Langoustine and Linguine
I think it might be possible that I watch too much Food Network. In my defense, I have been cutting back, but I’m sure I still watch it more than most people. Ryan and I DVR a few of the FN shows such as “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives“, “The Next Food Network Star“, and, of course, “Iron Chef America“. Those are the ones we make a point of watching, and for a while, we even tried to like “Chopped” because who doesn’t love Ted Allen? Aside from that, if I am poking around online or up late, I usually have the TV on in the background, and there is no better soundtrack than Paula Deen talking about butter or slipping treats to her dogs. Even if she is trying to kill me, I’m fairly confident I’ll die entertained and well-fed. What more could one ask for at the end?
At some point over the last several months I remember hearing about langoustines. Perhaps it was on “Iron Chef America” or maybe it was on “Good Eats“; I can’t remember the show, but I can remember it was Alton Brown who was talking. Either way, I was intrigued. I had never heard of this lobster-like seafood but remember thinking it looked good. I didn’t actively search out the ingredient, but during a routine trip to Trader Joe’s I spotted a bag of Langostino Tails right next to the shrimp. Even though I had no idea how to prepare them, I added the bag to my cart to experiment with at home. Does that ever happen to you – you see something you just have to try even though you aren’t sure what to do with it? I’m sure I spend way too much money on these impulse buys, but I’ve experienced plenty of tasty things as a result.
I searched a few different recipe sites and cookbooks trying to come up with the best way to prepare my newly discovered shellfish, and finally settled on an Emeril Lagasse recipe that I found on foodnetwork.com of course. While I have nothing against Emeril, he also isn’t one of my favorite chefs. I’m not sure why. I think it could be the “Bam!” hysteria that went on several years ago when he was first getting popular. His food looks yummy, and I love his cookware which is a nice collaboration with All-Clad to bring us poor college students some nice pots and pans :) So I decided to make my first Emeril recipe. Now, he may not be known as the King of Butter, but he certainly doesn’t focus on making his recipes light either. I think the recipe I ended up with is a good representation of his original recipe, but I did scale it back some.
I loved this dish. The langostino tails were awesome! Ryan isn’t always crazy about the texture of shrimp, and these were much more delicate and tender than shrimp. They had a great sweetness to them that paired really nicely with the citrus and spices in the sauce. The salty, nuttiness of the cheese brought it all together perfectly. I was a little worried because there didn’t seem to be much sauce or broth to cover the pasta, but the flavors were really clean and distinct. I would definitely recommend this dish, and I’m sure it would be good with shrimp or scallops as well. I think the langostino tails could also be easily substituted into other shrimp or scallop recipes as well. I’ve never had lobster so I can’t really compare the langoustine to lobster, but it is supposedly a cheaper alternative, so if you have a lobster recipe you’re thinking about, this could be a slightly more economical substitution.
Langoustine and Linguine
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, uncooked (Emeril calls for angel hair, I used linguine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices reduced-fat bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
6 teaspoons garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound langostino tails
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta until just al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
To the oil in the pan, add the onions and shallots; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine, red pepper, lemon juice, and langoustines and cook, stirring, until the shellfish are pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and stir to combine.
Add the cooked pasta to the shellfish mixture and toss well to combine. Cook until the pasta is heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Spoon into individual pasta bowls or onto large plates, and serve immediately.
Source: Emeril Lagasse, 2007 courtesy of Food Network
4 servings | 8 POINTS