Tuesday 28 February 2012

Langoustine with Homemade Garlic Mayonnaise

It's been a beautiful Spring day today, actual warm sunshine, birds singing, goats skipping round the Ouseburn with the river sparkling in the background. I think Spring is on the way... Saying that it is still only February so I'm probably getting carried away. I think it is meant to be frosty next week, but I'll embrace the sunshine while it lasts...

The lighter nights and slight warmth all bring a slight drift away from stews and soups... I spent Saturday morning wandering round the Grainger Market and came home with a bag of langoustine, some beautiful clams, two cute little gurnard and some cod. I should cook more fish, it's been quite a meaty winter, so the arrival of Spring seems like perfect timing.

The langoustine are pre cooked and just need cracking out of their spiky shells, they are sweet and delicious. As a treat I decided to make some homemade mayonnaise to dip the little fellas in. I turned to Elizabeth David for a lesson in mayonnaise. I've made it a few times now, it will take you about 5 minutes, and it is really much easier than you would think. It's quite different to what we have come to presume mayonnaise to be, that white gloop in a jar has become the norm and it seems wrong to me. Firstly I don’t know how it is white, when the two main ingredients are bright orange egg yolk and deep yellow extra virgin olive oil... I'm remembering a programme now where they talked about all kinds of weird substitute food stuffs they filled it with to make it the right consistency... Not very tasty. Let's move on...

The basic method is always the same, whisk oil into egg yolks and you get mayonnaise... simple. I decided to go for garlic mayonnaise this time, to go with the sweet delicious langoustine. I used 2 cloves of garlic and it nearly blew my head off so I would go for one clove... Pound this to a smooth paste with some salt in a pestle and mortar, and whisk in an egg yolk. It will take on a mayonnaise type consistency even at this stage. Then begin to whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, just a drip at a time at first, very slowly, and then a steadier stream. I used about 200ml of extra virgin olive oil, when about half of it is combined add the juice of ¼ lemon. You can use vinegar also, it's the acid that is needed, then add the rest of the oil.

If by any chance the mayonnaise splits or curdles add a fresh egg yolk to a clean bowl and whisk the split mixture into it a spoonful at a time and it will magically right itself. That's a little Elizabeth tip, that I have had to use on one occasion...

It tastes quite different to shop bought mayonnaise, you can really taste the oil, so use a nice one... The sweet little langoustine dipped in the creamy rich mayonnaise are a real treat, and you can use a bit of crusty brown bread to mop up any leftovers...


  1. What's the best way to deal with the langoustine? Break the shell up and pick up pieces of the meat and dip?

    1. Yes just crack the shell down the middle, pull the meat out and dip!

  2. How best to use the langoustine? Break the shell and pick up the meat to dip?


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x