Shrimps in Cream with Lettuce

This recipe, from a small manuscript collection, comes from Southwold on the Suffolk coast. The dish was traditionally served at summer dinner parties, or on other special occasions, at a large house not far from the town.


  • 1 lb (½ kg) cooked and shelled or defrosted shrimps or prawns
  • 2 large lettuce hearts, preferably Cos
  • ½ stick (60 g) butter
  • cup (1.5 dl) double cream
  • 1 teaspoon onion juice, made by peeling, quartering and crushing an onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 slices bread, each slice cut in 4 triangles, lightly browned in butter and kept warm


With a very sharp knife cut the lettuce into shreds about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) wide

Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over medium heat. It must not colour. Put in the lettuce and turn in the butter until it is all coated. Reduce the heat to simmering point and add the salt and a little pepper. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cream and onion juice and stir well. Add the shrimps or prawns, stir lightly and heat for 3 minutes more. Pile on a dish with the croûtons arranged around the edge.