'Posh' macaroni and cheese dish
1kg cooked langoustines
1 tablespoon groundnut or sunflower oil
150ml dry white wine
300g small macaroni
350g creme fraiche
100g Beaufort or Gruyere cheese, grated
Freshly milled sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
25g unsalted butter
Shell the langoustines, reserving the shells and flesh separately.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the shells and stir for a minute or two. Then barely cover them with water, season with salt, bring to the boil and simmer over a low for 30 minutes to make a stock. Pour 300ml of the stock into a small saucepan, add the wine and boil until reduced to 3 tablespoons of liquid. (You can use the remainder of the stock for soup). About 30 minutes before serving the dish, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the macaroni. Cook until al dente, then drain. While it is cooking, heat the crème fraiche in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens, then add the reduced stock and the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese melts, and season.
Preheat the grill. Add the macaroni and the langoustines to the cheese sauce, and warm through, stirring all the time, then tip the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs, dot with the butter and place under the grill until golden and sizzling.
Serve with a crisp green salad and ciabatta bread.