Wine & Food

Snooth User: AdamJefferson

Lobster Bisque, Pair That

Posted by AdamJefferson, Aug 26, 2010.

I went to a lobster feed last weekend, and as we were leaving, talked the cook out of a half dozen carcasses (tails and claws removed).  For purposes of making soup, that's the best part and it always gets tossed; Its a shame to waste.  Try this recipe.

After they've cooled, pull the lobster carcasses apart by tearing the protective upper shell away from the part where the feet are connected.  There is usually some tail and other meat in there and in the arms connecting the large claws to the body.  Pick that out and set aside.  If you really want lots of meat in the bisque, buy another lobster or two and use the tails and claw meat as well.

Place the picked carcasses into a pot, crusing them enough to cover with about eight-ten cups of water.  Add a bay leaf, some celery tops, a coursely chopped carrot and the top, bottom and skin of a medium sized yellow onion.  Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for an hour to an hour and a half, then allow the stock to cool for an hour to two at room temperature, covered, to make it safer for handling and to let the flavors really infuse the stock. 

About fifteen minutes befor you're ready to drain the stock, chop the rest of the onion, a celery stalk and a green bell pepper, finely, and season with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, and sautee in a medium sized soup pot with two or three tablespoons of butter or regular (not virgin) olive oil, until the mix is very soft. 

Strain the stock through a cheese cloth (should yield about five cups), and transfer to the soup pot with the sauteed vegetables.  Raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, and as that is happening, finely chop one large peeled potato, add to the heating mixture and continue at a rapid but not rolling boil for half an hour. 

Make a blond roux by adding two tablespoons of all purpose flour to about two or three tablespoons of melted butter in a small skillet our sautee pan, stirring as the roux bubbles for about two minutes or so.  Set aside.

After the potato has softened and broken down (about half an hour if the pieces are small enough), add two cups half and half, return to a gentle boil and add the reserved pieces of lobster, season with two tablespoons finely chopped basil and one of chives or scallions, and 1/4-1/2 cup sherry, port, marsala, or whatever fortified wine suits you (more if you like, but to me the sherry should be subtle, not a dominating flavor).  Return to a gentle boil for about five or ten minutes, adding roux a little at a time until thickened to your liking, taking care not to thicken too much (a rich stock, the potato, and reducing half and half will not require much thickener, but probably a little), stirring constantly and scraping at the bottom to avoid burning.  Turn off heat and serve in about another five or ten minutes with some really fresh croutons.  

Now, what do you serve for wine with something that has a competing alcohol component like the sherry in it?

Replies

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 26, 2010.

I would serve a chardonnay because the texture of Lobster with the soup and fortified richness

In France - White Burgundy [not Chablis to refined for richness of food] I think probably young maybe 07 maybe subregion = puligny montrachet {need some help here guys}

US - Napa/Sonoma/? plenty of the team to recommend here

Australia - my world I would have a look at Giaconda/Leeuwin Art Series/Shaw & Smith M3/Hardy Eileen

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Aug 26, 2010.

Aged Loire Chenin Blanc

Aged White Hermitage.

Madeira

Shery

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

I've had Leeuwin with lobster, whole boiled or grilled, as well as bisque, and it definitely works. I'll agree with you, Stephen, also on the Beaune, Macconais or Challonaise chards (I can think of a number of chards from California that will work, too, starting with Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbara, then skipping north to the Bay Area). A good Graves sauvignon blanc/semillon blend would also work well, especially with age on it for the bisque. An Alsatian riesling or pinot blanc might also be a match. Muscadets, picpoul de pinets, pigato or other whites from Italy, and a few from Spain can work well with the boiled and especially grilled lobster, but I think they'll be flumoxxed by the bisque.

The sherry/marsala/whathaveyou in the soup is the problematic part, as you obviously recognize. Depending on what you actually use and its concentration, especially if its stronger, the best match just might be a fino (esp. manzanilla) sherry. Wildcards would be rose, either champagne, or some from the Rhone or Loire.

So Adam, never any egg yolks at the end?

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Reply by AdamJefferson, Aug 26, 2010.

Don't know about the egg yolk; sounds interesting.

I forgot to mention that I added and blended in a small can of tomato past right before adding the half and half. 

The recipe transfers well to crab and crawfish, a shrimp stock is always a little fishy for my taste but it you go lighter on the stock and heavier on the half and half and the Sherrry, it works too. 

If you tighten this up a little it becomes something like a Thermadore you can serve over rice, a substantial crouton, toast points or biscuit, garnished with a grated egg yolk or paprika if you wish.   

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

The tomato addition is something I frequently do, though I try to keep its effect very light. Sometimes I use an egg yolk at the end of the process (whisking it into a small batch of the liquor than adding to the whole) to achieve a kind of velouté effect, most frequently with oyster or shrimp, but also with lobster. With both lobster and crab I always try to ensure the tamale and coral are included, since those are often the most flavorful portions.

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Reply by outthere, Aug 26, 2010.

There are tons of tamale vendors out here in Sonoma County!

You meant to spell it "tomalley" but for the lack of an "EDIT" function.

I'll send you all the Dungeness Crab Tomalley you want. Stuff goes right down the drain here. Ewwww!

Just a side note: Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised not to eat the tomalley in Maine lobster due to high dioxin levels. Others are advised to limit consumption to one meal per month.



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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

Thanks for catching my spelling gaffe (definitely no cornhusk wrappers), though I know it as 'tomale' not 'tomalley'. The stuff is the best part of crabs cooked Chinese or Japanese style to me, though I like the legs, etc. just fine. Love the fresh stuff, though they bottle it here, too, and that I can do without. And in the bisque, properly sieved and cooked, you'd probably only know it as depth of flavor.

No warning for the meat, just the digestive track? If Maine has all that dioxin, wonder what the Sea of Japan has. Or the seas around SE Asia, southern India down to the Maldives, etc., etc. And what other sources in the expectant mothers' environment the stuff is coming from that doesn't get that exposure.

Outthere, do you eat swordfish?

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Reply by outthere, Aug 26, 2010.

Outthere, do you eat swordfish?

Now and then if I see a nice piece at the market. Sometimes buy it frozen from Costco.

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

Was wondering about quicksilver concerns....

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Reply by outthere, Aug 26, 2010.

You're going to die of something. Might as well enjoy yourself in the process. Shrug...

Seriously though, for the amount I consume in a years time I am not worried. I eat much more tuna than any other fish. Yellowfin Ahi.

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

Mercury rising, rising....

The only thing I ever got too fussed about was eating fish from Tokyo Bay on my first trip to Japan decades ago. At the time I suspected the bottom of the bay was likely paved with inches-thick layers of mercury, dioxins, what have you. Nowadays I eat plenty of kisu (sillago) and anago (conger eel) in tempura from there, with that part of my brain reflexively shut off.

My grandfather, who was a chemistry prof who had to sidetrack from his initial aim of being a doctor when USC shut down its medical school during the Depression (and, from what I hear, you couldn't transfer credits back then to other schools), used to lecture me incessantly on how I was going to die horribly, and suffer before, from all the raw fish I told him I was eating. Parasites!, parasites! was his mantra. Hardly an issue these days when most everything's flashfrozen, I imagine....

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 26, 2010.

Oh, and next time you're in the City, visit Tadich Grill down on California and try their swordfish steak with a good Sonoma chard....

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Reply by jennrehm, Sep 21, 2010.

La Costa Albinaro 2009

or Gobelsburger 2009 Gruner Veitliner

Yay baby

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 22, 2010.

Adam, you might also try the bisque with something like a Clos de la Coulée de Serrant from Savennières in the Loire, though that particular chenin blanc won't necessarily be easy to find, or particularly cheap. 


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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 22, 2010.

Hmm.. I shouldn't respond to this, since it has been a LONG time since I could eat fish (allergic to ALL).  But when I read Dmcker's recommendation of champagne, I immediately tasted Lobster bisque from my past.. and then thought of the 2002 Roederer L'ermitage Sparkler.  I know it is going off memory, but what a fun fantasy.  Here are the winemaker notes:

Winemaker Notes

Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L’ERMITAGE cuvée. This cuvée from the palindromic vintage 2002 is showing great notes of “tarte tatin”: baked apples and buttery crust, with notes of apricot and delicate vanilla bean. The mouthfeel is creamy, expresses flavors of quince and bread crust, with a clean and crisp yet long finish.

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Sep 22, 2010.

Champagne and Lobster anyway would be a great match

A very dry Fino sherry works well too with the "anything in a" bisque


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