by Charlie Trotter
from Workin’ More Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter
(Ten Speed Press, 2004)
Langoustines (or, if you choose, lobster or shrimp) and scallions come off as superstars when paired with this green curry sauce. The Asian-inspired aromas and flavors meld into something both exotic and ethereal. Small pearl onions, while slightly sweet, provide just the right bite to cut into the shellfish and the intoxicating curry sauce. Baby lettuces are just wilted, and golden beets nicely round out this glorious combination of tastes.—Charlie Trotter
For the shellfish oil
4 raw lobster heads
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 cup grapeseed oil
For the vegetables
8 baby golden beets, unpeeled
12 purple pearl onions, unpeeled
3 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil12 scallions, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the green curry sauce
6 scallions, chopped
6 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoonminced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed of their outer sheath, chopped
2 cups loosely packed, chopped, fresh basil leaves
1 bunch cilantro with stems, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
For the langoustines
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons Shellfish Oil
8 langoustines, shells removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups firmly packed baby lettuce leaves
For the garnish
4 teaspoons Shellfish Oil
4 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
Make the shellfish oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the lobster heads in a roasting pan and roast for 40 minutes or until they are bright red. Break up the heads into small pieces and place in a small saucepan with the tomato paste and grapeseed oil. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, then cool and refrigerate for 2 days.
2. Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth and discard the solids. Refrigerate until ready to use, or up to 2 weeks.
Make the vegetables
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the beets, onions, thyme, and olive oil in an ovenproof pan. Cover the vegetables and roast for 30 minutes. Add the scallions and replace the cover. Continue to roast for 20 more minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Peel the onions and beets and cut the beets in half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the sauce
1. In a blender, purée the scallions, chiles, garlic, ginger, coriander, black pepper, lime leaves, lemongrass, basil, cilantro, olive oil, and lime zest and juice; pass through a fine-mesh sieve. Add the coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Warm just prior to use.
Make the langoustines
1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and Shellfish Oil and cook for 2 minutes. Add the langoustines. Increase the heat to high and continue to cook the langoustines for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Remove the langoustines from the pan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Add the lettuce to the same pan and quickly wilt it in the hot pan; transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice each langoustine into 4 pieces.
Assemble the dish
1. Cover the center of each plate with a generous amount of the green curry sauce. Arrange some of the wilted lettuce, langoustines, and vegetables on top of the sauce. Drizzle the Shellfish Oil around the plate and top with the sliced basil and pepper.
Wine Notes: This dish is a sommelier’s dream! Nearly every white wine is successful with it; the only differences are the ingredients highlighted. A Meursault from Arnaud Ente accentuates the citrus qualities of the sauce without masking the tantalizing flavor of the langoustines. The mineral flavors are emphasized by Domaine Louis Michel’s unoaked version of Chablis. Riesling Kabinett from Zilliken in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer has a hint of sweetness that contrasts well with the spiciness in the curry sauce.
Recipe © 2004 Charlie Trotter. All rights reserved.