Langoustines, leeks and black truffle

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Ingredients

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Imperial

Langoustine jus and cream

Truffle mayonnaise

Truffled leeks

Pickled red onions

Langoustine tails

To serve

  • 4g of borage, small leaves only
  • 12 slices of black truffle, cut with a 3cm cutter
1
Begin by making the langoustine jus, as this can be done in advance. The quantity here will make around 800ml, which is double what you need for 4 servings of this dish, but it freezes very well
2
Cut through the head of each langoustine between the eyes to instantly kill them, then twist the head from the body. With the tip of a small knife, gently pull out the intestinal tract. Blanch the tails in boiling water for 5 seconds, then refresh in cold water. This does not cook the flesh, but makes removing the shells much easier. Once all the shells have been removed (and reserved), reserve the peeled tails in the fridge
3
Split the heads in half and spoon out the intestines and stomach. Chop the langoustine carcasses and shells into 2-3cm pieces and reserve
4
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and sweat the onion and fennel in the olive oil for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, herbs, tomato purée, chopped tomatoes and seasoning and cook for a further 5 minutes, then bring the mixture to the boil and gently simmer for 15 minutes
5
Meanwhile, sauté the chopped shells and carcasses in vegetable oil for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat, until the langoustine aroma permeates the whole kitchen. Strain the shells and add them to the simmering base, along with the cognac, white wine and water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes
  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 25ml of cognac, boiled for 10 seconds
  • 125ml of white wine, boiled for 1 minute
  • 200ml of water
6
Blitz the sauce in a blender in small batches for 3-5 seconds to break down the shells and extract as much flavour and colour as possible. Press the jus through a fine sieve, then taste for seasoning. Weigh out 400ml of the strained jus and freeze any leftover for future dishes
7
Bring the 400ml of jus to the boil and reduce by half, then add the agar agar and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl set over ice until fully cooled, then transfer to the fridge to set
  • 1.5g of agar agar
8
Once set, transfer the langoustine cream to a jug blender and blitz with the crème fraiche until it forms a smooth, light purée. Taste again for seasoning and store in the fridge until needed
  • 25g of crème fraîche
9
For the pickled red onions, place the onion petals in a heatproof bowl. Bring the rest of the ingredients to the boil in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves, then pour the pickling liquor over the onion petals. Allow to cool, then reserve in the fridge until required
10
For the truffle mayonnaise, place all the ingredients (except the black truffle) into a blender and blitz on high until the dressing emulsifies. Taste for seasoning and stir in the chopped truffle, then cover and reserve in a small bowl
11
For the truffled leeks, steam the leeks for 20 minutes until completely tender, then leave to cool until just warm. Remove the outer 2 or 3 more fibrous layers of the leeks, then trim them down to 20cm and set aside
  • 4 leeks, washed very well
12
Whisk the rest of the ingredients for the truffled leeks together, then add the leeks, turning them so they absorb as much of the dressing as possible. The leeks must be warm at this stage in order to absorb the dressing properly. Cover with cling film and reserve at room temperature
13
Shortly before you’re ready to serve, place a small frying pan over a medium heat. Sauté the reserved langoustine tails in olive oil for 2 minutes, until they curl and firm up. Season to taste
14
To serve, place the langoustine cream down the centre of each plate, then top with a dressed leek. Arrange 3 pickled red onion petals on each plate, then top the leek with the langoustine tails and spoon the truffle mayonnaise on top and around. Finish with the truffle slices and borage
  • 4g of borage, small leaves only
  • 12 slices of black truffle, cut with a 3cm cutter
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