The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Lobster! Bisque!

July 15, 2011

This week was a week of firsts and only about half of them are appropriate for this website. With that in mind, I’m going to wrap up this week of barely blogging/being too tired to deal with life with the best of the best – Lobster Bisque!

I’m not a huge connoisseur of bisque so when P approached me, I was intrigued. Previously he told me about his foray into homemade shrimp stock and I was blown away. While I have patience for many things that many people would consider ridiculous, acquiring enough shrimp shells to actually make stock is not on the list. Lucky for me that P had shrimp stock saved away in the freezer, ready to be put into something delicious. And that something delicious was Lobster Bisque.

Apparently, making lobster bisque has always been on P’s list but the intimidation factor was too high to tackle alone. I don’t know why he was nervous about it because he handled those lobsters like a pro. As I stood on the sideline asked why we couldn’t just throw them in the water, he grabbed the knife and killed them in one stab of the knife.

I was in awe to say the least.

The night was magical and we both decided that this lobster bisque was one of the most delicious, delightful and downright sinful things we have ever experienced. It tops the list as the best thing ever. People – lives were changed with this bisque. And I just don’t know if things will ever be the same.

I can say with confidence that this bisque would not have been the same without the homemade stock. The color was rich and the flavor was so complex that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves.

Below is the original recipe is from Gourmet – 1997. (tear, sniffle, bring Gourmet back!) We found a similar recipe from Bon Appetite but it did not involve the shells, which is just kind of tacky and wasteful no?

The only thing we did differently was the preparation of the lobster. Instead of plunging in head first, we stabbed with a knife and steamed in about 6 cups of water. I think the steaming helped keep the flavor in the lobster while making the reserved cooking liquid a bit more concentrated in flavor.


• a 3-pound live lobster
• 1 medium onion
• 1 celery rib
• 1 carrot
• 1 vine-ripened tomato
• 1 head garlic
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 1 bay leaf
• 8 black peppercorns
• 1/2 cup brandy
• 1/2 cup dry Sherry
• 4 cups fish stock*
• 1/4 cup tomato paste
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons water

• *available at fish markets and some specialty foods shops

1. Fill a 6-quart kettle three fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil. Plunge lobster headfirst into water and cook, covered, over high heat 8 minutes. Transfer lobster with tongs to a large bowl and in a measuring cup reserve 2 cups cooking liquid. Let lobster stand until cool enough to handle.

2. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, twist off tail and claws and reserve juices. Reserve tomalley and discard head sacs and any roe. Remove meat from claws and tail, reserving shells and lobster body. (Lobster meat will not be cooked through.) Coarsely chop meat and transfer to a bowl. Chill lobster meat, covered.

3.Chop onion, celery, carrot, and tomato and halve garlic head crosswise. In a 6-quart heavy kettle heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté reserved lobster shells and body, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.

4. Add vegetables, garlic, herbs, peppercorns, brandy, and Sherry and simmer, stirring, until almost all liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add stock and reserved tomalley and cooking liquid. Simmer mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

5. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a large saucepan, pressing on and discarding solids. Whisk in tomato paste and simmer until reduced to about 3 cups, about 10 minutes.

6. Add cream and simmer bisque 5 minutes. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into bisque. Simmer bisque, stirring, 2 minutes. (Bisque will thicken slightly.) Add lobster meat with any reserved juices and simmer bisque 1 minute, or until lobster meat is just cooked through. Season bisque with salt and pepper.


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1 notes

  1. Buttered Rosemary Rolls | The Breukelen Life reblogged this and added:

    […] weekend P and I revisited our old favorite Lobster Bisque. After the sad realization that we both had to throw our way, way to old frozen shrimp stock, we […]

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