Lobster Bisque

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November 5, 2015

Why be decadent in public when you can have the exuberant experience at your home table.


1 lobster

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks (white to light green part), halved lengthwise

1 medium onion, halved

1 shallot, halved

1 stalk celery, in big chunks

2 carrots, in big chunks

6 springs fresh thyme

2 strips orange zest 1” wide by 3” long

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup cognac

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Pitch of nutmeg

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Finely grated orange zest, for garnish

Finely chopped chives, for garnish


1Plunge the tip of a sharp knife straight down right behind the lobster's eyes. Cut the lobster in half lengthwise; collect the juices. Remove the claws and tail pieces. Set aside. Discard head sac and liver; cut the body into pieces.

2Heat I tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add onions and sauté until translucent; add chopped celery, carrots, leeks, ½ of the thyme, ½ of the orange zest and the tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chopped lobster body and head and the preserved juices. Cook until the shells are coral red color. Next step is to ignite the cognac. Remove the pot from the heat; add in the alcohol and ignite it with a long kitchen match and let the alcohol burn off. Return to the heat and add the flour stirred previously in some hot water. Add water enough to cover to cover the pieces. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Before you get bubbles lower the heat and simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes. Strain this into a clean pot and season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside. When it’s cool enough discard all lobster shell pieces. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

3Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, thyme, bay leaf, and orange zest along with the peppercorns and let this mixture cook for about 5 minutes. Add the lobster claws and tails; toss to coat with the fat and flavors. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the remaining ¼-cup cognac. Ignite the cognac with a long kitchen match and let the alcohol burn off. Put the pan into the oven and roast until the lobster pieces are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the lobster pieces and set aside. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the lobster meat from the claws and tails. Chop the meat roughly and add it to the strained bisque.


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