Langoustine

When I visited New York back in October I was like a kid in a candy shop at many of the various haute cuisine grocers. In retrospect, these stores are pretty funny. They are designed specifically to convince people with too much money to spend astronomical amounts of cash on food, and they do so very successfully. The KING of these stores is Mario Batalli’s Eataly, which had only been open for a few weeks at the time and was all the rage.

The store has some pretty badass imports – especially in the cured meat department. But what really hooked me and reeled me in like a Bluefin tuna was the seafood section. Although I spent the better part of a decade working in some of the most upscale American restaurants serving the most exotic and expensive food you can imagine (King Cobra anyone? Caribou noisettes? 000 Beluga caviar? White truffle risotto?), one thing that I hadn’t come across was the Langoustine.

Although the langoustine is common in many parts of Europe, it was something I hadn’t seen in an American supermarket or restaurant either for that matter. So when I saw some live little langoustines kicking around on ice, well, out came the wallet (which went from thin and anemic to needing to be hospitalized and put on a feeding tube after this round of grocery-getting).

Anyway, they were great, and gorgeous. Roy busted out some tomato risotto and I butter-poached the langoustine, which is a fabulous cooking method for any type of crustacean like shrimp, lobster, or yes – langoustine. The finished product has a much softer and less rubbery texture (speaking of rubbery, the handmade mozzarella at Eataly was like a freakin’ racketball), and the fat helps it to retain much of its flavor – especially when cooked in the shell.

The method is simple. In a shallow pot combine equal-parts butter and water with some added salt (and some flavorings if you choose – like fresh garlic or thyme, but it’s really not necessary). Place the langoustines (or in your case shrimp or white fish like Halibut or monkfish probably) in the butter/water bath and turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Bring up to a simmer as slowly as possible and turn the heat off before it even comes to a boil. The idea is to do a true poach (in this case a “shallow” poaching, which is with the langoustine not fully submerged, but a fully covered poach would be even better), which is to cook slightly below boiling temperature very slowly, and just to the point of being cooked through to avoid rubbery textures.

Yes, this post is not to help you cook langoustine. It’s to share with you that simple butter-poaching method which is a dream come true for shrimp, monkfish, Halibut, and other tasty fish that you may be sick of grilling, baking, and frying. Try it sucka! And yeah, you can save the poaching liquid/butter and use it again if you like.  That’s allowed. 

How about Roy’s snapshot of the langoustine by the way?  My BFF has got way more skills than yours.

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Prime Rib Action

I’m going all gourmet on your for the next few posts and then we’re going to go to the extreme polar opposite end of that I assure you – as I’m living in a small efficiency apartment close to the beach for the winter and making some hardcore simple eats.  This post and the two that follow will feature various components of an uber-gourmet meal put together by me and my BFF Roy when I visited him in October – a showcasing of our yuppiness.   

We spent way too much money on this badboy, but hey, we were fired up, and New York City is a great place to lighten your wallet on high-quality and exotic fare.  The pics as you will see are fantastic.  Roy is the greatest photographer of all-time ever, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my BFF.  I am saying “BFF” repeatedly because I watched some show the other day that proposed BFF be banned in 2011.  That just made me wanna use it all the more. 

And yes, Roy and I have been accused of engaging in heavy duty bromance, but don’t call us gay.  Roy’s wife is Tyra basically and I, like Kip Dynamite, “chat online with babes, all day.”  Enjoy our fine hunk of meat…

Prime rib is basically just a big slab of ribeye that is roasted in a large chunk as opposed to grilled up in individual steaks.  A whole ribeye is enough to feed nearly 20 people, so we obviously just used a chunk that was a few pounds (call it 4) for a dinner for 5.  In the meat category, I don’t think there’s anything finer than slow-roasted slabs of ribeye, as tenderloin is flavorless in comparison and lean – and I tend to eat delicious fatty meat or none at all.  This “happy cow” from Madison Avenue’s best butcher shop was a prize to behold (cuttable with a spoon) in all categories of goodness. 

  1. To roast a whole ribeye, get ya a nice slab and coat it with a thick layer of black pepper and obscene amounts of salt – enough to form a flavor-nuke of a crust on the outside.  Because you cannot season the inside of the meat, it’s hard to overdo the pepper or the salt.  Load it up, especially with the pepper.  Give that thing a black pepper stubbly beard.   
  2. In some hot fat, preferably a stable fat like beef tallow or unflavored coconut oil, sear the meat on all sides until a nice, brown crust forms.  The heat will have to be high and oil at the smoking point before you add the meat to ensure good browning. 
  3. Once everything is well-seared on all sides, throw it in the oven at low temperature, ideally about 250-275 degrees F, covered tightly.  As seen in the picture, I threw the meat in on a bed of shallots that had already started cooking down in butter (see “Melted Shallots” recipe in the 180 Kitchen eBook) and chucked some fresh sprigs of thyme straight out of Roy’s garden in there with it.  Optional, but something to think about.   
  4. Roast until it just starts to firm up, but is still kinda squishy (rare or slightly more – should take at least 45-60 minutes but it all depends on the size of the meat, the elevation you are at, how hot you seared the meat, and other factors that make it up to your discretion to figure out)
  5. Remember, it’s better to undercook it and have to cook it a little longer than cooking it beyond the point of no return (I actually overcooked this one just ever so slightly, but it was still good) 
  6. Rest, out of the oven, for 20-30 minutes (covered)
  7. Blast in the oven at high heat for 10 minutes to reheat the meat.
  8. Slice and serve hot with say, the horseradish sauce found in 180 Kitchen: 180 Tips, Recipes, and More    

Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 4:44 pm  Comments (37)  
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