Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Tarragon Cream Sauce

An entertaining-ready recipe for langoustine in a beurre blanc style saffron- and vanilla-flavored cream sauce with fresh tarragon to serve over saffron rice with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla. I have partnered with Nielsen-Massey to develop a savory vanilla dish and was compensated for my work. Opinions, words, ramblings all my own.

Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Cream Sauce recipe |

Winter is nearly here. Each night as the last member of the family arrives through the door, we lock it behind them. The Christmas tree illuminates in the living room, tiny balls of glimmering incandescent light against the black outside.

We’ve been creating our own small holiday moments in our tiny home. Hot chocolate with peppermint sticks after sliding down the snow-covered hill in the backyard, homework spread out on a table surrounded by drying gloves and winter hats. Christmas movies on heavy rotation, watched in front of the tree while having laundry-folding parties on weeknights. Nightly homemade ornament making because the kids found supplies in the basement and it can’t wait one minute more. Obscure holiday songs played throughout dinner, loudly laughing at our favorite lines.

Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Cream Sauce recipe |

I made this on a particularly hectic night, rice thrown in a rice cooker with steeped saffron and stock made from a previous meal. Tossing together the sauce on the stove, I left the butter adding in the capable hands of my teen, who handed it off to my husband, as I went about chasing the light and steaming green beans last minute. By dinnertime, we’d called the children in from the snow-covered hill in the backyard, set gloves out to dry in front of heater vents, and closed the house to the cold.

I watched them eat a meal meant for entertaining, a once-in-a-while type of meal cooked for more than just daily nourishment on an anyday in December. I smiled when they asked for second helpings as I sipped the remaining wine leftover from the sauce. I turned to making hot chocolate for dessert as plates were cleared and the table wiped and reset for homework, and I resolved that there’s a bit of calming comfort in a sun that sets too early, in air that keeps windows closed, in mugs grasped with chilled hands.

Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Cream Sauce recipe |

This meal is definitely ready for your holiday dinner in smaller portions as a side dish or a main for a few holiday guests arrived at your door. It could even just be a weekly family meal, served without much fanfare, the bottle of wine and cozy house creating the special occasion for you.

The Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean plays up the saffron fragrance and complexities, while the orange extract helps cut the richness of the sauce and brighten it just a bit. Saffron rice with a bit of tarragon and Meyer lemon finish the dish. Turn on the music and sit down. It’s time to create a holiday moment.


Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Tarragon Cream Sauce



  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean (sliced and scraped)
  • ½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey orange extract
  • ¼ gram saffron threads
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 pound langoustine tails, shelled*
  • For serving:
  • 6 cups warm saffron rice (or steamed rice)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon for garnish
  • Meyer lemon wedges


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the shallots, wine, vanilla bean seeds and pod, orange extract, and saffron threads. Cook until reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
  2. Stir in the cream and cook until it bubbles.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add in the butter one piece at a time while whisking, fully incorporating each piece before adding another. Stir in the tarragon, salt, and white pepper.
  4. To prepare the langoustine tails, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in the langoustine tails and cook, stirring frequently, just until tails are pink and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Add to the sauce and serve immediately** over saffron rice. Garnish with extra tarragon and serve with a Meyer lemon wedge, if desired.


*You can substitute large shrimp, prawns, or lobster meat for langoustine tails.
**If holding the sauce for any length of time, place it in a prepped thermos until ready to serve.
Recipe type: Main
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5-6 servings


Langoustine with Saffron Vanilla Cream Sauce recipe |


  1. This looks lovely. The idea to use vanilla in a savory dish is genius!

  2. What a special meal. I love the sound of vanilla and orange with this more savory dish!

  3. I remember the first time I came across langoustines, I was like, WHAT IS THIS?! They’re so good. Love your recipe!

  4. Love love all of the flavors!!! Have to make this!

  5. I am definitely trying to eat this saffron cream sauce, its looking very delicious and healthy meal for people. than’s a lot for sharing this recipe.

  6. Great post, but if I’m investing money I can afford to lose, I can’t see why I’d ever consider low risk investments.

  7. Whoever said saffron has no flavor must have never had genuine saffron. It is the most costly zest on the planet in spite of the fact that the cost varies with seasons. It is typically hand picked and it takes a huge number of blooms to get a good measure of saffron which is the reason its so costly.

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