Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lobster Bisque


Maine lobsters are a big treat, so why not get the most out of them. After our lobster boil a couple of weeks ago, link to post here, when Meakin had live lobsters flown in from Maine, we saved some of the cooked lobster bodies so we could make lobster bisque.

Seafood bisques are smooth and creamy soups of French origin and are very rich. They are based on crustaceans and can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish. Bisques are perfect for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays such as Valentine’s Day.



Lobsters can be cooked especially for bisque, but left-over lobster bodies are the most practical to use and work great.  This recipe is from cookbook author & New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman and he says that if you haven’t saved the bodies from a lobster feast, they are available from fish markets, which either give them away or charge minimally. I don’t have any firsthand experience with that, but I am definitely going to look into it when we are in Florida next. Our favorite seafood market is Merrick’s in Cape Coral and they sell live Maine lobsters, so I am going to ask. I know I won’t find lobster bodies at our local market here in the mountains. Do any of you, especially those that live in the Northeast or near the ocean, know if fish markets sell or give away lobster bodies?

Our Ingles market here may not have Maine lobsters, but they make up for it by stocking French baguettes from Nancy Silverton’s Le Brea Bakery in California. Chef and baker Nancy Silverton is credited for sparking the artisan bread renaissance. Talk about a fabulous crusty baguette – ooh, la, la. You would have to travel to France to find a better baguette than the ones from La Brea.

Seafood bisque is traditionally served in a low two-handled cup on a saucer or in a mug. It is very rich and a little bit goes a long way and a crusty French baguette served alongside is a must.



Lobster Bisque
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything - serves 4
Printable Recipe

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 to 8 lobster bodies, cooked or uncooked, with as many other lobster shells as you can scavenge, plus coral, tomalley, and any stray bits of meat you might find*
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup cored, seeded, and chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; and don't bother to drain)
6 cups full flavored chicken stock or store bought fish stock or strained liquid reserved from boiling lobsters
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish

Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large-deep saucepan or casserole over medium heat. When it melts, add the onion, garlic, carrot, bay leaf, and thyme and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the lobster bodies and, if they are uncooked, cook, stirring, until they turn red, about 10 minutes (if they're already cooked, cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and tomatoes and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the stock, turn the heat to high, and bring back to a boil. Once again, turn the heat to low and cover; cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Remove the lobster shells, crack them if necessary, and pick off any meat you find. Return the bits of meat to the soup (reserve any large pieces of meat you have for the final addition below).

Pass the soup through a food mill or puree it in a blender or food processor. (You may prepare the soup in advance up to this point. Cover, refrigerate for up to 2 days, and reheat before proceeding.)Return the soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the remaining butter, in bits, until it melts. Add the cream and any bits of lobster meat and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, and serve.



For better viewing, click on photos to enlarge.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes.    
Have a great weekend everyone.

42 comments:

  1. This bisque has such a beautiful colour and looks really mouthwatering!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I am fascinated by this bisque Sam. I love the idea of using very part of what you eat, and what an elegant way to use them. I also have a few recipes from Le Brea such as their bran muffins. They are the best muffins ever!!!

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  3. Sam,
    Lobster Bisque is a favorite. During the summer when we are in Maine they are regular fare. When in Florida and I want lobster I have them shipped from Harbor Fish in Portland. Love your blog.

    Carol

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  4. great use of the lobster leftovers guys and really like your first presentation shot.

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  5. I love lobster bisque, I have never bought or cooked a whole lobster before. I usually just get the tails. This sounds really good!

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  6. Your lobster bisque looks delicious Sam. You made the most out of those lobsters. I too love La Brea Breads, but David's favorite is The Fresh Market's sour dough baguette.

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  7. Sam I love your presentation..Oh this must be so good..
    Looks like a vacation to me..I can hear the ocean:)

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  8. We love lobster bisque but I've never made it for some reason. I do make a crab bisque. Count us among the La Brea bread lovers as well. I hardly ever bake bread anymore since it is so delicious and varied.

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  9. I have never prepared Lobster Bisque but I have enjoyed it while on a trip to San Diego.....as you say...velvety, rich and delicious! La Brea bread is fabulous. Pinning for a time when we have lobster.

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  10. I will trade you some La Brea bread for a little bowl of that bisque. Sam, I salute you. What a wonderful presentation.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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  11. Boy, this looks delicious! I wish I had a big bowl right now! xoxo

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  12. looks wonderful and great idea to save some

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  13. wow Sam...I wish I could have a bowl right now...it looks so wonderfully delicious. My mouth is watering terribly....

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  14. Sam dear,

    We'll soon be at our cottage in Maine and lobsters will again be our reality! They are the best, aren't they. Loved this posting.

    Happy September,

    Sharon (Love L'isle Sur la Sorgue. Found my garde manger there with original tin Paris tags)

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  15. How mouthwatering with that lovely red lobster claw sticking out - my favorite part! I am craving lobster still after our lobster boil. We have a wonderful fish market downtown. I'll have to see if they sell lobster bodies!

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  16. Yum yum, my mouth is watering. Have a good day. Diane

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  17. Lovely! The color is beautiful. The baguette is perfect. I wish I could pull up a chair.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  18. Hi Sam, what a wonderful bisque, love Mark Bittman's recipes.

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  19. You have me craving lobster now. I haven't ever cooked it myself since we live in the midwest, but growing up in New Hampshire it was a regular on special occasions. Thank you for sharing this recipe on Foodie Friday

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  20. *swoon* I think lobster bisque is one of the most elegant, decadent and dreamy foods there is and I would love this! It looks fabulous! BTW did I miss how many this recipe serves?

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    1. Thanks for catching that Jamie. I just corrected it and it serves 4. Really appreciate it!
      Sam

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  21. Your lobster bisque looks delicious, Sam! I saw the recipe in Bittman's great cookbook and know it would be a hit here. I became addicted to Le Brea bread in San Francisco years ago and luckily it's easy to find here. Have a great weekend!

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  22. I love lobster bisque, Sam. There was a restaurant in NYC a block away from my daughter that served an ambrosial bowl of it. I nearly cried when they closed!
    Bitman doesn't miss, this looks terrific. Marvelous color.

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  23. I saw this on Facebook this morning and wished I could have it for breakfast. Now it's 10 pm and I'm salivating all over again.

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  24. Dear Sam, That looks wonderful. Both my son and daughter love lobster bisque. They would love this. Blessings dear. Catherine

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  25. What an elegant and delicious bisque! I love that you used leftover lobster bodies for this as well - a great way to get everything you can out of those tasty lobsters!

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  26. It seems as though we both had lobsters on the mind. Next time I'm making this bisque. What a treat.

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  27. Oh, Sam, that looks heavenly. Lobster is a rare luxury here on the West Coast. The local fish market may or may not get some in for the holidays. I could probably make something similar with our Dungeness crab but I bet it wouldn't have as much flavor. What a treat!

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  28. Oh how I love this soup. Let me count the ways. There used to be a restaurant here that served a mighty fine version of it and I would have it once a year. The photos bring back memories and are a reminder that yes, I could make this at home! Nobody in the Twin Cities gives away so much as a lobster shell for free!

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  29. Sam, This happens to be Laurie's second favorite dish and her most favorite soup! Lobster Roll is #1 and Lobster Bisque is #2. She will eat lobster at any opportunity! She had Lobster Taquitos just last night in Mt. Vernon IL... Something new and different...and good! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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  30. Can you believe that my friend from Maine doesn't like lobster? I have never made bisque. Will give it a try. Pinned.

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  31. wow, damn delicious!!!
    i think i'm gonna use spinny lobster for this recipe....

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  32. What a wonderful idea! I adore lobster and to buy it here is a big investment. When I lived in NYC I could get a pound and a half to two pound lobster for $15 each. Here n Colorado they would be hard to find, and three times the price! I liked to simmer the bodies in tomato sauce to make a lobster falored sauce I'd served over linguine. Your bisque looks like an even better!.

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  33. This is my son/s favorite recipe and when I want to lure him to my door, this is what I tempt him with. I would think that the lobster bodies would only be available from fish mongers who will sell just the lobster meat already steamed. That would be in a place like NYC. but I could be wrong. I know a lot of them will steam them for you but when I have bought them steamed I have taken possession of the whole thing.

    I am still trying to get a quorum to buy a few for a lobster boil. I did manage to have a lobster roll all by myself a couple of weeks ago but nothing like yours or the ones I remember from living up North. Just looking at this kiils me! My recipe uses dry sherry instead of white wine. Try that sometime.

    How I wish we were neighbors!

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  34. A delicious looking bisque, Sam. As to markets selling just the shells…I've never heard of it. Here in New England, you can buy live lobsters or whole cooked lobsters. We can also buy lobster meat but the markets that sell it that way usually have bought it from wholesale suppliers. Would you believe that yesterday in my market here in New Hampshire, whole live lobsters were $4.99 a pound…the same as chicken breasts. :)

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  35. i really don't know what to say other than I just LOVE this. I love everything about it- the color, the lobster, the flavor that you can just taste from the pictures. great great meal

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  36. Yes please, but I think I'll just come to your house :)
    Jenna

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  37. yowlser!... I saw at Miz Helen's, I had lobster bisque at Epcot Disney World in the country of France, about 17 years ago and I have never forgotten how delicious it was, I have "pinned" and would love to try this recipe. I'm new following.

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  38. I've never made Lobster Bisque and had the best at a restaurant in Downtown Denver a few years ago. Always wanted to try it. Now if I can just get Meakin to kill those lobsters for me. ;)

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  39. Hi Sam,
    I have just pinned your awesome Lobster Bisque. My husband and I just love this dish and I must make it very soon. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  40. Um yum! So great with chocolate mousse, too!

    :)

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