Langoustine with Jamon Iberico, Garlic and Tomato
Last week I joined my brother, father and mother for our annual city break. After a great trip to beautiful Rome last year we decided to give the Catalan capital a try this time. Barcelona was stunning; the weather was great, the location was wonderful and most importantly the food and wine were fantastic! Instead of staying in a hotel we stayed in a two bedroom apartment in the Gracia area of the city. When I travel abroad I like to have a kitchen handy and although I only cooked one dinner and one breakfast, it was worth having. After a three course lunch on the Thursday, I decided to take a trip to the Santa Caterina Market to find something to cook for a light dinner that night. This wonderful dish was the result.
Jamon Iberico can be hard to source over here but you can use some Serrano or Parma ham instead. If you want to add a touch of refinement peel the tomatoes first.
6 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 kg Langoustines (Dublin Bay Prawns)
3 cloves of Garlic (2 grated and 1 left whole)
2 slices of Jamon Iberico (torn into pieces)
2 Large Tomatoes (chopped)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1. Remove the heads and shells from all but 4 of the langoustines and de-vein them. Do not discard.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan and add the whole garlic clove. Cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the langoustine heads and shells. Season and cook for 3-4 minutes before adding 350 ml of boiling water. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for about ten minutes.
3. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. When hot, place the 4 whole langoustines in the pan and season lightly. Cook for 3 minutes per side and set aside.
4. Meanwhile heat the remaining 4 tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the grated garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the Jamon Iberico and continue to cook for 1 minute before adding the shelled langoustines. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
5. Strain the stock and add 150ml (10 tbsp) to the pot, stir well and serve with one whole langoustine per plate and plenty of crusty bread.