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Author Notes: As you may have heard there are record lobster harvests driving the price paid Lobster fisherman to their lowest levels in years. Unfortunately the low prices don't always travel through the system. If you live outside of the Northeast and can't find live lobsters below $7/lb. you might want to get together with neighbors and order a 40 lb. box of lobsters. With 2 day freight you should pay under $6/lb.
While it is customary to serve lobster bisque with chunks of lobster meat this recipe makes a rich bisque so go ahead and tell your guests that you pureed the lobster meat up with the soup like you had tried in some fancy restaurant. Then eat all of the meat in Lobster rolls and salads and serve the bisque as your last meal from your lobsters.
This is the third recipe in a series of luxury for less or how to eat really well without spending a fortune. —David
- 2 1 1/2 lb. Lobsters
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 bouquet garni with 3 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs tarragon, 3 sprigs parsley, 3 bay leaves, 1 star anise
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 cup cream sherry
- 3 cups cream
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- Measure 8 cups water into medium or large stockpot. Note approximate level of water. Then add enough water to cover 2 lobsters with a little extra to spare. Bring water to a boil with 1 t salt added. Add both lobsters. When water reboils turn down to a simmer and cook for 16 minutes. Remove lobsters with tongs and allow to cool. Strain water and bring to a boil again. You want to reduce it to that level of 8 cups you originally eyeballed.
- Remove the meat from the tails, claws and legs. Cut bodies in half and save any roe and tamalley. Place all shell and body pieces on a sheet pan and roast in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (until shells start to color).
- Put roasted shells in reserved 8 cups of broth and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Strain broth and discard shells.
- add roe, tamalley, tomato paste, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, bouquet garni and simmer 20 minutes.
- discard bouquet garni and puree stock. Force everything through fine to medium mesh sieve.
- bring back to a simmer. add cream slowly while stirring. add brandy and sherry and simmer 5 minutes. add cornstarch to 1/4 cup water, stir and add. Simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust for salt and pepper. Feel free to add lobster meat if you prefer.
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