Thomas Schauer
Langoustine & Uni Chaud-Froid, adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud.
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Langoustine & Uni Chaud-Froid

Daniel: My French Cuisine, Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford - December 18th, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford―a book featured in Word-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

Serves 4

Langoustine broth:

  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps. kosher salt
  • 16 live Scottish langoustines
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 stalks lemongrass, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tarragon sprigs, leaves removed and chopped
  1. In large saucepan, combine 1 gal. water with sugar and 1 Tbsp. salt; bring to a boil; place bowl of ice water on the side; twist off and reserve langoustine claws; discard heads; grasp middle fin of tails, gently twist and pull off to remove the veins; boil langoustine tails 10 seconds; immediately strain and transfer to ice water to chill; peel and discard shells.

  2. Transfer half the langoustine claws to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle; mix on low speed 1 minute, breaking them into smaller chunks; add remaining claws; continue mixing 1 minute; increase speed to medium; mix until claws break down into a mash; add remaining salt, ginger, lemongrass, peppercorns, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and tarragon; mix until well combined; transfer mixture to medium saucepan; cover with 1 quart water; gently stir a few times; place over medium heat; bring to a gentle simmer, undisturbed, allowing mixture to form a raft; once the raft rises to the surface, gently poke a hole in top; continue to gently simmer 20 minutes, occasionally basting raft by ladling broth from the hole; carefully strain liquid by ladling through a fine-meshed sieve lined with 3 layers of wet cheesecloth; place liquid in airtight container; reserve in refrigerator.

Fennel pollen tuile:

  • 4 Tbsps. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsps. orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsps. salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsps. confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 lg. egg whites
  • 1 tsp. fennel pollen
  1. Heat oven to 300°F; line baking sheet with nonstick mat.

  2. Whisk butter, orange juice, salt, and confectioners' sugar in medium bowl; whisk in flour, then egg whites, until smooth; using a 1 1/2"–wide teardrop-shaped stencil and small offset spatula, spread batter onto sheet to make at least 4 tuiles; sprinkle lightly with fennel pollen; bake 8 minutes, or until golden brown; cool; place in airtight container; reserve at room temperature.

Sea urchin custard:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 3/4 oz. sea urchin roe
  • 2 lg. egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. piment d’Espelette
  1. Heat oven to 200°F.

  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender; puree until smooth; sieve mixture through a chinois into a bowl; divide into 4 serving bowls with 4" inset diameter to form 1/4"–thick layers; cover bowls with plastic wrap; place inside large roasting pan; pour hot water into roasting pan around bowls to reach level of the custard.

  3. Bake 20 minutes, or until custard sets; remove bowls from water; let rest 15 minutes at room temperature; unwrap; refrigerate until chilled.

Glazed langoustine tails, chayote, and fennel:

  • salt
  • 1 small head fennel, petals cut into at least 8 3/4" “coins” and blanched, with 1/4 cup fronds reserved
  • 1 small chayote, peeled, cut into 1/4" slices, then cut into at least 8 1/2" triangles and blanched
  • 2 1/2 sheets gelatin, bloomed in cold water
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • white pepper, freshly ground
  1. Heat langoustine broth to 135°F in large saucepan; season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, as needed; submerge langoustine tails in broth; gently poach 5 minutes, or until just cooked; pour broth with langoustines into large bowl set over ice; stir until well chilled; strain broth through fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth; season.

  2. Pour 1 cup broth into small saucepan, reserve remaining; place over medium heat; whisk in gelatin; bring to a simmer, while whisking, 30 seconds; remove from heat; cool to 95°F; individually dip 4 langoustine tails into cooled broth; arrange on a bowl of custard; dip 2 fennel coins and 2 chayote triangles into gelée; set on the custard, alternating in between the langoustines; repeat the process with the remaining 3 bowls of custard; return bowls to refrigerator; chill 15 minutes, or until set.

  3. Pour 1 cup remaining broth into small saucepan; bring to a simmer; remove from heat; stir in geletin sheets until dissolved; cool to room temperature; pour approximately 2 Tbsps. onto each bowl to cover the custard in a thin layer; return to refrigerator to set gelée, 1 hour.

Avocado espuma:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tsps. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • salt and white pepper, freshly ground

Scoop avocado flesh, juice, xanthan gum, and 6 Tbsps. cold water into blender; puree until smooth; strain through chinois; transfer to canister of whipped cream canister; insert nitrogen cartridge; reserve in refrigerator.

Assembly:

  • 8 sea urchin tongues, halved widthwise
  • 2 Tbsps. golden osetra
  • 1/4 cup fennel fronds, reserved from above
  • 1/4 cup sea cress leaves
  • 8 oyster leaves, cut into diamonds
  • 16 lemon confit strips
  • 1 tsp. fennel pollen
  • olive oil
  • 2 finger limes

Place 4 langoustines on each plate; place 1 sea urchin tongue next to each langoustine; place 1 small spoonful caviar on each langoustine; squeeze 1 Tbsp. avocado espuma in center of the bowl; lean 1 fennel pollen tuile next to it; garnish custard with 2 fennel fronds, 4 sea cress leaves, 2 oyster leaf diamonds, and 4 lemon confit strips; sprinkle fennel pollen over the top; drizzle with a few drops of olive oil; halve finger limes; squeeze about 1/4 tsp. finger lime juice pellets over top of custard.

Recipe from DANIEL: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Boulud. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.