A lobster cocktail for a special festive starter made with refreshing melon and cucumber and a rich sauce with a spicy kick. You can make the sauce in advance then assemble everything just before serving.
Cut the tail and claw meat into small similar-size pieces.
Scoop out the seeds from the melon and discard. Slice the flesh from the skin and cut into chunks about the same size as the lobster pieces. Peel the cucumber, halve lengthways, then scoop out the seeds with a melon-baller or teaspoon. Cut into chunks the same size as the melon pieces.
For the cocktail dressing, put the mayonnaise into a bowl, then stir in the soured cream or crème fraîche, ketchup, creamed horseradish, Tabasco and lemon juice.
Discard the outer leaves from the lettuce(s) and finely shred the remainder. Divide evenly among 4 or 6 prawn cocktail dishes, large wine coupes or small glass bowls.
Gently stir the lobster meat, melon and cucumber into the cocktail dressing, then divide equally among the glasses or bowls, piling it on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve with thinly sliced brown bread and butter.