Langoustine Purse with Mango, Leeks, and Ginger with a Port Wine Reduction Sauce ►
Langoustines receive an elegant treatment here, sauteed with chopped leeks, layered with blanched leek and spinach leaves, and tied into “purses” of rice paper. They are then served with an ambrosial port wine reduction and an intense curry oil. The bright mango and wine colors are a beautiful foil for the translucent purse. One element in the beauty of professional restaurant presentations is precision. The precisely trimmed mango slices which pinwheel under the langoustine purse in this dish would not be as pretty if they were cut haphazardly.
- Curry Oil
- Curry Powder - 2 tablespoons, best-quality
- Water - 1/2 tablespoon
- Soybean Oil - 1 cup
- Langoustine Purses
- Langoustine Tails - 12, shelled and cleaned (alt. giant prawns)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Leeks - 4 cups, coarsely chopped, white and light green parts only
- Garlic Cloves - 2, thinly sliced
- Ginger - 1/4 cup, minced, fresh
- Lobster Stock - 1/2 cup
- Basil - 1/4 cup, finely shredded, fresh
- Spinach Leaves - 18 large, stemmed
- Leek Leaves - tender green part of 1 or 2 leek leaves, cut into 1/4-by-8-inch strips
- Rice Paper Sheets - Six 8-inch round (available in Asian markets)
- Port Wine Reduction
- Ruby Port - 4 cups
- Shallots - 2, thinly sliced
- Star Anise - 1 pod
- Veal Stock - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Mangos - 2, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
To make the curry oil: In a small bowl, combine the curry powder and water, and stir to form a paste. Whisk the paste into the oil and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain it through cheesecloth into a bowl without pressing down on the solids. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To make the purses: Season the langoustines with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil and sear the langoustines for 30 to 45 seconds, then remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan over low heat, melt the butter and add the leeks. Cook the leeks until they are softened, 8 to 10 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the lobster stock, increase the heat to medium, and cook to reduce the liquid by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the basil. Set aside.
Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach leaves for 15 seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon and plunge them into ice water. Drain the spinach well. Blanch the leek strips for 1 minute in the boiling water and plunge them into the ice water. Drain the leek strips.
Dip the sheets of rice paper into lukewarm water for a few seconds until they are softened and pliable, and place them on a work surface. Lay three of the blanched spinach leaves over each of the rice paper rounds and mound two tablespoons of the leek mixture in the center of each. Top each with two langoustines, then top the langoustines with a tablespoon of the leek mixture. Bring the sides of the rice paper up and gather together at the top to form a “purse.” Wind one of the blanched leek strips around the top of each purse and tie the ends. Set the completed purses on a baking sheet and set in the refrigerator.
To make the wine reduction: In a small non-aluminum saucepan, combine the port, shallots, and star anise and cook over medium heat to reduce by three-fourths, about 30 minutes. Add the veal stock, stir to blend, and continue to cook to reduce to just under 1 cup of syrupy liquid, about 30 to 40 minutes. Strain the sauce through cheesecloth into a clean saucepan and set aside; keep warm.
To serve: preheat the oven to 425 F. Brush the bottom of a large nonstick baking pan with some of the melted butter and place the purses on the pan. Drizzle the remaining butter over the purses and bake in the oven until they are golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.
On ach of the serving plates, arrange a pinwheel of overlapping mango slices. Place two purses in the center of each plate. Drizzle and dot the wine reduction and curry oil around the perimeter of the mango slices.