Recipe: Langouste with Madagascan vanilla

In Madagascar, combining these two fine products is the obvious thing to do. On Nosy Be Market vanilla is sold in one kilo batches. The pods are plump and give off a magnificent odour! To achieve success all you have to do is infuse them in a lightly reworked white butter. Not very modern, perhaps, but so good!

Fresh lobster at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Fresh langouste at Constance Lodge Tsarabanjina

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The langoustes:

  • 4 live langoustes, 600/700g each
  • 1 lime
  • salt/pepper

1. Hold the langoustes tightly and with a large knife, cut them lengthways, starting from the head.

2. Remove the intestines, season with salt and pepper and roast them flesh side down in a large frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil or butter. If you find it more convenient, rather than fry them you can grill them. What you have cooked at the stove needs to be finished off in the oven.

The vanilla sauce:

  • 4 sticks of Madagascan vanilla
  • 1/2 litre shellfish broth
  • 100g vegetable mirepoix (carrot/leek/onion)
  • 60g butter
  • 100ml liquid cream
  • 1/2 lime

1. Boil the shellfish broth, adding the vegetable mirepoix, and let it reduce by a half. Cut the vanilla sticks lengthways, keep the seeds and stir the sticks into the shellfish broth. Let them infuse for 20 minutes.

2. Pass the broth though a cheesecloth strainer and add the butter cut into pats and the cream. depending on your taste, do not forget to add a pinch of salt.

3. Before serving, add the vanilla seeds and the lime juice.

The garnish:

This dish can be served with various accompaniments: rice, vegetable fricassee, salad etc.

Finishing and presentation

You can either prepare the langoustes on individual plates or put them in a dish from which the guests serve themselves. One added extra: wrap half a lemon into a coffee filter tied with a piece of reffia. In this way you can squeeze out the juice without getting the pips.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pessac-Léognan, Smith-Haut-Lafitte Blanc, 2004 France
  • Puligny-Montrachet, Domaine Carillon, 2009 France