Ideal for a flavoursome and filling dish, Willibald Reinbacher’s Langouste a la Vanille combines succulent langoustines with fresh vegetables and a mixture of spices to create an exotic take on winter comfort food.
100 grams mirepoix (roughly chopped mixture of onion, leek, carrot, celery)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
5 vanilla pods, cut lengthways
3 tablespoons cooking oil
30 grams white onion, chopped
15 grams garlic, chopped
15 grams ginger, chopped
100ml dry white wine
50 grams butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 lime, squeezed
50 grams baby spinach
Salt and pepper
1 Cut all 4 langoustines lengthwise, starting from the head. Remove the tail from the head and place to one side.
2 To prepare the shellfish stock, heat the oven to 200° (390°F).
3 Remove the heads and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until red in colour. Places the heads in a casserole pan, add the mirepoix, peppercorns, bay leaves and fill with water until just covered.
4 Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pods and set aside for later. Add the scraped-out vanilla pods to the stock and simmer for about one hour to infuse all flavours. Strain the stock through a fine sieve.
5 To make the vanilla sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan then sweat off the onion, garlic and ginger. Add with wine and add the homemade stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid to around 100ml (half a cup).
6 Add the cream and using a blender, mix the butter cubes into the sauce. The texture should become creamy. Add the vanilla seeds, lime juice and season to taste.
7 To finish the dish, season the langoustine tails with salt and pepper and grill on a BBQ until half cooked.
8 Remove the flesh from the shells, cut into bite-size pieces, add them to the sauce and cook gently until done.
9 Stir in the baby spinach leaves and serve.