The regular lobster season starts Aug. 6; fishermen are soaking their traps now.
Our own Kristen Brenner was nice enough to share a seasonally appropriate recipe for lobster bisque.
“I have been perfecting it for the last several years,” she says, “and there is never any thrown away.” She had a chance to test it out again during July’s mini-season, and now you can try it for yourself!
Kristen’s Famous Lobster Bisque
Take a dozen lobster heads and cook them until done — boiling about 5 minutes or steaming about 10 minutes. Cool.
Rinse thoroughly to get the liver out. Break up the legs in one pile, the knuckles in another pile and the lower bodies separated from the top of the head lobster shells.
Take as much meat as you can from the inside of the head — and body, if you’re really ambitious — and crack each of the legs to get the meat out. If the meat does not slide out readily just add it to the pile of shells. Crack the knuckles. Put all the meat aside in the refrigerator.
Take all of the shells and place in a 12-quart pot with enough water to cover the top of shells. Boil for 20 minutes.
Add 1 large cut tomato, 1/2 cup of white wine or cognac, 2 stalks of celery (or a couple teaspoons of celery salt), 2 carrots cut into 3 pieces and 2 large bay leaves.
Boil another 20 minutes until vegetables are soft. Allow to cool.
Strain liquid. Remove and discard the shells, vegetables, etc.
Refrigerate overnight or continue to the next step.
Take the meat you removed from the heads and add a third of it to the pan for the bisque, as described in the next paragraph. Leave the rest of the meat for a quick chop. It’ll be used later.
Finely chop 2 shallots. Add a half a stick of butter and sauté. Add one-third of the meat to the shallots and cook slightly. Deglaze with 1/4 cup of cognac. Add 4 ounces of flour. Cook till thick, whisking as is thickens. Add 10 ounces of white wine and about half of the lobster stock. Freeze the rest of the stock for future use.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add 2 pints of heavy whipping cream and 3 ounces of sherry. Simmer another 5 minutes.
Allow bisque to cool and refrigerate overnight. It’s great the day you make it, but best after it has cooled and the flavors have married overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, put the chopped lobster in the bottom of each bowl and add warmed bisque. (Do not boil the liquid, because the cream will curdle.)
Add a few pieces of lobster on the top.