Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel

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Given that we live in Maine, just about everyone wants to have lobster when they visit. (We have alankria this week.) But I have learned the sad truth of lobsters.

They're kind of disappointing.

Lobster is currently $3.49 a pound in Maine. You average lobster is about 1.25 pounds. If you do the math, a lobster dinner is not the hardship here that it is elsewhere. It's easily had--Covey Johnson runs a shack down by the ferry that sometimes has them for less than that. But there is very little meat in a lobster, really, and not many calories at all (Quite a bit less than 200 on average). A lobster dinner means a whole lot of other stuff, because most hungry people can eat a whole lobster and still be hungry people. It's satisfying to crack open a big red lobster, but like many, er...experiences, it's messy, unfulfilling, and quickly over. For all these reasons, lobster was once a poor man's dish, with Newfoundlanders famously tossing the sea bugs out the back door if guests arrived to find them cooking something not-cod.

So this time, I suggested we take the money we might have spent on lobsters for the three of us and buy a sack of lobster meat, already out of the shell, so that I could make lobster bisque--a meal that would give us delicious lobster the next day, too. (If I'd thought of it, I'd have made broth from the shells when regyt , novalis , and loinfruit had lobsters with us last week.)

I had, of course, never made bisque. But I am adventurous, and never more so than when we have guests (except the aforementioned trio, who are so good at cooking that I was afraid to), much to justbeast 's chagrin, as he is often convinced that guestage is not the time to try new recipes.

What I made was superior to any lobster bisque I have ever had--and I am a bit of a bisque freak (and a buffalo wings freak) I have it almost everywhere it's available.

So, since you all seem to like having recipes on hand (if you want real time cooking comments, follow my Twitter, since LoudTwitter is gone), here is Cherry-Chipotle Lobster Bisque. (Yes, cherries.)

(Second in a series of my computer, Galahad, posing provocatively with food.)

  • .75- 1 lbs of lobster meat, minced (Now, I can get this at my local fishmonger's, where it's not terribly expensive. I make no promises for how much it costs you to obtain this much meat, but the failing of many bisques is that they are stingy with the actual lobster)
  • 1 pint of cream
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry
  • 3/4 cup pureed fresh dark cherries
  • whole chopped onion
  • whole minced head of garlic
  • ¾ of a cup of plain flour
  • 1/3 cup goose fat (I have this leftover from Christmas. You can easily substitute butter)
  • whole tomato, pureed (two if you like tomatoness)
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsp chipotle powder to taste, or one large minced chipotle pepper
  • 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • heaping tbsp coarse black pepper
  • handful of fresh cilantro
Fry up onions and garlic in a bit of goose fat, set aside. In big soup pot, make a roux with the fat and flour. Darker the roux, darker the bisque (color is often an issue when making this at home, it can be hard to get the nice pink color of restaurant bisque. The cherries help a lot here.) but obviously don't let it burn. Add tomato, mix in. Add onions and garlic, mix in. Before it gets too thick and breadlike, add stock and mix while bringing to a boil until a nice sauce is formed. Add meat and sherry (I also put in some scallops from the bay to meat things up a bit). Add all spices (including most of the cilantro and the cherries) and let everything simmer on low heat for 10 minutes or so, stirring periodically so things don't stick to the bottom. Add cream slowly while turning up heat, bring to boil. Garnish with leftover cilantro.

ZOMG, you guys. This was amazing and rich and sweet and savory and full of delicious lobster. SO  much better than a plain lobster on my plate. I will be making it in the future, no doubt. The fresh cherries--also pitting cherries by hand is a pain, and a helper to do that is really nice--make it hard to prepare in winter but I can probably find a substitute. Also, you know, not everyone saves every part of an animal and has goose fat sitting in their freezer, but man, it adds a lot of flavor.

I are proud. Now to use the leftover cherries to make more muffins. And finish a chapter begun at my lovely writing date with alankria  and chang3002  at Bard Coffee, the best coffee shop on earth.

I love my city.
Tags: cat's cookbook
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