cocktail paired with Jukes 8

Each month, Matthew Jukes gives you a simple but stunning starter or main course recipe to serve with either Jukes 1, 6, 2 or 8.  

This month is Prawn Cocktail (approx. for four) With Jukes 8

I am a huge fan of a classic prawn cocktail.  I was the wine consultant for Bibendum Restaurant for 26 years and Simon Hopkinson’s recipe for this legendary dish was simply stunning.  He used two subtle twists on the regular recipe and I have adopted these two tweaks ever since.  So here is a Jukes prawn cocktail with Hoppy’s two genius additions.  It is a brilliant dish with our newly re-launched Jukes 8 for multiple reasons not least its ability to slice through tricky ingredients like Tabasco and mayonnaise while romancing the fabulous prawns.  You can serve this either as a canapé or as a starter.

Ingredients -

6 tablespoons of Mayonnaise (Helmann’s is fine if you don’t want to make your own)

2 tablespoons of Tomato Ketchup (and Heinz is fine here, too – although I would seek out the organic version if you can)

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

1 Lemon - half squeezed for the sauce and the rest sliced for the garnish

Cracked black pepper

A splash of Cognac (the first ‘Hoppy’ trick)

A good few shakes of Tabasco

2 Little Gem Lettuces, peel away the leaves, wash and dry with kitchen roll

500gms peeled prawns

4 Spring onions – finely slice the white section after topping and tailing

10 cm length of Cucumber, peeled, halved and remove the seeds and mush by scraping a teaspoon down the centre of each halved piece of cucumber and then slice each half lengthways to make 4 batons.  Then slice these across quite finely. (the second ‘Hoppy’ trick)

Method -

For the spicy sauce combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, Cayenne pepper, a good few twists of cracked black pepper in a bowl and stir well.  Carefully add a few splashes of Tabasco (I am quite heavy-handed here) and also a few drops of Cognac.  These are the two most powerful ingredients so be brave and taste as you go.   If you overstep the mark then calm it down with more mayonnaise (and ketchup if needed).  Once you have the base sauce gently stir in the spring onions, cucumber and lastly the prawns. 

Either spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups as a canapé or roughly chop the lettuce cups and assemble them in a tumbler and spoon in generous dollops of prawn cocktail on top for a starter.  Finish both with a very light dusting of Cayenne Pepper.