National Dish of Comoros Langouste a la Vanille
|live lobsters (1 ¼ - 1 ½ lbs. each)
|vanilla bean (sliced lengthwise)
|tender spinach (stems removed)
|tablespoon olive oil
|medium shallots (peeled and finely diced)
|7 tbsps. & 2 tsps.
|white wine vinegar
|1 ½ tbsps
|Vidalia onions (sliced)
|Kosher salt to taste
|Black pepper to taste
Langouste a la Vanille is a famous dish that is prepared in the Comoros Islands. It is made with fresh South African lobster that is caught regularly in the Comorian waters and newly harvested vanilla beans which is a major agricultural crop there. The dish has its origins in French cuisine.
Directions for Preparing Langouste a la Vanille
- Prepare the lobsters for cooking by piercing them between the eyes with a sharp knife. This will sever the spinal cord.
- Use a hammer or cleaver to crack the claws.
- Preheat a large roasting pan in the oven at 450 degrees and place the lobsters in it. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for fifteen minutes until they become red.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool.
- Melt two teaspoons of unsalted butter in a saucepan.
- Sauté the shallots in the butter for about three minutes until soft.
- Pour in the wine and vinegar.
- Cook on medium-high heat for about five minutes
- Turn off the stove when the liquid has been reduced to about a tablespoon.
- Stir in six tablespoons of butter, one at a time
- Prod the seeds out of the halved vanilla bean and add to the sauce
- Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan, and discard the diced shallots
- Season the sauce with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Remove the meat from the lobster claws.
- Detach the heads and tails.
- Slice the tails lengthwise in half and Remove the meat.
- Chop the meat into ¼-inch chunks and place the meat chunks into a container and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm
- Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan and sauté the spinach and onions. Cook until the spinach is tender.
- Season with salt and pepper
- Arrange the greens onto the serving dish, and then place the warm lobster on top of it.
- Reheat the sauce and pour it over the lobster.
- Garnish with tender clover sprouts and serve.