Langoustine gratin

Step by step recipe:

  1. 20 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #1

    Boiling the langoustines

    Boil the langoustiens for 30 seconds in boiling salted water, then cool under running cold water.

    Shell them and set aside the tails. Keep half the heads for making the fumet.
  2. 5 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #2

    The langoustine fumet

    Prepare 1 Bouquet garni and finely chop 30 g onion.
  3. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #3
    Melt 30 g butter in a large saucepan on medium heat, then add the chopped onion, salt and pepper.

    Cook for 1 minute without colouring.
  4. 1 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #4
    Add the langoustine heads...
  5. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #5
    ... and crush briefly with the end of a rolling pin, for example.
  6. 1 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #6
    Pour in 200 ml water and 200 ml dry white wine, then add the bouquet garni.
  7. 5 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #7
    Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to its lowest setting and leave to reduce by half.

    This simmering will create the "fumet", as the liquids (water and wine) mingle with the flavours of the bouquet garni and langoustine heads.
  8. 40 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #8

    The vegetable brunoise

    While the fumet is reducing, rinse and peel 2 carrots and 3 turnips, then dice very small ("fine brunoise").

    Rinse the courgette and cut the part with the green skin into tiny dice (you can use the leftover courgette in another recipe).

    I have to admit, this is a long, arduous task!
  9. 5 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #9
    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

    Immerse a fine metal strainer, which will enable you to remove the vegetables quickly.
  10. 1 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #10
    Toss the diced courgettes into the water, wait until the pan comes back to the boil, then remove them immediately by simply lifting out the strainer.
  11. 1 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #11
    Cool the diced courgettes under running cold water to stop the cooking...
  12. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #12
    ...drain thoroughly, then tip out onto absorbant paper to wait.
  13. 5 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #13
    Do the same with the carrots and turnips, which can be cooked together, and for 30 seconds longer than the courgettes.

    Note: Don't throw this cooking water away - it is now worth keeping.
  14. 4 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #14

    Second-stage cooking of langoustines

    Melt 30 g butter in a frying pan on high heat. When good and hot, add the langoustine tails.

    Fry for a minute or two until they start to brown, then set aside.
  15. 3 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #15

    The gratin cream sauce

    Let's go back to the fumet, which by now should be reduced by half. Strain into a bowl and discard everything but the liquid.
  16. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #16
    Pour this back into the pan (after rinsing out), but be careful to keep back the dregs of the fumet which will be full of sand and should be discarded.
  17. 8 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #17
    Put the fumet back on medium heat and leave to reduce by half again.
  18. 3 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #18
    Add 250 ml liquid cream, salt lightly, pepper and then check the seasoning.
  19. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #19
    Bring to the boil, take off the heat and and 20 g cornflour (mixed with a little cold water) all at once while beating with a whisk.

    The mixture should thicken rapidly. This will give us enough sauce to cover the gratin. Set aside.
  20. 4 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #20

    Assembling the gratin

    Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).

    Butter a gratin dish and spread the mixed diced vegetables in an even layer.
  21. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #21
    Arrange the sautéed langoustine tails on top.
  22. 2 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #22
    Pour the sauce over.
  23. 15 min.Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #23

    Cooking and serving

    Bake for about 15 minutes, until the top is nicely browned (finish under the grill if necessary).
  24. Langoustine gratin : Photo of step #24
    Best served plated up (on hot plates): try to keep the langoustines on top and the vegetables underneath.

Remarks:

As I was saying, this recipe takes a long time, but much of it can be prepared in advance. Only the assembly of the gratin and final cooking need to be done just before serving.

You will see that in step 19 the cream is not reduced, but thickened with cornflour instead. This is to keep a decent quantity of sauce without it being too liquid, otherwise it would run into the bottom of the dish.

If you are happy with the idea, you can dispense with boiling the langoustines in salated water in step 1 and shell them raw before the sauté stage (step 14).

To simplify the recipe, just slice the vegetables thinly instead of cutting into brunoise dice.

Source:

Home made.

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