Have you had enough of polenta or cornmeal yet? I hope not! This is another recipe that is on a budget-friendly side if you are frugal. The title may scare you a bit, but there are other options.
Let’s start with cornmeal. If you remember my previous recipe of Cornmeal with Blue Crabs and Spinach, you know by now that seafood adds a delicious taste to cornmeal. The best and easy way to have a tasty cornmeal dish is by having a good spice mixture.
In the Caribbean, cornmeal is usually cooked with garlic, parsley, scallions, salt, and thyme. All fresh spices! Many people will add a Maggi Cube or chicken bouillon seasoning for more flavor. It is a good idea if you buy a seasoning free of MSG and low sodium. It is terrible if you are not health conscious and buys any types of seasoning.
The right poultry seasoning is excellent as well as chicken stock or chicken broth. Whatever the choice, your meal will be delicious. I use our Noubess poultry seasoning to facilitate cooking and also because it does not contain any salt. I can control my salt better especially if I am adding meat, poultry or seafood to the cornmeal.
Choosing the right seafood
Langoustines can be very expensive. If you can purchase it at Costco, BJs or Sam’s Club, you will save a lot of money. You can also try visiting a fish market with decent prices.
If you cannot find langoustines, you can use lobster. Season and cook it the same way. Shrimp is also a great alternative. Any types of firm seafood you can slice in chunks is also ideal. The seafood or fish is also used to top the cornmeal in the spoon.
The seasoning for the seafood is simple. I made my Spicy Langoustines recipe. Common everyday spices like garlic, scallion, and red onion are used in the recipe. I also used chili garlic paste, oyster sauce, and champagne vinegar. These items are not commonly found in all pantry. You can find them in your local supermarket or specialty food.
The oyster sauce can be replaced with soy sauce. You can replace the garlic chili paste with Noubess Original Hot and Spicy condiment. For the acidic agent, the champagne vinegar can be replaced by rice vinegar. Champagne and rice vinegar are both mild. If you don’t have either, you can use lemon juice instead of white or apple cider vinegar which are both intense in taste and flavor.
Plating and serving
I used small appetizer spoons to serve the cornmeal and langoustines. The spoons are made in porcelain and are white. The colors are subtle and will add a festive look at your dinner table. The spoons are also sitting on a bed of watercress. You can substitute the watercress with arugula and even shredded lettuce.
As I always remind everyone, Flaxseed will keep the cornmeal soft. But again, if you are serving the dish right away there no need to add it. Just remember that Flaxseed is high in fiber.
Lastly, you can serve this appetizer as a meal as well. Serve this beautiful, delicious and healthy appetizer at your next gathering.
- 1 cup cornmeal fine or medium coarse
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon bouillon chicken or vegetable
- 1 green onion chopped fine
- 1 thyme sprig
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 green Scotch bonnet pepper
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups langoustines frozen but thawed
- 1/2 lime juice only, lemon can also be used as well
- cold water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 medium red onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks scallions finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili garlic paste
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp champagne vinegar
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat oil and add garlic, green onion, thyme and vegetable or chicken bouillon. Stir to mix and let sauté for about 1 -2 minutes. Add 3 cups water, stir and bring to a boil.
- In a bowl, mix cornmeal with 1 cup of water and make sure it is well mixed and with no lumps. Stir in cornmeal slowly in the boiling pot. Add hot pepper. Lower heat, cover ajar and continue to cook cornmeal and stirring occasionally until water has evaporated about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove thyme before serving.
- Add thawed langoustines in a large bowl with lime juice and cold water. Let soak for a couple of minutes and drain. Make sure the water is completely drained.
- In a frying pan or skillet, add garlic, onions and scallions. Let fry for about 2 minutes then add langoustines. If you notice the langoustines have water, let cook until the water is almost evaporated. It should take about 2 minutes on medium high heat. Add chill paste, oyster sauce and champagne vinegar. Keep stirring until everything is completely blended. Cook another 3 - 4 minutes, remove from heat and serve hot.
To plate and serve
- Use appetizer spoons, small appetizer plates or serve as regular meal.
Serving size for dinner is 4 - 6 people.
For appetizer size: 30 - 50 spoons - depending on size of spoons.
Use porcelain spoons as the cornmeal can be very hot.