Living in Fife we are able to take advantage of the most amazing langoustines landed on our bountiful coastline. A large percentage of those caught in Fife disappear overseas – but they are available to buy here. There really is nothing better than fresh langoustine, and although appearances may be deceiving, they are easier than you may think to deal with. They speak for themselves in terms of flavour and all that’s needed to set them off for a simple lunch is a pot of mayonnaise for dipping and some freshly baked bread.
I recently got some from a new East Neuk based business, Langoustine the box, which started in March 2017 and which is run by Clement, a Frenchman. Clement spotted a gap in the market, to create a business delivering fresh langoustines caught in Pittenweem, to people’s doors, before the majority of them get sold to the wholesale market. One thing that is true about langoustine is that they are best eaten as fresh as possible, and Clement works hard to ensure that they arrive as quickly as possible after being landed.
I ensured that I timed a loaf of Lochaberfarm sourdough to come out of the oven for the arrival of my box of fresh langoustines, I was sure that fresh bread, langoustines and mayonnaise were going to be a great combination.
Langoustine are quick and easy to cook, and there are various way to do it. I opted to boil them for a few minutes in some very salty water (your water should be almost as salty as the sea) and made a quick flavoured mayonnaise – I was recently served tarragon mayonnaise alongside shellfish, which was delicious.To make, add some shredded tarragon leaves to some mayonnaise along with a little lemon juice, garlic and salt to taste.
The taste was sublime – rich, creamy, sweet and salty all at the same time – we could easily have eaten another box. The whole experience was great for the kids – they enjoyed unpacking them, de-shelling them and chasing each other around the house with the heads!
However, they had been primed to keep hold of all the shells as they are super for making a bisque or fish stock. This makes use of a large part of these little beauties that otherwise gets thrown away – two meals for the price of one. Although slightly more involved than cooking the langoustines themselves, this is by no means difficult and will take just over an hour from start to finish. There are plenty of recipes for langoustine bisque online to chose from.
Having done it myself I can say that it is very exciting to be able to receive a delivery of these little beauties right to your door. If you live in East Fife and are keen to for your own doorstep delivery of langoustines, please visit Clement’s website at www.langoustinethebox.co.uk. It would be great to support Clement’s new business, and the East Neuk fisherman who work so hard to get catch them.