|langoustines with creamy wild leek and chilli dipping sauce.|
A lucky dip in my freezer picked out a bag of frozen cooked langoustines (nephrops norvegicus) but what to do with them?
I still have a small jar of a wild leek and chilli sauce that I had made a few weeks ago, which seemed to be just the thing to dress my langoustines. A quick taste of the sauce almost took my head off; it seemed that aging had fired up the chillies! But I was able to dowse the heat by stirring a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce into a mixture of mayonnaise and natural yoghurt. (It would have been equally delicious mashed into some butter too.)
If you don't have langoustines, any large prawns or crayfish would work for this dish. And if you are concerned about sustainability then please avoid buying langoustines in April and May, (I hasten to add that mine had been locked in a frozen ice dance since about February!) But these months are when the females are shedding their hard shells (and their flesh will be watery); choose creel- or -pot-caught langoustines (rather than trawled) as it is only fair that we should be giving them a sporting chance.
Skill level: Easy
1 litre fish stock (or lightly salted water)
2 x carrots, roughly chopped
1 x celery sticky, roughly chopped
1 x English onion, roughly chopped
1 x garlic clove, smashed
1 x bay leaf
16-20 langoustines, raw
wild leek and chilli dressing3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
1-2 tbsp wild leek and chilli sauce
- First combine all the ingredients for the wild leek and chilli dressing.
- Bring the fish stock or salted water to the boil and add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, before adding the raw langoustines. Bring back to the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes. Strain the contents of the pan, reserving the cooking liquid. You may be able to use the fish stock as the basis for a soup, unless it is over-salted. Delicious with a splash of sherry!
- Serve the cooked langoustines with a little of the wild leek and chilli dressing.
- The dressing would be lovely with some fresh basil pesto stirred through it too.