A Week of Lobster – Lobster Bisque

LobsterBakeByEPhotos2 Aside from being a mother, wife, writer, and chef, my husband and I are the stewards of the Maine Windjammer J&E Riggin. All summer long we take our 24 passengers ashore and prepare a traditional lobster bake- complete with seaweed! This last season we did no fewer then 25 lobster bakes- that’s a lot of lobster. Because we aren’t sailing and buying lobster right now but we still want to help out our local lobstermen we have decided to run a Maine Lobster promotion. So from November 1st until December 31st for every person that books a sailing vacation on the Schooner J&E Riggin for a 2009 trip we will ship you two lobsters – book for 2 people we will send you 4 lobsters. In addition if you book a trip on any one of our Maine Lighthouses & Lobsters Cruises we will send you an additional lobster.

If for some reason you are not planning a trip with us for 2009 (don't worry we won't hold it against you-much), you can still take advantage of the exceptional lobster prices and order them directly through Jess's Market. We have partnered with Jess's Market here in Rockland, where we get our lobster all summer- they will ship directly to you! Right now soft shell lobster prices here in Rockland are lower then that of ham or turkey at the deli counter. Jess’s Market lobster prices are at $4.99 /pound for soft shell (which can be shipped if they are cooked first) and $7.99/pound for hard shell (can be shipped live or cooked). When you place your order be sure to tell them the "J&E Riggin “ sent you and we will include a set of 6 recipes cards from my cookbook At Home, At Sea.

We hope you are enjoying our “Week of Lobster” recipes. Today’s recipe is for Lobster Bisque – a great starter for a holiday get-together.

Lobster Bisque

1 2-pound live lobster
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, diced into 1/4-inch pieces and cleaned
1/2 cup onions, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup celery, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (or 2 tablespoons tomato paste)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Cognac
2 cups lobster stock
3 cups light cream
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Cut the lobster into 5 pieces:  2 claws, 2 tail pieces and one body.  In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the lobster and sauté until the shell turns red.  Remove the lobster from the pot.**  In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the leeks, onions, celery, carrots and garlic.  Sauté until the vegetables are translucent. 

While waiting for the vegetables to cook, shuck the lobsters and cut the lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces.  Set lobster meat aside.  Place the shells in a medium stockpot with 2 1/2 cups of water, the bay leaves and peppercorns and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain and reserve.

Add the tomatoes to the vegetables and sauté two minutes.  Remove from heat and carefully add the Cognac.  Carefully allow a flame to develop or light a match.  Add the stock and cream and bring to a simmer.  Strain and return the broth to the same pot.  Add the lobster meat and serve.

**If the idea of cutting up the live lobster is not for you, place the lobster in a medium stockpot with 1 inch of simmering water.  Cover and cook 10 minutes.  Remove the lobster from the water and reserve the stock.  Shuck the lobster and continue with the directions.

Serves 4-6

Annie
I think I might have to taste test this one more time

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing