Freshly roasted langoustines drizzled with garlic and chilli butter, served up with another garlicky hit from the golden aioli…Heaven. It really doesn’t get better than picking your way through a small langoustine mountain that is slowly filling the kitchen with incredible scents of shellfish. It is staggering to me that 80% of the seafood caught in Scotland winds up being exported to far flung corners of the Earth, because too few British people take an interest in one of our finest ingredients. These mini lobsters are as good as it gets, so let’s be a little selfish (must avoid pun…difficult) and keep some of these for ourselves!
Inspiration for this dish came from a recipe by one of Scotland’s finest chefs, Tom Kitchin. His attention to detail is really inspiring and his recipes are always excellent.
4 cloves of garlic, finely crushed*
2 egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper
150ml Sunflower oil
8 large, frozen langoustines, thawed
40g unsalted butter
1 medium heat red chilli
Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 220’c.
For the aioli – In a processor, blitz together ½ the garlic with the egg yolks, lemon and seasoning, until well combined. With the machine running, begin very slowly adding the oil in a steady stream. Once half the oil is added, begin to increase the pace until all is combined. Taste and add a squeeze more lemon if you think it needs it.
Arrange the langoustines in a roasting tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 6 minutes**
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat with the chilli and remaining half of the garlic. Stir thoroughly.
When the langoustines are cooked, pour over the hot butter and sprinkle with parsley. Serve alongside the aioli.
* Finely chop the garlic then sprinkle with a little sea salt. Turn the knife to a 45 degree angle and scrape the garlic against the chopping board, repeat until finely crushed. Your garlic crusher is now obsolete!
**It’s always surprising how quickly fish and shellfish cook. Not only are they fully cooked at a lower internal temperature than meat, they also reach that lower temperature more quickly than meat does, meaning it’s very easy to overcook them if you’re used to cooking more meat than fish.