Sautéed langoustines or prawns are
layered in a round mold together with
sautéed eggplant, chopped fresh basil,
and béchamel sauce and seasoned with
a savory prawn sauce in this gourmet
recipe by Chef Philippe Gravouille. This
dish is best paired with a light and crisp
French white wine like Muscadet, and
also goes excellently well with a dry
white wine like Graves Blanc for a
splendid lunch or memorable dinner.
Langoustine is a smaller version of lobsters and is orange-pink in color when cooked.
It is caught in European seas and also known as Norway lobster or Dublin Bay prawn.
You can also use prawns or lobster to make this recipe if you can’t find langoustines
in your area. Because the lobsters are larger than langoustines, you can slice them
into smaller pieces so that they fit nicely in the mold. Level and layer them flatly on
the eggplant slices and use a spatula to gently compress the mold.
This dish is inspired by the classic French dessert charlotte, which consists of layers of
custard, whipped cream, fruits, bread biscuit or ladyfingers, and/or gelatin set in a
round mold. Charlotte is also the term used for the round mold in making such as a
dessert. In this recipe, instead of using sweet ingredients, savory ingredients are used
including prawns, tomatoes, eggplants, olive oil, basil, onions, shallots, bouquet of
mixed herbs, fish stock, cayenne pepper, and Mornay sauce.
Two kinds of sauces are made in this recipe: prawn or langoustine sauce and
béchamel. The prawn sauce is made with the prawn shells enhanced with prawn of
fish stock, shallots, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs. You can use whatever herbs you
have at hand including parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Béchamel is a
classic French sauce made by combing butter, flour, and milk, obtaining a thick and
5.5 lbs. prawns
4.4 lbs. fresh tomatoes
2.2 lbs. eggplants
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 bouquet basil
2/3 cup minced onions and shallots
1 bouquet mixed greens
pint fish stock
salt, cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups Mornay sauce
1. Peel the langoustines and set the fleshy parts aside. The shells will be used to make
2. Finely chop shallots and sauté in olive oil. Coarsely chop tomatoes and sauté in
olive oil. Combine the two together and place in the pot. Add the langoustine shells
inside the pot, splitting the head and the body. Add fish stock, salt and pepper, and
aromatic herbs. Bring to a boil and cook for twenty to forty minutes. Srain liquid to
get a nice sauce.
3. Slice eggplants into thin rounds and sauté in a pan with some olive oil. Place on a
napkin to absorb excess oil. Sauté langoustine meat in olive oil just until they change
into a nice pink color.
4. To make béchamel sauce, melt butter in medium to low heat add flour and stir
until smooth and mixture turns a light and golden color, which should take about six
to seven minutes. Heat milk in a separate pan and add it to the butter mixture just
when it is about to boil. Bring to a boil when mixed and cook for ten minutes, stirring
constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Using a round mold, place the cooked eggplant slices at the bottom for the first
layer. Flatten with the back of a spoon. Tightly arrange the sautéed langoustine on
top of the eggplant layer. Sprinkle chopped basil on top. Drizzle with some sauce.
Cover the top with eggplant slices and flatten to compress the mold. Spread
béchamel sauce on top. Cook in a salamander oven to get a nice glaze.
6. Spread langoustine sauce around the charlotte. Sprinkle some chopped chives and
chopped tomatoes for decoration.