Langoustine enjoyed with a glass of Sparkling Tea RØD
When I tasted RØD for the first time, I immediately thought of fried shellfish, especially langoustine. This beautiful creature of the sea has a distinct sweetness to it that becomes even more pronounced when you give it a hot fry in a pan. It also matches the bright red colour of RØD – that’s a win/win.
Obviously, matching the colours of the food and beverage doesn’t make a good pairing alone. Therefore, I have tried to come up with a dish that interacts well with the sweet and bright red berry notes as well as the elegant umami character with a slight hint of smoke in the aftertaste. I quickly came up with the idea to add an element of dried, fermented meat – in this case chorizo – to the dish in order to highlight that part of RØD’s flavour profile too.
To underline the freshness and acidity of this sparkling tea, I decided to add gently heated tomatoes as well and, finally, a creamy and foamy sauce blanquette infused with the langoustine shells and piment d’espelette to enhance the umami and smoke characters even further.
I hope that you’ll enjoy this pairing – it does not get much more summery than this.
Fried langoustine with tomatoes, chorizo and sauce blanquette
For 4 persons
4 langoustines of 150-200 grams each
4 tomatoes, preferably very sweet and aromatic tomatoes in various colours
20 small basil leaves
50 grams of chorizo, preferably quite spicy
The shells from the four lobsters
1 litre of water
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon of crème fraiche
200 grams of butter
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon of piment d’espelette
Begin by separating the tails from the rest of the langoustines. Crack the shells gently to get the tails out in one pretty piece. Remove the stomach sac with and set the langoustine tails aside on a plate in the fridge until later use. Place all of the shells, heads etc. from the langoustines on a baking tray and bake them at 230 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes. Melt the butter in a casserole and add the baked shells to it. Let it simmer at low heat for half an hour. Strain the butter through a fine sieve and keep it until later use. Put the casserole with the shells back on the stove on medium-high heat. Add the tomato puree and let it fry for a minute or two. Add water and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the egg, piment, crème fraiche and lemon juice to a cylinder-shaped container and blend it with an immersion mixer until mixed. Add the butter little by little until emulsified into the mixture. Add five tablespoons of the langoustine stock and mix again. Put the sauce into a clean casserole on medium high heat. Blitz it with the immersion blender until it thickens. It takes 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to heat the sauce too much! Leave the sauce on very low heat until serving.
Cut the chorizo into fine dices and fry them in a pan. Leave them aside.
Cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces and heat them in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes brushed with a bit of olive oil.
Push a meat needle all the way through every langoustine tail – it prevents them from curling up when being fried. Fry the langoustines in the same pan as the chorizo with a little extra olive oil or butter. Remove them from the heat and take out the meat needle.
Place a couple of pieces of tomato on each plate next to the langoustine tail. Sprinkle a spoonful of chorizo dices and top and finish with basil leaves. Blitz the sauce just before serving to make it foamy – serve tableside.
Tip: For an even spicier expression, add a pinch of dried chipotle to the sauce.