Langostinos were often seen as a substitute for lobster meat. Many years ago, a famous Pittsburgh restaurant served them in a garlic butter sauce and called the dish a “lobster pot.” A fast food chain we all know actually got in trouble a few years ago using the langostino in a menu item called “lobster bites.” That is where the similarity ends. A langostino is really a “squat lobster” and is more like a crab than a real lobster.
Langostinos are pricey, since they are wild caught. But, we do see the langostino making a comeback. In fact, we find them regularly at Costco. The lobster-like treat is usually pre-cooked. They are great for making a quick seafood salad, coppino or lobster bisque, and as a topping on your low-carb pizza. Langostinos have zero carbs with 15 grams of protein and only 70 calories in a 3 ounce serving. If you can make them tasty, you will have a tempting alternative to real lobster. They make an appealing light evening meal or appetizer.
Creating our delicious light sauce will make this dish one of your favorites, guaranteed. We prepare the dish with a sherry cream sauce that is slightly sweet with a flavorful smoky tomato twist.
If you have trouble finding langostinos you can substitute shrimp. We add the pre-cooked langostinos at the end of the cooking process to re-heat them; but, if you use shrimp you should add them when you add the sherry, then follow with the tomato sauce and heavy cream. The three-minute recipe cook time for the sauce should be enough for medium shrimp. Make sure you turn them once in the sauce and use medium heat. We add the sherry before the tomato sauce to hold down spattering.
More Cooking Tips
A white onion is our choice for this recipe as the flavor is not as pronounced as a yellow Spanish onion or a Vidalia onion, but you can use a shallot instead to add a more garlic taste. In addition, you can add more than the noted chopped garlic if you wish. Never enough garlic! Once the sherry, tomato sauce, thyme, and cream are added, whisk briskly for three minutes to thicken your sauce. Since the langostinos are already cooked, the sauce will not absorb but will mostly just coat the seafood, so thickening now will help. A final tip would be that once you add the smoked paprika, incorporate quickly, and serve immediately topped with some chopped cilantro. For our favorite smoked paprika (La Dalia’s Pimentón La Vera) check out our “Smoky Bacon Deviled Egg” post.
But, let’s talk sherry! First of all, we are far from experts on wine fortified like sherry or the many vintages of wine touted by real experts. But we do know that this recipe achieves its taste by blending a true sherry with the other ingredients, particularly the thyme and smoked paprika. Like many of you, we love finding recipes and changing a few ingredients to suit our taste, and our desire for low-carb meals. Sometimes we simply find it difficult to find an ingredient or find we have a substitute in our pantry. However, in this case we urge you to stick with a good Spanish sherry.
Sherry marked “Fino” (fine in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the varieties of sherry. You may find these referred to as “Manzanilla” which is especially light or “Manzanilla Pasada.” The latter has a particularly nutty flavor. We also like the flavor of a good Amontillado; for this creation we used Don Benigno Amontillado. It is very inexpensive, readily available, and excellent for this meal. It is a nuttier sherry than a dry fino. Most of all, stick with sherry for this recipe!
Now that you have prepared a delicious Spanish appetizer of “Langostinos in a Sherry Cream Sauce” it is time to relax and enjoy them with a glass of that excellent sherry you bought just for this recipe. Frasier and Niles Crane shared a “Fino” sherry on their TV sitcom, Shakespeare wrote about sherry, and even Edgar Alan Poe had “The Cask of Amontillado.” The best part is that a 3 ounce drink of dry sherry has only 1.5 grams of carbohydrate!
Let us know what you think of the langostinos . . . or the “Fino” sherry.
- 32 ounces Langostinos (cooked)
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 3 tablespoons White onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
- 6 tablespoons Sherry (Manzanilla or Amontillado)
- 4 tablespoons Tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons Heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon Smoked paprika
- Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cilantro (chopped)
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the sherry, then the tomato sauce, thyme, and heavy cream. Salt and pepper and whisk for 3 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Drop in the cooked langostinos and stir until coated and heated - approximately 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle smoked paprika and stir to incorporate.
- Top with chopped cilantro and serve.