Yesterday was National Lobster Day, June 15th. Once considered pheasant food, in the 1800's lobster was so plentiful that most New Englanders could simply walk down to the beach and capture them during low tide. Servants lived off lobster and most made it a daily meal.
Today, lobster is a delicacy around the world and not all that cheap. There are many ways to enjoy lobster, but if you don't have the time or the money, this simple bisque is perfect and makes an elegant starter for a dinner party. I buy a few extra lobster tails around Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve when 5 oz tails are typically on sale.
3 lobster tails
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 small white onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup clam juice (1 cup lobster water)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place lobster tails in the water for 8-10 minutes or until the shells are bright red and the flesh is opaque. Remove the lobster from the pot to cool. Keep 1 cup of the lobster water to flavor your soup!
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium sized stock pot and add the shallot and onion. Saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add flour to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly add the wine, taking time to incorporate the wine into the flour mixture. Once mixed and smooth, add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes until this mixture becomes a thick paste.
Slowly add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits at the bottom of the pan. Next, add the tomato paste and paprika and then add the clam juice and lobster water. Stir well and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
While broth is cooking, remove the lobster meat from the shells and chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
After the stock has simmered for 10 minutes, blend the mixture with in an immersion blender. The mix should be very smooth. Return the blended mixture back to the stockpot and add the heavy cream and additional butter. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
Bring the bisque back to a simmer and add the lobster chunks. Cook until heated through.
Serve with sourdough bread