Updated Simple Shrimp and Lobster Cocktail for Holiday Parties

This is a great simple recipe. If you use it for a holiday cocktail party, you can claim a certain amount of "retro" feel, but also surprise the quests / party goers with the sophisticated flavors that really come out. You can also claim the sauce is called "Rose Maria Sauce", which is accurate. It's a British phrase for ketchup and mayo sauce.

I read the ingredients for this recipe and thought of the mayo/ketchup salad dressing my Mom made in the '70's. But the addition of lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Brandy caught my attention. It was shockingly refreshing.

When I made this I went over the top, as I had homemade ketchup on hand, and whipped up my own mayo (literally, of course, it's whipped). But I also made a “regular” version of it using a jar of mayo and off-the-shelf ketchup, to see if it would work as well, and it did.

Shrimp and Lobster Cocktail with Rose Marie Sauce
Serves 8-10

1.5 pounds medium shrimp, preferably 16-20 or 20-25 count, peeled
2 medium lobsters, approx. 1.25 pounds each.
       If you don't want to wrestle with lobsters, add another half pound of shrimp.
Seasonings: 1 bay leaf, 12 whole peppercorns, 1 lemon sliced
1 head Butter lettuce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon good quality brandy (not flavored in any way)
1 small lemon

  1. Prepare an ice bath - a large bowl of water with a handful of ice cubes.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil – add seasonings and simmer about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp, cook for 2 or 3 minutes depending on size of shrimp. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and put in the ice bath. Let cool for 2-3 minutes, then drain.
  4. Cook lobsters in boiling water for 10-12 minutes, one at a time. Plunge into ice bath, or run under cool water until they can be handled.
  5. Combine ketchup, mayo, Worcestershire sauce and brandy. Season with salt and pepper, then squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce.
  6. Toss shrimp and lobster pieces in sauce, serve over butter lettuce.
Garnish a sprinkling of lemon zest, or cayenne pepper, or chives whole or finely chopped, most anything could make a nice garnish.

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