The absolute BEST Lobster Bisque you could ever imagine to make at home. It's easier than you think to make you thought you could only enjoy at a restaurant.
For years and years and years now, my husband and I always make Lobster Bisque on either New Year's or Christmas Eve.
Since Hanukkah and Christmas Eve coincided this year, there was already too much going on in the kitchen, so we are having Lobster Bisque tonight to help bring in the New Year! Yahoo.
We became addicted to Lobster Bisque when we lived in Southern California. The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel was right outside the gates of our neighborhood, so we used to go there.....a lot....for dinner. And we always started our meal with Lobster Bisque.
When we moved away from the area, we began learning to make it ourselves. Over time we have really perfected the method and the flavor. It's not hard to make and is one dish that seems to be enjoyed by anyone who tastes it. It truly is so amazing.
When Lobster Bisque is served at the Ritz Carlton, the waiter brings out a soup bowl with two large prawns and places it in front of you. He then ladles the soup from a tureen into your bowl.
Each of my bowls has a half-tail of lobster...a much better gig I'd say.
If you can't make this for New Year's, it is the perfect meal to serve your sweetie on Valentine's Day. It has "I Love You" written all over it.
The soup can also be made up to two days ahead and still tastes perfect.
If you've never imagined making bisque at home...now you can...
Here's what you will need: Lobster tails, sea salt, dry white wine, chicken stock, fennel, shallot, fresh tomato, brandy, raw white rice, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, heavy cream and fresh lemon juice. Ingredients not shown: unsalted butter, fresh thyme, olive oil and water.
You will need 2 lobster tails (about 10 oz. each). It's alright to use frozen tails if fresh are not available. Make sure they are completely thawed out. Split the tails in half with a sharp knife starting at the fan and slice the knife down and through the meat.
Devein the split tail. Look for the vein along the edge of the shell, between the shell and the meat. I would have shown you this but these lobsters must not have been fed right before transport as I couldn't even find it, or it was very light-colored and thin.
Steam the lobster tails, shell-side down (the shell protects the meat from the intense heat of the steam) in 4 cups of salted (sea or kosher) water. Using a regular steaming basket works perfectly. The salted water imparts a minimal but not insignificant taste to the soup; you will use this water later as a base. Steam the tails for 5-7 minutes and reserve the steaming water for the stock.
When cool enough to handle, remove the tail meat with a fork to pull out the steamed tail meat in one piece. Chill the lobster meat until ready to use.
Sauté lobster shells in 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat for five minutes to release the flavors.
Deglaze the pan (with shells present and scraping bits at the bottom) with 2 cups dry white wine (Chardonnay works well), 3 cups chicken stock and reserved lobster water from the steaming of the tails. Simmer until reduced to 6 cups; about 45 minutes. Then strain the shells from the stock.
While the stock is simmering prepare the rest of the ingredients. You will need a cup of diced tomatoes, peeled and seeded. The easiest way to peel tomatoes are to place them in boiling water for about 45 seconds. The skin will instantly pull away. Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds and dice.
Sauté 1 cup chopped fennel and 1/2 cup chopped shallot in 1/4 cup unsalted butter, about 5 minutes.
Stir in strained lobster stock, 1 cup diced tomato, 2 Tablespoons brandy, 2 Tablespoons raw white rice, 1 Tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1 bay leaf and 1 fresh thyme sprig; simmer 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig.
YOU DO NOT NEED AN IMMERSION BLENDER TO MAKE THIS...a regular blender works fine and is what I always use to puree the final liquid. I wanted to try using my immersion blender, which worked fine but left the final liquid a little thicker. The blender version is a bit smoother.
Let's talk safety and pureeing hot liquids---Pureeing hot liquids can be dangerous because steam causes pressure to build inside the blender. It's crucial to puree in batches and work from a low to a higher speed.
When using the blender I puree in two batches and return the soup to the pot.
Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice to finish off the soup.
When you are ready to serve the soup sauté the lobster meat in 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter over medium-high heat, just until warmed through. Slice tails into the size of your choosing for serving and arrange on bisque. Serve immediately.
See how easy this was?
If they served food in heaven...this would be on the menu.
The Best Lobster Bisque
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