Cook this sophisticated starter for a romantic dinner for two. Use the best quality prawns that you can afford to make this extra special.
1 corn on the cob
200g/7oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
sprig fresh thyme
sprig fresh basil, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp tomato purée
200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
1 lemon, juice only
2 ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, sliced
1 round lettuce, leaves separated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 5-6 minutes, or until tender, then drain. Slice the potatoes and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook the corn on the cob in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off the cob into a bowl.
Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted, then poach the prawns for 5-6 minutes, or until pink and just cooked. Remove the prawns from the butter and keep warm. Reserve the butter.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the reserved heads and shells from the prawns, using a wooden spoon to the crush the shells as they cook. Add the thyme, basil, tomato purée and chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then strain the mixture into a clean saucepan. Continue to simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
Add the reserved melted butter and blend the mixture until emulsified, using a hand blender. Season, to taste, with lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the corn kernels in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.Stir the corn kernels, tomatoes, prawns and fennel into the sauce.
Place the lettuce leaves into a bowl, add a squeeze of lemon juice, the extra virgin olive oil and a little sauce and mix until combined.
To serve, place the lettuce leaves onto serving plates, top with the potato slices then spoon over the sauce
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