Messing with a classic, a new take on lobster bisque
What is wrong with the classics? The dishes that have made it, sometimes through centuries. The truth is there is nothing wrong at all with the classics and they are called classics for a reason. It is only my inability to follow a recipe to the tee that makes me change pretty much any recipe I come across. This time I wanted to make lobster bisque. I did read quite a few original recipes and no surprise at all, they are all quite the same. I didn’t manage at all to follow any of them so I invited the neighbours and began to experiment. There is nothing like a bit of pressure and I know they would be honest. I also had other nibbles just in case.
Lobster bisque with crumpet
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time ca 30 mins + 10 mins
serves 4 as a starter
- the shell from 1 cooked lobster
- 1 knob of butter, about 20 gram or 0.7 oz
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 chipotle chile
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 stalk dried thyme
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 litre of water or 10 cups
For the bisque
- 1 shallot onion
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup lobster cooking liquid
- 1.5 dl or 3/4 cup light cream
- trimmings from the lobster meat, any lobster butter, roe and remaining cooking juices still in the lobster
- salt to taste
- lobster meat, chopped
- toasted crumpet
Remove the meat from the shell, take care of any remaining cooking juices in the lobster. Remember to take out the butter from inside the lobsters head. I know I have said it before, it doesn’t look very attractive but it has a great flavour.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the lobster shells. Let them fry for a few minutes before adding the chopped onion, celery and carrot.
After a few minutes I added 2 crushed and roughly chopped cloves of garlic, the chopped chipotle chile, the Shaoxing rice wine and the Szechuan peppercorns.
Add the tomato purée and let it cook out for a couple of minutes before adding the bayleaf and the thyme. Last add the water, bring it to a boil and leave without a lid until about a quarter remains. This should take about 30 minutes.
Strain the lobster and vegetables and discard everything except the chipotle chile. Save the liquid.
Pan fry the shallot onion and the chipotle chile in a little butter. Add the lobster cooking liquid and let simmer for 5-8 minutes. Place the soup in a blender with the lobster meat trimmings and the lobster butter. Save the cooking liquid saved from when you took the meat out of the lobster if there was any. Place everything in a blender and whizz until smooth. Rinse the pan and place the bisque back in the pan. Set the heat on simmering, add the saved cooking liquid and taste with salt. Chop some of the lobster meat and toast a crumpet. Lately I had a bit of a crush on crumpets and I thought it might go well with the bisque. It is usually eaten toasted with melting butter on top but it isn’t sweet at all and it has sort of a chewy texture. I only used the top bit of the crumpet and broke it down to use for garnish.
There is so much cream a little soup goes a long way and I decided to serve it in espresso cups. Pour in the bisque, add the lobster meat, the crumpet and the dill before serving.
I sliced the lobster tail and made my lobster and parmesan canapés, see recipe here.
It was a great use of the whole lobster. The Szechuan peppercorns and the chipotle chile added a nice heat without overpowering the lobster flavour in the bisque. I will make it again, it was worth messing with a classic!
I am bring my bisque to Angie’s fun filled Fiesta Friday, the foodie party made for sharing! Her two co hosts this week is, like last week, Tracy, Scratch It and Stephanie, The Cozy Cook. Tracy brought some delicious and fresh looking whipped feta and arugula and Stephanie brought a hearty looking crock pot beef stew! Head over to their blogs and have a look!