Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow and Lobster Bisque

Happy New Year! It's January 9th and we're having our first snowfall of 2011. Kind of exciting, since we seldom get any. And what does a snowy day in North Texas mean? Stay inside and cook--at least to me! Mother and I had the good fortune of having lobster tails last night for dinner, so we decided a bisque was in order for today. I don't have a regular recipe, so I went in search on the web and found Red Lobster's. The reason it won out was because it didn't call for sherry, where most do. And I don't have any. Of course, I made a few changes, but nothing substantial, and I did cut the recipe in half as we didn't have that much lobster left over. I also, unfortunately, didn't have the wherewithall to think to save the stock from boiling the lobsters last night, so I substituted chicken stock where it asks for fish stock. Otherwise, I followed it. Here 'tis:

Serves 4
  • 6 cups Water
  • 2 cups Dry white wine
  • 2 cups Fish stock
  • 2 each 1¼ to 1½ lbs. live lobster
  • ½ cup Melted butter, salted
  • 1 cup Onions, finely diced
  • ½ cup Carrots, finely diced
  • ½ cup Celery, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup All-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Cognac (or Brandy)
  • 1½ cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Thyme
  • ¼ tsp. Ground red pepper
  • 1 cup Heavy cream


  1. Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.
  2. Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
  3. Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
  5. Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.
  6. Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
  8. Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.
  9. Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
  10. Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.
  11. Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.

Chef's Tip: Adding a touch of brandy or sherry to the stock can bring a wonderful touch to this classic lobster bisque recipe.

Beverage suggestions: Chardonnay, Cambria Katherine’s Vineyard

I did use a Chardonnay and though it was perfect for the heavier body I was trying for. I will admit, I did not see the Chef's Tip (until it was too late) about adding a touch of the brandy to the stock, I think I would have liked that. Pays to read it all the way through, right!? Oh, forgot to mention, those oyster crackers--great tip from my friend Judy--toss the crackers in a bowl with a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch powdered dressing mix, and it makes them so yummy, without extra calories! Good for just snacking, or using in soups, bisques, etc.

On a personal note--today is David and Lauren's 1st wedding anniversary. So proud--love them!

Hey, I received a raclette party grill for Christmas, so my next post will be about our first attempt at raclette. Don't know what that means?--I'll 'splain it when I post. Thanks!