Midday Fix: Langoustine from local Top Chef Jr. contestant

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Henry Wieser


Top Chef Junior airs on Fridays at 7PM Central on Universal Kids. The finale airs on Friday, 2/2.

Langoustine with Persimmon, Puffed Rice, Wasabi


4 fresh medium langoustines

60g (4 tbs) mayonnaise (homemade)
3tbs. cilantro powder (dry fresh cilantro in a microwave and grind on coffee grinder until fine)
2tbs. grated wasabi
1tsp. green tabasco sauce
Langoustine shells and bodies
¼ cup diced fennel
1tbls unsalted butter
4tbls. grated ginger
2tbls. fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed but whole
1tbls. flour
½ cup tomato juice
2tbls. Noilly Prat Vermouth
2tbs. cognac
¼tps. saffron
2 quarts lobster stock or fish fumet
5 springs tarragon
2 pods cardamom
1 pod star anise
½ cup creme fraiche
1tbls. lobster roe
2tbls. lime juice
Kosher salt
1 pinch espelette


½ cup turnip cut into fine brunoise (fine dice)
¼ cup pickled carrots, cut into fine brunoise (fine dice)
½ cup dark greens of leek, cut into fine- brunoise (fine dice)
4tbls. rice vinegar

Persimmon Jelly:
2 fresh Persimmons (gutted, skin removed)
4tbls. agar-agar

2 medium Hakurei or Tokyo Turnips
5tbls. butter
¼ cup white veal stock or chicken stock
2 tarragon sprigs
2tps. tarragon vinegar

1 Recipe Puffed Rice:

1 cup of short grain rice
1 3/4 cups of water
a pinch or two of sea salt
a couple of cups of sunflower (or another) high-heat oil

Place the rice water and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 250º.

Spread the rice out onto a small baking sheet. Bake (dehydrate) in the oven for 2 hours. The rice should be dry and hard when it's done. Place the rice into the fridge to cool off for at least an hour.

The last step is the most important, to puff the rice. In a medium saucepan, add enough oil so that it comes up to about 1/2" on the side, and heat the oil over medium heat until it's shimmering. Test to make sure it's ready by adding a single piece of rice to the oil. If it sizzles all around the rice kernel, then it's ready. Add about half of the rice to the pot and cook for about 30 seconds, just until the rice puffs up. This happens very quickly, and you do not want to overcook it, otherwise the rice will be too crunchy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the rice and place it onto a paper-towel lined plate. Do this until all of the rice is puffed.


Remove the shells, head, and digestive tract form the langoustine and cover completely in cornstarch for 6 hours. To Complete: Deep fry at 375°F for 90 seconds, drain on paper towns and season with kosher salt

Wasabi Coating:
Combine all the Ingredients and mix until every incorporated, season to taste, set aside.

In a medium pot over high, heat some canola oil. Add the bodies and shells, crushing them with a large wooden spoon. When the shells are lightly brown, pour off oil and add the butter. Lower the heat to medium and add the fennel, ginger, and garlic. Cook until tender about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and sweat for 3 minutes, whilst stirring. add the tomato juice, Cognac and noilly prat and the saffron. Reduce to about ⅜ cup. Add the stock and reduce to 1 quart. Make a sachet with the anise, cardamom, and tarragon. Add to the stock. Simmer for 35 minutes. In a small bowl mix the créme fraîche and the roe together. Discard the sachet. strain through a chinois and blend on high along with the roe mixture. Season to taste with the lime juice and espelette, keep hot.
Heat a medium sauté pan and add half the butter and turnips over medium heat. Then add the tarragon and the stock, cover and cook for 7 minutes, then season to taste and add the butter whilst constantly rotating the pan, season to taste and drain on paper towels.

Combine all ingredients and then add to the sauce last minute.

Juice the persimmon and then strain through a sieve. heat the juice in a saucepan on high, add the Agar Agar and boil until a thermometer reads 220°F. Quickly season with sugar, and kosher salt. then carefully pour over a small
4 x 4 deep baking tray lined with cling film and allow to cook under firm. Then take out of the tray and cut into small cubes, blend the excess trimmings.

To Plate:
On a flat, large porcelain plate using a medium ring mold pipe out the persimmon fluid gel in a ring shape and remove the mold. Cover the top half of the langoustine in the wasabi coating and the puffed rice, along with black sesame seeds. Place a few spoonfuls of the dressing and sauce in side of the ring. place the langoustine on top then arrange cubes of jelly and dots of the wasabi coating along with circles of black garlic. Serve with turnips on side.


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