Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lobster Bisque (Page 103)

RECIPE #1251

  • Date: Saturday, November 6, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Brad and Deniz
  • Recipe Rating: B+

This recipe is slightly out of order. I made this dish months ago, when Brad and Deniz came to visit us in Michigan. At the time I was really sick from my new medication, and when it came time for dinner I was so ill I barely ate. Indeed, I was so ill that I forgot to even take pictures of the food! Immediately after dinner we froze the leftovers of this dish, to be enjoyed later. But it was a while before my special gentleman stumbled across the leftovers in the freezer one evening and decided to have lobster bisque for dinner. When he did, I took a picture. So now I am able to blog about this dish!

I began by boiling two live lobsters in a mixture of water, white wine, tarragon, bay leaf, and salt. When the lobsters were cool my special gentleman removed all the meat from the claws, joints, and tails, reserving the shells but discarding the bodies. I cut the meat into pieces. We pounded the reserved shells with a mallet to break them up. I finely chopped carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, then cooked the vegetables in butter. I added the lobster shells then Cognac, tomato paste, cayenne, the lobster cooking liquid, and reserved lobster juices and tomalley. I simmered it all for an hour and a half, then discarded the bay leaf. I transferred the solids to a food processor and pureed them as much as possible, then forced them through a fine mesh sieve. I returned the pureed solids to the cooking liquid and brought it to a boil. I thickened with cornstarch, then added cream, lemon juice, the lobster meat, and salt and just heated it through.

This bisque was pretty good. As I said, I was pretty ill that day, so I didn't eat much. But the general reaction around the table was positive. It had a lovely lobster flavor, and the chunks of lobster meat were well-received. There were two complaints that kept this out of the A- category. One, it was a little bit thin for a bisque. The other complaint came from my special gentleman was just said that it, "wasn't amazing." His standards for lobster bisque are high, and this didn't quite meet them.

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My apologies for the long blog silence. We have had a lot of visitors lately so I have been trying to spend my free time being a decent hostess rather than writing in my blog. Last Thursday our friend Chuck drove up from Bloomington. He stayed with us for a couple nights and gave a seminar in the math department on Friday. It was really fun to hang out with him! He left Saturday morning and on Saturday evening Mike and Tim arrived from Virginia. They stayed with us for two nights and we jammed in lots of fun things during their weekend visit! On Saturday night Helen, Charles, Clara, and Mark joined us for a dinner from The Book. The eight of us ate veal sweetbreads (i.e. the thymus gland of baby cows) with parsnip and potato puree, snails, chicken livers wrapped in bacon, beef with marrow, mushroom risotto, beets, salad, and a white chocolate and grapefruit cake that Helen made... It was quite a meal! It was really two meals in one. Mike always enjoys eating nasty things from The Book, so I was aiming to have a full meal of dishes that would likely be gross (i.e. the veal thymus, snails, and chicken livers), but then also a meal of dishes that would be good so we would have something enjoyable to eat (i.e. everything else on the menu). As it turned out, nothing was as gross as expected so there was a ton of food!

The next day we walked around Lansing for a while, visited the fish ladder, and strolled along the river trail. In the afternoon we went to the rodeo! It seems that I work at a university which holds an annual rodeo on campus. Crazy! Mike was as enthusiastic about going to the rodeo as I was, so on Sunday afternoon we braved a blizzard to see some professional cowboys in action. Needless to say, it was pretty awesome. I hadn't been to a rodeo in years. As I remembered it was a little bit terrifying, and super fun. Mike and Tim left Monday morning, and on Monday evening another house guest arrived. This guest, Adam, is a mathematician in my special gentleman's field. He is giving several lectures in the math department and working with my special gentleman during his visit. He is staying with us for almost two weeks!

So, it has been a hectic time with people coming and going. All the chaos has left me way behind on my blogging, so one of my many goals for the upcoming week is to make a little progress on my backlog!

1 comment:

Sense of Home said...

What a fun project, cooking your way through the Gourmet cookbook, and only a few to go, Wow!