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Langoustines with cocks' kidneys, langoustine tortelloni and jus By David Everitt-Matthias

14 February 2007
Langoustines with cocks' kidneys, langoustine tortelloni and jus By David Everitt-Matthias

Ingredients (Serves four)

For the kidneys and langoustines 8 large cocks' kidneys
16 large langoustines
100ml olive oil

For the langoustine stock 100ml olive oil
The shells from the langoustines
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
1tbs tomato purée
50ml Cognac
250ml white wine
500ml brown chicken stock
750ml water

For the tortelloni 30g fresh white breadcrumbs
50ml double cream
A little lemon juice
350g fresh pasta dough
1 egg, beaten

For the jus 75ml double cream
50ml milk
2g powdered lecithin
Lemon juice, if needed

For the spinach 50g unsalted butter
400g spinach
16 small pennywort stems

Method To prepare the kidneys and langoustines, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add kidneys and blanch for 11/2-2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, then blanch the langoustines in the same water for about a minute. While they are still slightly warm, shell the tails, then use nutcrackers to remove the meat from the claws. Peel the skin off the kidneys. Place kidneys, langoustine tails and meat in the fridge until needed.

To make the langoustine stock, heat olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan until almost smoking. Add langoustine shells and cook until golden. Add garlic, onion and celery and cook for five minutes, until coloured, then add tomato purée. Stir in Cognac, scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it, then add white wine and simmer until it has completely evaporated. Add chicken stock and water, bring to the boil and simmer for about one hour. Strain through a fine sieve into another pan and boil until reduced to 400ml. Leave to cool, then chill until needed.

For the tortelloni, finely chop eight langoustine tails and all the claw meat and place in a bowl. Add breadcrumbs and mix in cream to bind. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Shape into eight small balls and chill until needed.

Roll out the pasta dough in a pasta machine to the finest setting, then cut out eight discs with a 6cm cutter. Place a ball of filling on each disc, brush the edges with beaten egg and then fold over the top half of the dough. Press the edges together to seal well, making sure no air is trapped, or the tortelloni will burst on cooking. Curl the semicircle around your finger and push the corners together well to form the traditional shape.

Blanch in a large pan of boiling salted water for 1-11/2 minutes. Drain well, refresh in cold water, then drain again. Place on a tray, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.

To make the jus, bring langoustine stock to the boil in a small saucepan. Add double cream and milk and bring back to the boil, then whisk in lecithin. Season to taste, adding a few drops of lemon juice to sharpen the flavour if necessary. Keep warm.

To cook the kidneys and langoustines, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add peeled kidneys and the remaining langoustine tails and cook for about 11/2 minutes on each side, until golden. Season and keep warm.

For the spinach, heat the butter in a large pan, add the spinach and cook briefly until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, reheat the tortelloni for 1-11/2 minutes in a large pan of boiling salted water with a little oil added. Drain well and season to taste.

Place a small mound of spinach in each of four serving bowls and add the tortelloni, langoustines and cocks' kidneys. Arrange the pennywort on top. Froth the jus with a stick blender until light and airy, then spoon it over and around.

Note If you can't get cocks' kidneys, try using rabbit kidneys instead you will need 4-5 per person. The pennywort, a juicy, umbrella-like plant, could be replaced with purslane.

By David Everitt-Matthias (from his first book, Essence, published by Absolute Press, £25)

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