This is a light dish packed with different flavours and textures. At Coq d’Argent, Head Chef Mickael serves langoustines with two sauces: a sauce américaine and a vichyssoise made with beaufort cheese. The vichyssoise might sound intimidating, but it is actually very simple and is basically a light potato, leek and beaufort cheese soup. Mickael likes to add black truffle for a contrast of colour and says that its earthy flavour complements the sweet langoustines. New potato crisps form a perfect accompaniment.
Ingredients (serves 4)
The beaufort vichyssoise:
60g leek, the white part only, finely sliced
60g potatoes, diced
30ml double cream
20g beaufort cheese, diced
The langoustines à l’américaine:
50g carrots, diced
20g shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch curry powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp paprika
1 sprig thyme
1 tsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp tomato paste
10ml cognac or brandy
20ml white wine
2.5l good fish stock
black truffle (as much or as little as you fancy/can afford)
First make the beaufort vichyssoise.
Sweat the leek and potatoes for a couple of minutes, then add the milk. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the cream and bring to a simmer. Take off the heat and place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
(Mickael’s note: In the restaurant we place the soup in a Thermo Whip to obtain a light foamy soup, but it’s absolutely fine to use it as it is at home.)
Now make the langoustines à l’américaine.
Remove the back line from each langoustine, like de-veining a prawn.
Separate the heads and bodies and set the shells aside for your sauce. Now blanch the langoustines in a large pan of boiling water for 20 seconds.
Once cool enough to handle, peel and set aside (you will sauté them before serving).
Sweat the diced vegetables and crushed garlic in a pan with the shells until golden brown. Add the spices, herbs and rice, and then sweat for a further minute. Now, add the tomato paste and cook for three minutes, before pouring in the cognac and setting alight. Add the wine and reduce by half, then add the fish stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and add the cream and butter and check the seasoning.
Sauté the langoustine and serve with the sauce américaine and beaufort vichyssoise in the middle to create a circle within. Slice the truffle on top and serve with potato crisps.