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Lobster Questions - Gourmet_Mom - 12-21-2008

Okay, for Christmas Eve, we're going to have cocktails and heavy appetizers: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Shrimp Toasts, and maybe a Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Torta or just a variety of meats and cheeses with fresh bread and crackers.

The main event will be a lobster bisque. Here is the recipe from the new Holiday Menu book. Does someone have a better....tried and true one they would recommend? Or do these flavors sound right to you? (We've never had fennel. I plan to "taste" it at the grocery store, just in case. If I like it, I may change my salad.) It will just be us and the kids. Everyone is pretty used to Mom's cooking experiments, but it IS Christmas Eve dinner.

Also, if I make this Tuesday, the lobster should hold fine until Wednesday night...right?

It says serves 7, but with just salad and bread, should I double it? Or do you think this will suit for a main dish?

Finally, would I hold the bisque before or after adding the cream and lemon juice?

Lobster Bisque

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 7 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 lobster tails -- halved
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup fennel -- chopped
1/2 cup shallots -- chopped
1/2 stick butter -- unsalted
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup tomato -- peeled, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt -- to taste
1 tablespoon butter -- unsalted
fennel fronds -- for garnish

Steam lobster tails in a steamer basket inside a large pot with 4 cups of boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Remove tails; reserve water for stock. When cool enough to handle, gently remove the tail meat with a fork, being careful to keep the meat intact. Chill lobster until ready to use, reserving shells.

Saute lobster shells in oil in same pot over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Deglaze with wine, then add broth and reserved lobster water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, simmer until reduced to 6 cups.

Strain stock and set aside. Saute fennel and shallots for the bisque in the same pot in 1/2 stick of butter for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Stir in reserved stock, tomato, brandy, rice, seasonings, and herbs; simmer 40-45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig.

Puree bisque in two batches. While blending, leave the lid slightly ajar (so steam can escape), and cover with a towel. Return bisque to the pot. Add cream and lemon juice, and season with salt. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Saute lobster meat in 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat just until warmed through. Slice tails into 1/2-inch pieces and arrange on top of bisque. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Thanks in advance.


Re: Lobster Questions - cjs - 12-21-2008

Oh my, that sounds wonderful!! And yes it will hold and be all the better for having set for a day. Really!

I didn't see it in the instructions, but the lobster shells are put thru the processor also? We always added ground up shells in our bisques - crab,lobster.


Re: Lobster Questions - Gourmet_Mom - 12-21-2008

Am I reading you right Jean? You grind the shells in the processor and add to the bisque? Really? Never thought of that.

The instructions say to strain the stock. But you're saying to use the shells. Would I add some of the stock to aid in the grinding?


Re: Lobster Questions - labradors - 12-21-2008

Quote:

Am I reading you right Jean? You grind the shells in the processor and add to the bisque? Really? Never thought of that.



Yep. That's standard for true bisque. Same thing with using rice as the thickener, instead of flour or cornstarch. Looks like a good recipe that doesn't try to "fudge" things at all.


Re: Lobster Questions - Gourmet_Mom - 12-21-2008

OKAY, so process the skins and add back to the stock. I've convinced myself that if I add a little more lobster, this will work for a main dish.


Re: Lobster Questions - firechef - 12-21-2008

Yup good advice all the way around. The shells should be a finite powder and like Labs said is a thickener. A true bisque requires the pulverized shells. Keep the "spare" shells from the extra lobster you add and add them to your water from cooking the shrimp and crabs and you'll have a great seafood stock for later. You are cooking whole crabs and shrimp right?


Re: Lobster Questions - Gourmet_Mom - 12-21-2008

UH, are you okay? Just lobster. Sorry...LOL! I just realized where you were getting the shrimp and crab. The shrimp, yes, crab, no. I'll use packaged crab. NO way would I find whole crab right now.

I'm thinking 4 or 5 tails since it's a main dish. I figure the only difference will be the extra lobster meat and extra flavor from the extra shells. The only difference I can see doing is that and adding the pulverized shells. So I DON'T put stock in with the shells...just process them dry. Okay! Thanks for the input.


Re: Lobster Questions - firechef - 12-21-2008

Makes you wonder about "tomato bisque"...just a soup with a fancy over used name that has a specific requirement for that name to apply.


Re: Lobster Questions - Gourmet_Mom - 12-21-2008

Okay....just full of questions here. But one answer seems to lead to another question. Since I'm using the shells, should I leave out the 2 T rice?


Re: Lobster Questions - labradors - 12-21-2008

No. They each serve a purpose. The ground shells may thicken in a bit, but they are more for flavour, so the rice finishes the thickening.

..and yes: the use of the word "bisque" to refer to other soups with a similar texture is just an extension of the original - just as fajitas has grown to refer to almost anything with that type of seasoning and made in that style, even though the word fajitas ("little strips") originally referred to the little strips of skirt steak, specifically, but chicken, shrimp, and veggies do NOT have skirt steaks.