Sunday cookfest

I love food. Moving into my new house with a massive kitchen has been an absolute godsend when it comes to preparing and cooking meals. I don't get much time during the week to cook big feasts from scratch, but at the weekends I have started to enjoy spending time making nice meals. I'm not the best chef, and don't like being rushed... but I'm getting better (baking will still always be my forte!) A couple of weekends ago Pete and I had a go at a Scandinavian dish from the Transun blog, rather than our normal hungover Dominos order. Here is our attempt at Langoustines with smoked potato puree and soured cream:

For the Barigoule:
50ml Olive Oil
1 Carrot
1 Brown Onion
3 Garlic cloves
2 Bay leaves
2 sprigs Thyme
1 tbsp Fennel seeds
100ml White wine
100ml White wine vinegar
200ml Water
1 Lemon (in halves)
5 Small parsley roots
300g Fennel

Peel the carrot, onion and garlic and chop into smaller pieces. Fry them in the olive oil together with the bay leaves, fennel seeds and thyme for about 3 minutes. Add all the fluids and the halved lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Split the parsley root and fennel lengthwise. Simmer in the broth for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Then allow to cool in the broth.

Smoked potato puree:
300g Potatoes
50g Butter
100g Crème fraiche

Peel the potatoes and boil them gently in salted water until soft. Remove the water and pass the potatoes through a sieve. Add the butter with a spatula and add crème fraiche until you have achieved a smooth and creamy texture. Add salt to taste. Smoke according to instruction.

Langoustine broth:
Shells from the langoustine
300ml of the barigoule liquid
5 red cherry tomatoes

Roast the langoustine shells in the oven for approximately 5 min at 150°. Place in a saucepan with halved tomatoes and strain the Barigoule liquid into the pan. Bring to the boil and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Champagne cream:
200ml Double cream
2 tbsp White wine vinegar
Mix vinegar and double cream, add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Let steep for 5 minutes, then whisk lightly. Cool until serving.

The other ingredients:
10 Langoustines
100ml Panko
100g Butter
10cm Leek (the white part)
2 tbsp Leek ashes

Shell the langoustines according to instruction, place in fridge. Slice the leek so all guests get one slice each, steam for 5 minutes. Warm leek with parsley root and fennel in the oven with some Barigoule liquid. Bread the backs of langoustines with panko, fry gently in browed butter on the back only. Remove tails from the raw shrimp. Garnish with leek ash over the top.

We followed the recipe in that order to start, but then it included a bit of chopping and changing, looking ahead and keeping an eye on a few different sections at the one time. Unfortunately we didn't manage to make the leek ashes, or have such lovely presentation as the Aveqia chefs do!

Okay, when it comes to presentation I have to laugh because as quite a creative person I could not make this dish look pretty at all! Pete tried one plate and I did the other. Mark and Emma over at Food and Drink Glasgow blog did an absolute stellar job on presenting their dish. I need to learn a few lessons from them for sure. We snapped a few quick photos then got tucked in, and it tasted absolutely divine. The langoustines themselves in the panko breadcrumbs were delicious, and I would definitely make them again along with the potato puree. It was the barigoule that took the most time, and although it tasted amazing it's not the sort of thing you want to start making from scratch when you are starving and feeling impatient. The whole dish took an hour and a half from prep to plating up. I am a big fan of seafood, and although de-shelling the langoustines was time consuming (and ugly, hello little alien prawns) it was totally worth it.

What sort of meals do you like to cook from scratch at home? I want to make more time for cooking, and take it as a relaxing and enjoyable experience rather than a stressful or rushed one. Definitely need to get back into baking again too. I've had the thought of Nutella Cupcakes floating in my brain for months now...


  1. Looks very yummy =]

  2. This looks amazing! I am very impressed with the level of effort required - I love to cook but my effort levels tend to fluctuate a lot :) definitely looks like an excellent choice for a Sunday treat.

    Martha -

  3. thank you ! it was a long job! We loved the langoustines as well xx

  4. As a veggie I can't eat seafood, but I love the idea of cooking a meal from scratch, especially something new. I hate my tiny, little kitchen but I'm hoping to get a new one fitted soon which will hopefully reignite my love for cooking! It's hard to be a passionate cook in an orange and blue kitchen...


    p.s. I totally feel your paint when it comes to presentation, especially because I always cook messy foods like vegetable curries and chillis - if there's a way to make chilli look pretty, please let me know!

  5. Oh my goodness, that looks and sounds very fancy, and I'm glad it tasted as good as it looked! At the weekend I like to cook up big batch meals which will give leftovers for the freezer to eat during the week, such as chilli, curry and stews.

    Rachel x
    The Inelegant Wench