Sometimes you bite off more than you can chew… and this is exactly what I did when I agreed to recreate Chef David Berggren’s recipe for langoustine with smoked potato purée and soured cream as part of a blogger challenge organised by Transun. At first glance the recipe is fairly straightforward if quite lengthy. Once you start analysing it you realise that perhaps something was lost in translation because several key points are not explained. Just how do you ‘smoke’ mash exactly? What are leek ashes? How do you serve the finished dish?
Rather than pull my hair out I decided to significantly simplify the recipe – after all I don’t work at a restaurant and don’t have several sous chef doing my bidding. So I skipped the ‘champagne cream’ and drizzled a little cream on the plate instead. I didn’t coat the langoustines with panko – but simply panfried them for a minute to give them some colour. I still managed to use just about every pot and pan in the kitchen despite all those shortcuts!
I have to say that the finished dish was utterly delicious but for the huge amount of work involved it really doesn’t stretch very far – langoustines may look like mini-lobsters but they yield very little ‘meat’. I would definitely prefer to have this dish served to me at a restaurant! On the plus side you can make a very nice bisque-type soup using the langoustine shells and vegetables from the Barigoule.
- Peel the carrot, onion and garlic and chop into smaller pieces. Fry them in the olive oil together with the bay leaves, fennel seeds and thyme for about 3 minutes.
- Add all the fluids and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsnips and fennel.
- Simmer in the broth for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Allow to cool in the broth.
- Boil the potatoes until tender and drain.
- Add the butter and crème fraîche and mash together with a potato masher until you have achieved a smooth and creamy texture. Add salt to taste.
3 leeks, halved or diced
1 tbsp butter
a little olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tbsp double cream to serve (optional)
fresh thyme leaves to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300F). Season the langoustines and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 5 minutes.
- Place in a saucepan with halved tomatoes and strain the Barigoule liquid into the pan. Bring to the boil and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Shell the langoustines and set aside. Heat the butter in a small pan and pan fry the langoustines for a minute until coloured.
- Slice the leek and steam for 5 minutes. Warm the leeks and parsnips (from the Barigoule) in the oven with some Barigoule liquid.
- Arrange some vegetables and mash on a plate and top with the langoustines. Drizzle with a little double cream (optional) and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with a few thyme leaves.