Ragoût of Langoustine
Albert Roux combines the most elegant of ingredients — langoustines, Champagne, beurre blanc — in this beautiful appetizer. Ginger is used to add a little bite.
- Beurre Blanc
- White Wine Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Shallot - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Salt - Pinch
- Freshly ground white pepper - To taste
- Unsalted Butter - 3/4 pound (3 sticks) chilled, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- Flat-leaf Parsley - 2 sprigs, stemmed
- Ginger - 1-1/2 inch, cut in julienne
- Langoustines - 30 (alt. jumbo shrimp)
- Ginger - 5 oz, peeled and grated
- Cucumber - 1, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- Tomato - 6, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
- Lemon Juice - 1/2 teaspoon
- Dry White Wine - 1 tablespoon
- Champagne - 1/4 cup
- Black Olives - 4 pitted, sliced
To make the beurre blanc:
Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and a few grindings of pepper in a medium non-aluminum saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1-1/2 tablespoons of concentrated juice. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and return to the pan. With the pan off the heat, whisk in 2 pieces of the butter. As the butter softens and begins to melt into the liquid, beat in the next piece. Place the pan over a pan of barely simmering water and continue whisking and adding butter, a piece at a time. The sauce will become thickened and light in texture. When all the butter has been added, put the beurre blanc into an insulated bottle to keep it warm until ready to use. Do not allow it to boil at any time; if it gets too warm and begins to separate, immediately take it off the heat and whisk vigorously until the sauce comes back together.
Poach the parsley for 15 seconds in a little boiling water; drain on paper towels. Put the ginger julienne in a small saute pan and cook over medium heat just until it begins to brown and caramelize. Remove from heat. Set the parsley and ginger julienne aside for garnish.
To make the ragoût:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Plunge the langoustines into the water and bring the water back to a boil; boil 30 seconds. Remove the langoustines with a slotted spoon or simmer and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain. When cool enough to handle, twist the tails from the bodies and remove the tail meat from the shell. Reserve the 6 best heads for garnish. Chop the tail meat into large pieces.
Squeeze the grated ginger through a fine-meshed sieve into a large saute pan or skillet; reserve the solids. Stir in the beurre blanc. Place over very low heat to just warm the beurre blanc; if your heat source is not low enough, put the pan over a larger pan of barely simmering water. Add the langoustine meat and cucumber dice and warm through, about 2 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to boil, or it will separate. When everything is warmed, add the tomato concasse and warm for 30 seconds. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Add the white wine, pouring it in through the ginger strainer to extract even more ginger flavor. Warm again over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the Champagne.
Spoon the ragoût into warmed shallow soup plates, then pour the sauce around. Dot the sauce with bits of ginger julienne. Garnish each with bits of the poached parsley. Place a langoustine head in each, facing away from the ragoût; position a half black olive slice around each eye.