Grilled Langoustines with pickled turmeric and lasooni butter
A great recipe from Will Bowlby of Kricket one of the most exciting new Indian restaurants in London. It comes from his book of the same name which is full of other tempting recipes.
Will writes: "Fresh turmeric is now readily available from all good grocery shops, and when pickled, it takes on a completely different flavour profile; sweet and almost candy-like. It pairs well with langoustines and the spicy acidic butter that is spooned over at the end. This dish works equally well with lobster or prawns (shrimps), but we like to keep things low cost and local so we’ve opted for Scottish langoustines, which deserve to be far more popular than they are now. They are beautifully delicate and I hope we will be seeing a lot more of them on menus across the country."
16 fresh or frozen langoustines, defrosted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, to coat the langoustines
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
a generous pinch of sea salt
FOR THE PICKLED TURMERIC
200 g (7 oz) fresh turmeric root, peeled
100 ml (3 ½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) Pickling Liquor (see below)
FOR THE LASOONI BUTTER
200 g (7 oz/scant 1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
a bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro)
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 green chillies
a couple of squeezes of lime juice
a pinch of salt
Peel the turmeric root into thin ribbons (I'm thinking it might be sensible to wear plastic gloves to do this FB) and place into a bowl. Steep in the pickling liquor for 1–2 hours at room temperature, then keep in the refrigerator until needed.
Prepare the langoustines by cutting lengthways down the centre of each, keeping the head intact, and removing the intestinal thread. Marinate in the oil, turmeric and salt, then cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
Make the lasooni butter by blitzing the butter in a food processor with the coriander, garlic, green chillies, a squeeze of lime juice and salt.
Grill (broil) the langoustines under a high heat for 2–3 minutes on each side until just cooked. Alternatively, you can also cook the langoustines in a heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over a medium to high heat. Ensure you do not overcook them.
Melt the lasooni butter gently in a small frying pan to retain its vibrant colour. Squeeze in little more lime juice, then spoon it over the cooked langoustines. Garnish with pickled turmeric and serve.
I use this to use with all kinds of vegetables but cucumber is a special favourite. It will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks – it keeps forever! If you want to makea smaller amount, the recipe is based on equal quantities of vinegar and sugar.
MAKES 1 LITRE ( 34 F L OZ/4 CUPS)
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) white wine vinegar
500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before decanting into a sterilised jar. Store in the fridge until required.
What to drink: Given the amount of butter I'd go for a viognier with this.
From KRICKET: An Indian-inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby (Hardie Grant, £26.00) Photography: Hugh Johnson.
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