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Lobster Bisque

Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For the mirepoix

This luscious lobster bisque, pictured garnished with lobster claw meat, starts out with a "mirepoix," the French word for a mixture of sauted carrots, onion and celery. Crab or shrimp may be substituted for the lobster.

1/4 cup each finely julienned carrots, onions, celery, white part of a leek

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the bisque

1 (1 1/2 pound to 2 pound) lobster*

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup cognac

1/2 cup uncooked rice

5 cups fish stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Dash cayenne

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sherry, or more to taste

Toasted bread rounds for garnish, optional

In a heavy stock pot, make the mirepoix by sauting the vegetables in 2 tablespoon of the butter with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook onion, carrot, celery and white part of the leek over low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned. Add tomato paste, cooking 5 minutes more. Pour 2 cups of broth into the pot and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Cut the live lobster in half down the back and cut crosswise into several pieces. Place lobster pieces in the pot, along with any of the orange roe, if you have it. Stir lobster pieces until shells turn a bright red. Add the wine and cognac, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle remove lobster pieces from pot. Take lobster meat from shells -- setting lobster meat aside and placing shells in the container of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process shells into very small pieces and add to the stock pot. While the mixture is simmering, cook rice with remaining stock for 30 minutes, then add rice to the pot. Simmer entire mixture for 10 minutes, then strain twice, through a fine mesh sieve, into another saucepan. (Be sure no bits of shell remain in the soup.) Season with salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne. To serve, reheat to a simmer, adding cream, 2 remaining tablespoons of butter and sherry. Add some lobster meat to each portion, with some of the claw meat for garnishing. Serve with rounds of toasted bread, if desired. Makes 6 servings.



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