This was the first dish I served to a Michelin inspector at The Sportsman, and it was good enough to win us a Bib Gourmand.These make a light lunch or a lovely starter.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 12 langoustines
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 60ml white wine
- 30ml white wine vinegar
- 30g double cream
- 200g cold butter, diced
- Preheat the overhead grill.
- Prepare the langoustines one at a time. Place one on a chopping board, belly down, and use a large sharp knife to slice it down the centre from head to tail (you might find it easier to slice the head in half first and then turn the langoustine around to halve the body). You will have two halves of langoustine with the tail flesh exposed. Repeat until they are all done.
- Remove the dark line or digestive tract that runs down the flesh. I use a teaspoon to lift this out.
- Make the lime sauce. Place the lime juice, white wine and wine vinegar in a pan and bring to the boil. Continue to boil to reduce the liquid until you have about three tablespoons left, then add the cream and lower the heat.
- Stir in the butter to melt it – try not to overheat the mixture or the sauce will separate. Add the grated lime zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside in a warm serving bowl.
- Cook the langoustines flesh-side up on a tray under the overhead grill for two minutes, either all at once or in batches if you don’t have room.
- Serve the langoustines on a large plate with the bowl of lime butter sauce.
- To eat, remove the tail meat from each langoustine and dip into the sauce (you can serve the sauce in separate bowls for each person if you prefer). Some langoustines have a light brown meat in the head, which tastes like brown crabmeat.
- Serve with crusty bread.
Don’t waste the aromatic empty shells; make a stock and freeze it for use in sauces or soups.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Approx 1½ litres
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Langoustine shells, roasted for 20 minutes in a 190C/170C fan/Gas 5 oven until aromatic
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 star anise
- 75ml white wine
- Gently fry the vegetables and garlic in the olive oil for five minutes to release their flavour, then add the roasted shells, tomato purée, star anise and white wine. Pour in enough water just to cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes then leave to cool.
- Strain the stock and freeze it for future use.