Lobster Bisque Recipe

October 4, 2010 0 Comments

Lobster Bisque Recipe and More

How to Prepare a Great Lobster Bisque at Home

Bisques are a type of soup, historically based on crustaceans, (crayfish, lobster, shrimp, or crab), that are thickened in one of a myriad of ways, and then finished with cream.

Naturally, bisques are smooth, creamy, and rich. But the flavor of the base seafood should be poignant and not overpowered by the succulence. Not surprisingly, bisques are French in origin and often associated with more lavish eateries.

This lobster bisque will look at all things Lobster Bisque. Not only will it include some great recipes but it will look at how bisques differ from chowders, a little history, cooking videos and a few other surprises.

I would like to thank my friend Chef Mark Vogel, a wonderful food writer who provided me with his well researched article about lobster bisque that I incorporated into this lens.

Test Your Culinary Knowledge – What Is A Bisque?

  • Any soup made with seafood, vegetables and potatoes
  • A rich, thick, chunky soup with fish, potatoes, cream
  • A rich, thick, pureed soup with shellfish, rice, cream

 


Where Can You Purchase Lobsters Online?
See My Resources Below


 

What Is the Difference Between a Bisque and a Chowder

I know, you thought they were the same thing – right?

Bisque differ from chowder in that chowders usually employ potatoes, are thickened with roux, and are chunky. However, it is not uncommon for bisques to contain pieces of whatever seafood they are based on.

Bisque

Traditional bisques are thickened with rice, breadcrumbs, and/or the puréed meat or shells of the crustacean in question. Contemporary versions rely on roux, (as in the recipe below), in conjunction with concentrating of the cooking fluid via simmering.

According to Wikipedia, it is believed the term “bisque” is “derived from Biscay, as in Bay of Biscay, but the crustaceans are certainly bis cuites “twice cooked” for they are first sautéed lightly in their shells, then simmered in wine and aromatic ingredients, before being strained, followed by the addition of cream.”

Chowder

According to the Food Lovers’s Companion, a chowder is “a thick, chunky seafood soup, of which clam chowder is the most well known. The name comes from the French chaudiere, a caldron in which fishermen made their stews fresh from the sea.” “The term is also used to describe any thick, rich soup containing chunks of food (corn chowder).”

How to Buy Lobster & Not Get Ripped Off

“Buyers Beware” Whether you are buying whole Maine lobster or frozen lobster tails, you have to be careful to purchase quality products and not get ripped off. I have written two articles that look at these situations and recommend you read them before buying any lobster products online. You can find them at:

How to Buy Lobster Tails & Not Get Ripped Off

How to Buy Live Maine Lobsters & NOT Get Ripped Off

Cookware for Preparing Lobster Bisque

Working With the Correct Tools Makes the Job Easy

To steam the lobsters you will need a lobster steamer or large stockpot with a steamer insert. To make the lobster bisque, you’ll need a large stockpot or soup pot. Here are a few recommended items to check out if you don’t own them.

The Unpleasant Task – Killing the Lobster

Lobster bisque presents a perplexing quandary to the average home cook. It begins with killing the lobster. No, not merely by dropping it in boiling water, (which is already beyond what many can stomach), but with a chef’s knife driven right between its eyes.

As lurid as this sounds it’s actually the most humane approach as it instantaneously severs the brain. The lobster is then broken into its component parts and utilized to produce a stock which forms the basis of the soup.

So why can’t you just boil the lobsters?

Because, like any food, boiling leaches flavor. Beginning your bisque with pre-boiled lobster will undermine the soup’s intensity.

But don’t worry. If you don’t have the nerve to do a Jack-the-Ripper on your lobster, I have a decent compromise for you: Steam your lobster and then use the leftover water as the base for the stock. Whatever flavor has dripped into the steaming water will be reintroduced to the dish. Plus I add a secret ingredient to augment the seafood essence which we’ll get too shortly.

What About the Roe and Tomalley? – It’s All Good

Some chefs like to include the roe and tomalley (liver) in the soup to push the lobster flavor even further. If you’re as squeamish about eating the eggs and liver as you are about plunging a knife in its head then this a moot point. However, if you are a connoisseur of the creature’s offal then we’re kinda back to the stabbing conundrum.

Traditionally, the roe and tomalley are removed before cooking, (which obviously means you have to kill the lobster by hand). They are then whisked into the soup just before presentation. Of course, you can steam the lobster and then remove them but again, you will compromise some flavor.

Remember this caveat for all cooking: Whenever you save money, time, labor or unpleasant emotions, it almost always comes at a cost of flavor.

But First,  A Little Lobster Fun Entertainment

 

 

Brought to you by the B-52s

Lobster Bisque From The Venetian Room – Recipe Plus Cooking Video

Lobster Bisque Recipe

Lobster Bisque Recipe

Ingredients

2 lbs uncooked lobster

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

Small bunch parsley

10 cups water

2 tablespoons butter

1tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons dry sherry wine

* 2 teaspoons cognac

2 teaspoons fresh chervil

Salt and pepper to taste

How To Prepare At Home

Wash lobster well. Separate the head from the body/tail by inserting knife into first membrane layer holding the two together.

Combine head, celery, carrot, onion with half the butter in large sauce pan saute everything for few minutes, add the flour little by little, the tomato paste, the water, salt & pepper, parsley, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; simmer 15 minutes, skimming as necessary. Strain, reserve 8 cups stock and tail.

Using scissors, extract meat from reserved tail by cutting through shell and carefully peeling away meat. Slice in medallions.

Melt the other half of butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add lobster medallions and cook for 10 seconds do not over cook the lobster; add reserved stock and heavy cream. Bring to boil, stirring constantly until thick and creamy. Finish with Sherry wine, cognac, salt and pepper to taste, Serve hot.

There are many useful cooking videos on preparing Lobster Bisque on the Internet. Here is one that is very good quality and comes with a recipe. What more could you ask for? It is from The Venetian Room, a fine dining restaurant that is building its reputation for Continental cuisine and truly memorable dining experiences. It stars Chef Benghallem who was at the prestigious Ecole Hoteliere de Rabat in Morocco, where he was the 1992 student of the year.

Lobster Bisque from The Venetian Room – Part 1

 

Lobster Bisque from The Venetian Room – Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of a very professional, clear instruction on how you can make an extraordinary Lobster Bisque at home. The puff pastry braids may be a little more for many home cooks but if you decide to go for it, the presentation will be incredible.

 

So What If You Don’t Want To Make It at Home

Don’t worry, you can always buy it in a can. I have no idea how these lobster bisque in a can taste and I’m sure they are not as good as homemade, but I’m all about options. If you absolutely can stomach the thought of cooking your own lobsters as described in the recipes above but you just have to have some lobster bisque, these may be a great alternative.

Online Sources: Lobster & Lobster Tails

So the old adage, "Buyer Beware" really rings true when it comes to buying live lobster . Unless you have a lot of disposable income, serving live lobster is an extravagant treat for a special occasion. Be careful to buy the best product you can afford so you don't end up with an inferior product.

Lobster Anywhere - Here's another company offering live lobsters from Maine, lobster tails, fresh seafood, chowders and bisque you may be interested in checking out.

Lobster Gram - I highly recommend you visiting Lobster Gram for lobsters & lobster tails. They have a huge selection of lobster tails from all over the world. They also have gift certificates that make great personal and corporate gifts. This way the person you are giving the certificate to can decide when they want to eat their lobster.


The Crab Place - Know for their crabs but another good resource for live lobsters and other seafood.

Lobster Tails

 

 

 

Last modified on Wed 2 March 2016 4:38 pm

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