THIS DISH was not only inspired by my recent lunch at The Kitchin but also from my love for one of Scotland’s finest ingredients – Langoustines.
Sadly, the majority of our beautiful shellfish like crabs and langoustines (or Dublin Bay prawns) are exported to the continent. I’ll never forget being in a supermarket in Malaga, Spain, and thinking it was great because they had live lobsters, crabs and langoustines then when I asked where they came from the counter assistant replied ‘Scotland’.
She'd have been as well stabbing me in the heart and turned the blade right there on the spot.
In this country you’ll mainly find langoustine tails in the form of scampi but please, don’t be put off by the look or work needed to prepare them; these tasty crustaceans are well worth it.
If you’re looking for a proper ‘wow’ dish for a dinner party, then this is thee one you want to be making.
Not only does it pack a punch in the flavour department and use our wonderful langoustines, but it allows you to show off your pasta making skills with this really easy, no egg pasta mix that doesn’t even need put through a pasta machine.
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
2 Carrots, diced
2 Shallots, finely chopped
3 Tomatoes, concassed
Good splash, White wine
250ml, Single cream,
Handful of Tarragon, some chopped for garnish
Heaped tablespoon, Tomato puree
150ml, Fish stock
For the pasta
180g ’00’ flour (or plain flour will do the exact same job), sieved
150ml boiling water (you may need more, this requires some judging)
1 Salmon fillet, cooked and flaked
30 mls double cream
Pint of Milk
One, Bay leaf
1 tsp Curry powder
1) First shell the langoustines by pinching just behind the head in your left hand and at the top of the body with your right. Pinch and gently pull apart.
Take the tail and in a similar motion, pinch it half way down and twist to snap the shell. Pinch the tail and hold at the break, gently pulling the tail to free the meat and remove the vein (if it doesn’t come out, make a neat incision with a sharp knife and pull out). Remove the meat from the other half of the shell.
Set aside in fridge under a damp cloth. Remove the insides of the heads so just the shell remains. This job can be time consuming but the more you do, the faster you get!
2) First make the pasta dough; add salt to the sieved flour then add the boiling water bit by bit, mixing with a pallete knife so you don’t burn your hands. You just want this to come together, so add more water if too dry or more flour if too loose. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for 45 mins- 1 hour at room temperature.
3) Next make the pasta filling by heating some milk with the curry powder, bay leaf and salt. Add the langoustine meat just as it comes to the boil then reduce the heat to gently poach the meat, watch not over cook it – this only take a few minutes depending on size. Strain when done. Put the salmon and cream into a blender and season. Blitz to a nice mousse consistency then fold through the coarsely chopped langoustine pieces. Refridgerate.
4) Pre-heat the oven to 180C. In a roasting tray or over proof pan, heat some oil (rapeseed is always my choice) until smoking hot then add the shells and heads, and sweat for a few minutes before transferring them to the oven for 10 mins.
5) Meanwhile, sweat the shallots and carrots for a few minutes without colouring, add the tomato puree, fresh tomatoes and tarragon and sweat for another 2 mins.
6) Remove the langoustine shells, and bash up with a rolling pin, then add to the mixture. Deglaze the roasting tin with the white wine and a little hot water, then add that, the fish stock and the cream to the mix and simmer gently for around 25 mins, until slightly reduced.
7) Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 20-25 mins before straining and correcting the seasoning. It should be spoon coating consistency by then.
8) Meanwhile, knead the pasta for five minues on a lightly floured surface. Roll out as thin as possible (it should almost be translucent), then cut to desired shape (I done ravioli, you could easily to tortellinis) and pipe a small ball of the filling in the centre. Brush around the edge with water, and then do the same on a separate circle of pasta, place on top and seal.
TIP: I like to cut my ravioli one size bigger, really press down the edge of the pasta when filling, then cut with a cutter one size down to ensure it’s neat.
9) In some rolling boiling water, add a good pinch of salt and blanch the raviolis for 2-3 mins until al dente.
10) Reheat the bisque and ladle into a bowl, place two raviolis in the centre, and sprinkle with some chopped tarragon.
Dish inspired by Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin, Edinburgh. www.thekitchin.com Tom's books Kitchin Suppers and From Nature to Plate are available online and from good book shops..