Breton Langoustines & Pasta
Julienned vegetables and langoustine tails are served in deep soup bowls, covered with pasta circles and set swimming in Langoustine Nage.Langoustines are crustaceans which fall between shrimp and lobster in size. They have thin, long claws and bodies. If necessary, you may use enormous jumbo shrimps for this recipe, and use the shrimp heads and shells to make the nage. Spiny or Maine lobsters may also be substituted, but use only half as many lobsters as langoustines, and cut the tails in half lengthwise before cooking.
16 Breton langoustines (substitute: jumbo prawns)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
Claws and head shells from langoustines (above), roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small carrot, chopped
Hot water to nearly cover
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce fresh coconut
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ kilo snap peas
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ celery root (celeriac), cut in fine julienne
2 carrots, cut in fine julienne
¼ cup duck stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Four 4-inch, 1,5 mm thick pasta dough circles
½ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup dried lime zest, grated fine
4 coriander leaves, minced
¾ cup peanut oil
To prepare the langoustines: Pull the tails off the langoustines and remove the shell and back strip. Clean out the heads; save the claws and head shells for sauce. Season the tails with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the langoustine tails until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes; do not overcook
To prepare the Nage: Put the claws, shells, garlic, and carrot in a large saucepan and add hot water to nearly cover. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract all flavour. Put back on the heat and reduce to ½ cup. Set aside and keep warm.
To prepare the vegetables: Trim the edges of the snap peas to remove the strings and cut the pods in fine julienne. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in each of 3 small saucepans over medium heat. Put the peas, celery root, and carrots each in its own pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Put the vegetables in separate small bowls.
To prepare the pasta: Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat until the water is just simmering. Add the olive oil. Slip the pasta circles into the water and poach until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain on kitchen towels.
To finish: Combine the vegetables into one pan. Season with salt and pepper, add the duck stock and balsamic vinegar and toss; simmer 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the liquid. The finished julienne should be coated thoroughly, but nearly dry.
Stir the butter into the Nage with a whisk. Add the coconut and balsamic vinegar and combine with a stick blender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve: Place four deep soup bowls on serving plates. Divide the vegetables among the bowls. Place four langoustine tails in each bowl on top of the vegetables. Lay a circle of pasta on each and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Spoon the Nage into the bowls around the pasta. Sprinkle with grated lime zest and minced coriander leaves.
The kaoteriad is to Brittany what the bouillabaisse is to Provence and there are versions of it all over Brittany. A fairly traditional recipe originally made with the seafarer’s share of the catch upon the boat’s return to port. I think it is even better if shellfish such as mussels, cockles, prairies are added with the fish. If you are very brave include fish heads.
Looks very pretty in a dish but without the fish heads. The recipe is particularly popular in the Morbihan and on the Emerald Coast and has the advantage of being both a soup and a dish.
1.5 kg various types of fish (Mackerel, Racasse, Grondins, Conger Eel, etc.)
500 g potatoes
100 g butter
2 litres of water
3 cloves of garlic
1 bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf and thyme)
chervil or parsley
a few slices of farmhouse bread
salt and pepper.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Clean the fish well, gut and cut into pieces, reserving the heads. Boil the water. Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces. Peel and chop the onions, peel the garlic. In a large pan, fry the onion in butter. When golden, add the potatoes and mix well. Pour over the boiling water and then add the garlic, bouquet garni and some sprigs of chervil or parsley. Season. Boil for approximately 20 minutes. Add the fish pieces and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the stock and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Sieve and pour into a warmed soup dish lined with buttered slices of bread cut into pieces. Remove the bouquet garni, parsley and fish heads from the pan and arrange the potatoes and fish in soup plates. Pour over stock and add the bread pieces.
You can dab mayonnaise or rouille on the bread to make it interesting.
Crantez les noisettes avec les haricots fumés de lard et de Cocos de Paimpol
16 scallops, shelled
250 g smoked streaky bacon slices with rind
250 g fresh shelled Paimpol coco beans
1 carrot, diced
50 g parsley
25 g thyme
50 g chervil
16 flat Cancale oysters
100 g churned butter
200 ml olive oil (for marinating).
Preparation: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Shell the beans and cook in cold, unsalted water. When half cooked, add the diced carrot, a few sprigs of parsley, a little thyme and, depending on personal preference, a small piece of smoked bacon rind. Cook gently and check from time to time. When the beans are tender, salt and put aside. Open the oysters and remove them from their shells.
Reserve the juice from the shells and strain it through a fine cloth. Place the oysters in water. Wrap the bacon slices around the scallops, place in olive oil and season. Fry them in a non-stick pan for 4 minutes at medium heat, turning after 2 minutes once the first side is nice and golden. Reheat the beans in the cooking juices. Pour the oyster juice into a small pan, reduce by one third and then whisk in the butter, cut into small pieces, over a very low heat. Add the oysters to the pan, season and keep warm. Divide the drained beans between the plates. Carefully arrange the scallops and oysters evenly around the beans. Filter the sauce, blend with the melted salted butter and drizzle around the edges of each plate. Garnish with a few sprigs of chervil.
3 litres of good-sized mussels
25 cl. dry white wine
5 cloves garlic
150 g butter
2 egg yolks
100 g crème fraIche
2 dessertspoons flour
1 clove, saffron, bay, thyme and pepper
Add the white wine, chopped onion, two cloves of garlic (crushed), parsley, thyme, bay and clove to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and pour in the mussels. As soon as they have opened, remove from pan, keeping only the full shells and laying them out on a hot serving dish. Strain cooking liquor. Melt butter and gently fry remaining chopped onion, garlic and shallot until pale golden. Sprinkle with flour, add saffron and pour in cooking liquor and a small quantity of hot water. Cook for 20 minutes. Mix cream and egg yolks and blend into sauce. Check seasoning and pour over mussels. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve
Meskl gant avalou/Moules the Breton Way/Mussels with Apple & Shallot sauce
3 litres of good-sized mussels
Large glass of muscadet (200ml)
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small apples, finely diced – “reinettes” work really well for this dish
3 generous tablespoons of chopped parsley
2 level tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs(chapelure)
50g of Breton "demi-sel" butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a pot. Be sure to choose one large enough to accommodate the mussels with enough room to shake them around and allow them to open fully.
Sauté the shallots, garlic and apples in the butter for 3 or 4 minutes until they are soft but not browned.
Add the parsley and the breadcrumbs and mix well together.
Add the Muscadet and simmer gently until the sauce is reduced by about a third - if it thickens to the point of "catching" on the bottom of the pan add a dribble more wine. Add the mussels and season with black pepper.
Quickly stir so that the glistening sauce coats the mussels.
Cover the pan and shake vigorously over moderately high heat for a few minutes until the mussels are fully open.
Serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up the sauce. The remainder of the Muscadet, nicely chilled, goes with this perfectly.
As mussels are eaten with your hands and the delicious sauce is slightly sticky be sure to have finger bowls at the ready.
Paella de poulet et de crevette
This is a dish I have tried to prepare many times, only for it to be a complete failure. This time Yvonne is by my side so I am going to learn how to do it properly now that we have acquired the freshest ingredients. J-M & Bernie have been to the fish quay to buy shrimps, whilst Yvonne and I have spent an afternoon with Yanni my local chicken farmer, who has provided us with some very, very fresh chicken pieces. Next we raided my kitchen garden for the vegetables and raked around in the fridge for some other bits and pieces, so now it’s time to cook. But first we must choose the correct utensils to make the paella in. We do not use regular frying pans although it seems that the word is, in the Valencia language, the Castilian translation of frying pan. The Paella pan is a special low border frying pan, best quality are thin carbon steel as they respond very quickly to changes in temperature. It should be around 30 mm deep with dips in the central part like a golf ball and two rather large handles. Curious, isn’t it? These pans can measure anything from 20 cm to a metre across and on special occasions hundreds of people to eat from it. The size is very important, having to know the amount of people who will be eating it to be able to choose the correct paella pan.
6 Chicken breasts (about 750 grams) skinned
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided
¼ teaspoon, freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 (100 gram) link Saucisse Basquaise (Hot, spicy sausage)
1 cup, chopped onion
½ cup, chopped red bell pepper
1½ cups, uncooked Arborio or Valencia rice
½ cup, diced plum tomato
1 teaspoon, Hungarian sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon, Saffron threads, crushed
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups, chicken stock
300 grams large shrimps, peeled and deveined
1 cup, (1-inch) diagonally cut asparagus
½ cup green peas, thawed
Preheat oven: Gas Mark 6 (200ºC, 400°.F)
Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large non-stick paella pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm.
Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring to crumble. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice, tomato, paprika, saffron, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan. Add chicken stock and ¼ teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Wrap handles of pan with foil; cover pan. Bake at Gas Mark 6 for 10 minutes. Stir in shrimps, asparagus, and peas. Cover and bake an additional 5 minutes or until shrimps are done.
Serving Suggestion: Decorate with 2 lemons , halved and quartered then place Paella pan on table, making sure you have a heatproof table mat on the table, and let everyone serve themselves. We enjoyed it, hope you do.
Bouillinade (Fish and Potato Bake)
This is my interpretation of one of the simplest fish dishes, because it is very much a comfort food, and I find my grandchildren love it!!
Serves - 4
Preparation time: - 10 minutes
Cooking Time: - 30 minutes
1 tablespoon of butter or lard
1 large handful of parsley
650g of potatoes, sliced
1kg of mixed fish, scaled, gutted, washed then cut into cubes
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
sea-salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Melt the butter in a large pan, remove from the heat. Add all the parsley, salt, pepper, garlic,saffron and cayenne. Dust the fish with flour, then build layers of potato and fish starting and ending with potatoes in the pan. Just cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
Add the olive oil, when boiling, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
You can also add a little strong cheese on top when cooked and place under the grill till it browns
Pipérade - Dos de Cabillaud à la Basquaise
This is a recipe given to me by Zohartze, a lady who, to me, is the queen of Basque cuisine. Somebody who really knows how to cook the most amazing fish dishes with very little effort using the freshest fish with freshest vegetables and herbs from her garden.
Preparation time: 25 min.
Cooking time: 10 + 60 min.
To serve six
1.5 kg Cod in a single piece
3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 thinly sliced Onions
750 grams Bell Pepper, red and/or green cut into quarters and deseeded
1 kilo Tomato cut in quarters
60 ml Olive Oil
30 ml White Wine
Sea-salt and black pepper
A sprig of Thyme;
½ leaf of bay leaf
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil with the onions in a shallow dish in the oven until lightly coloured; Remove and drain the onions, placing to one side
Then add another spoonful of Olive Oil to the dish, add the Bell Peppers then roast in the oven until slightly blackened; Remove from the oven, allow to cool then peel the skin away using your fingers.
Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds then peel and remove seeds and dice the tomato flesh.
Now flour the skin of the Cod, add sea-salt and pepper the place in an oven preheated to 180ºc/250ºF/Gas Mark 4 and allow the fish to cook on the floured side only.
Using a larger dish pour the Olive Oil from the other dish and add the onions, the tomatoes; place the Cod on the vegetables; then surround the Cod with Bell Pepper strips. Add sea-salt, black pepper to taste, then place the spring of thyme and the Bay Leaf on top of the fish. Now add another tablespoon of Olive Oil, the White Wine and 30 ml of water...
Place in the oven and allow to cook for 1 hour, turning regularly for the first 10 minutes. Serve straight from the oven in the cooking dish onto a bed of rice, having sprinkled the dish with freshly chopped Parsley.
Marmitako - Tuna and potato stew
My interpretation of another of Zohartze's wonderful recipes. Named after the 'Marmita' The pot that was historically used when cooking this fisherman's stew. Normally served as a main course but could be used as a starter.Named after the 'Marmita' The pot that was historically used when cooking this fisherman's stew. Normally served as a main course but could be used as a starter.
For 4 persons
150ml Olive Oil
2 Large onions, thinly sliced
4 Green chilli peppers medium sized and mild, seeded and thinly sliced.
2 Bay leaves
8 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1kg Potatoes suitable for boiling, quartered
240ml Dry white wine
720 ml Vegetable stock
6 to 8 Saffron threads
8ml Ground white pepper
1 Dried chilli pepper (mild)
1kg Skinless blue-fin tuna fillets cut into 15mm cubes
45ml Chopped fresh parsley
8ml Piment d'Espelette powder.(Espelette pepper), a variety of chilli pepper that is cultivated in the commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques
Warm 120ml of olive oil in a large casserole over high heat. Add the onions, fresh chillis, bay leaves and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, wine, vegetable stock, and saffron. Bring to the boil, cover, and reduce heat to a minimum.
Add the salt, pepper, dried chilli pepper and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Warm the remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add the tuna and sauté for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer the tuna to the casserole with the potatoes and continue to cook until the fish is done to your taste (about 8 to 10 minutes). Stir only occasionally to avoid breaking the fish apart.
Season with sea-salt and pepper to your taste. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve in shallow soup bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and Espelette pepper.
Txangurro - Basque Crab Bake
This delicious dish can be made with crab meat, on the Basque coast, spider crab is used. Me, I do not care, any crab will do providing it is still alive when I get it!!!! Once cooked the crab meat and sauce are put into the crab shells or ramekins then grilled. Because a single crab yields so little meat, it is usual to augment it with a white fish (Cod or Haddock).
Now this recipe is not for the faint-hearted, because this time I am going to teach you how to cook live crabs, do not be scared it is easy!! The worst that can happen is you have six angry crabs racing round you work surfaces. Oh what fun, at least they are not lobsters, so you cat will not get attacked!!.
Serves four people
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
6 spider crabs or blue crabs
500 gm white fish (Cod or Haddock), cooked and flaked
80 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
200 ml Armagnac,Cognac or in my case Calvados
300 ml tomato puree
230 ml oz white wine
Pinch of Piment d'Espelette
Sea-Salt and black pepper
40 ml chopped parsley
80 ml fine bread crumbs
30 gm butter
Place the live crabs into tepid salted water. Bring them slowly to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and leave till cool enough to handle.
Pry off the shells and put to one side, you will need them later, having cleaned and oiled, for use as serving dishes.
Clean the crabs, discard the spongy gills and stomach, but save any liquor from the shell. Scoop out the soft, dark meat and flaky white meat. Crack the legs and extract the meat.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until softened.
Add the crab meat and flaked cooked fish to the pan. Add the brandy and ignite it. When the flames die down, add the tomato puree, wine, Piment d'Espelette, sea-salt, pepper, and parsley. Cook for 15 minutes, adding a little of the liquor, if needed, to thin the sauce.
Spoon the mixture into the crab shells or into 6 oiled ramekins. Sprinkle the tops with the bread crumbs, dot them with butter, and put under a hot grill or into a preheated hot oven until the tops are browned, about 5 minutes.
Serving suggestion: Serve on a bed of green salad
Ultimate Breton Fishcakes – Ischni Style
FOR THE TARTARE-STYLE SAUCE
• 125ml mayonnaise
• 1 rounded tbsp capers, roughly chopped (rinsed and drained if salted)
• 1 rounded tsp creamed horseradish
• 1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 small shallot, very finely chopped
• 1 tsp coriander, finely chopped
FOR THE FISH CAKES
Makes 24 cakes!!
1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside. Lay the fish and bay leaves in a frying pan. Pour over the milk and 150ml water. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Take off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to gently finish cooking the fish.
2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes into even-sized chunks. Put them in a saucepan and just cover with boiling water. Add a pinch of sea-salt, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender, but not broken up.
3. Lift the fish out of the milk with a slotted spoon, pat dry on kitchen paper and allow to cool. Drain the potatoes in a colander and leave for a min or two. Tip them back into the hot pan on the lowest heat you can and let them dry out for 1 min, ricing them them with a ricer and stirring so they don't stick. You should have a light, dry fluffy mash. Take off the heat and beat in 1 rounded tbsp of the sauce, then the lemon zest, coriander, chives and Parmesan cheese. Season well with sea-salt, black pepper and Piment de Cayenne. The potato should have a good flavour, so taste and adjust to suit.
4. Thoroughly drain off liquid from the fish, grind some pepper over it, then flake it into big chunks into the pan of potatoes. Using your hands, gently lift the fish and potatoes together so they just mix. You'll only need a couple of turns, or the fish will break up too much. Put to one side and cool.
5. Beat the egg on a large plate and lightly flour a board. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Mix flour, sea-salt and cayenne pepper on board, and with floured hands, carefully shape into cakes, about 4cm thick. One by one, sit each cake in the egg, and brush over the top and sides so it is completely coated. Sit the cakes on the crumbs, patting the crumbs on the sides and tops so they are lightly covered. Transfer to a lined tray, cover and chill before packing for freezer.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan. To test when ready, drop a piece of the dry breadcrumbs in - if it sizzles and quickly turns golden brown, it is ready to use. Fry the fish cakes over a medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. Serve with the rest of the sauce (squeeze in a little lemon zest to taste), lemon wedges (for squeezing over), watercress and crispy fries.