Sunday, February 13, 2011

Take that, Chef Ramsay!

Thank you, Annie, whoever you are, for making possible my gift to my husband for Valentine’s Day.

The Common Household Husband has been requesting Lobster Bisque for months. He and Oldest Daughter watch cooking competition shows and then ask me to duplicate the carefully orchestrated TV dishes.  Gordon Ramsay I am not. 

My husband had even gone so far as to give me a recipe for Lobster Bisque, but I was reluctant to spend all that money on lobster for something that probably wouldn’t taste remotely like Chef Ramsay made it.  And all those heavy cream calories!  I threw out that recipe.

Last week he asked what I would like for Valentine’s Day.  Chocolate, of course.  I asked him what he would like, and he said, “Lobster Bisque.”  Requesting it for Valentine’s Day raised the ante.  Uh oh.

The first recipe I found had instructions that included:
“Add lobsters head first and boil until cooked through, ....  Coarsely chop lobster shells and bodies;”

The next recipe I found said:
“Dispatch the lobster by plunging a sharp knife directly behind its head. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise; make sure to collect the juices that will run out. Remove the claws and tail pieces and set aside. Remove the head sac and liver and discard them; cut the body into pieces. Alternately, you can have your fishmonger do this.”

Those were the recipes on the big-name chef sites. Not only did they require me to execute the lobsters myself, but both sounded incredibly messy and time consuming.  Coarsely chopping lobster bodies probably requires an axe. I am not in the mood to be removing head sacs. I do not want to collect any juices flowing from any bodies; there was enough of that when the kids were in diapers.  And I don’t have a fishmonger.  Does anybody?

But then I found Annie’s recipe.  Oh, the beauty of it!  Onion! Wine! Tomato! Milk! Red pepper!  Perhaps it does not count as genuine lobster bisque because it uses chicken broth, rather than broth from coarsely chopped shells.  I used frozen lobster tail, another cheat in Chef Ramsay’s book, I’m sure.  Lucky for me, Chef Ramsey wasn’t here when I cooked it.

Last night I served my soup. It was a huge success, and very appropriate for Valentine’s Day because it is pink.

Did you make any Valentine's Day requests?  Receive any pink food?

Annie's Lobster Bisque
By: Annie

Prep Time: 15 Min             Cook Time: 45 Min             Ready In: 1 Hr              Yield 6 servings 

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, chopped [I used 1 cup of white onion, which was half of my gigantic onion}
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cooking sherry
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
half of a 6-ounce can of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 cups milk (2%)  [Just for Valentine’s Day, I used 1 cup heavy cream and 4 cups 2% milk]
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste [I used slightly less than ¼ tsp]
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay®)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked lobster claw, cut into bite-sized pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the chopped onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the white wine and sherry. Cook and stir until the liquid has reduced by half.

Sprinkle in the flour while stirring to ensure there are no lumps. Once a thick paste has formed, stir in the tomato paste, then pour in the chicken broth and milk. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper, seafood seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and green onion.

Cook and stir over medium heat until the bisque begins to simmer, about 15 minutes. Stir in the lobster meat, and reheat before serving.


Angie said...

Wow, I'm impressed! I think I'll try it with local crawfish.

Common Household Mom said...

That's the beauty of this recipe, Angie. It could be Anything Bisque. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I find the best recipes on Real cooks with real food. Luff it.