Lobster Bisque By 2gourmaniacs


3 quarts strained lobster stock (see above)
2 medium shallots finely chopped
2 bay leaves crumbled
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 pound lobster meat, or monk fish fillets


For a great lobster bisque, the first step is having a good lobster stock. Robert takes leftover lobster shells and breaks them up with poultry shears of a heavy cleaver. You need to have at least half a dozen lobster shells, so freezing them until you collect the quantity that you want is perfectly acceptable. Start off by getting a large stockpot really, really hot, then pour in 1/4 cup of canola oil and add the lobster shells. After the shells get hot, and depending upon the quantity of lobsters and the size of the stock pot, pour in anywhere from 1 cup to an entire bottle of cognac, and ignite it. (Robert generally has at least 12-18 lobster bodies’ shells in a 20 quart stockpot.) Stand back during ignition because the heat from the pot starts to vaporize the cognac, resulting in a jet-engine blast-off reaction. As
Put the stock in a large sauce pan or marmite, add the shallots and bay leaves, and reduce the lobster stock to 2 quarts over low heat. Meanwhile, combine the rice with water and make a slightly undercooked risotto (a great risotto recipe will be forthcoming).
When the lobster stock is reduced, add the risotto, simmer for several minutes, then pour the rice with the lobster stock into a food processor and pureé. Return the pureé to the sauce pan and heat over low heat. If using lobster meat, add it now with the tarragon. If using the monk fish, cut the monk fish into 3/4″ medallions and add to the lobster stock along with the tarragon, simmer for five minutes, and serve hot. Garnish with fresh chopped chives or parsley leaves (optional).
For a more traditional lobster bisque, 1/4 cup or more cream can be added with the lobster or the monk fish.
Serves 8 in 4 oz cups.


In a different life, Robert lived and learned to cook in New England. Lobsters were plentiful and relatively inexpensive. One of the first things that he learned from Julia Child was that you are never going to have a great tasting dish without a great stock. He started making his own stocks; chicken, veal, turkey, fish, venison, lamb, beef, vegetable and, of course, lobster. For awhile, he lived on a small island in Casco Bay off the coast of Maine where the only livelihood was lobstering. Robert cooked lobster every imaginable way, often three times a day. And he made a lot of lobster stock.




Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 8:39pm


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