© 2020 Donna Hébert, all rights reserved.
Today it’s all about food. What does Cape Breton have that other places don’t have as much of? Lobster and mussels (more about mussels another day). A friend wanted my recipe for Lobster Bisque, so here it is . . . I love the ‘waste not, want not’ aspect of this recipe, boiling up the lobster leavings. Just add a cup and a half of heavy cream and a splash of dry sherry, et voila! La bisque d’homard!
Take all your leavings – shells, even the legs after you sucked the meat out. You’re gonna boil it all up anyway. Do this in the big pot you cooked the lobsters in, using the same liquid. Do not add salt but do add a cup or two of water to almost cover the shells. You may not need to add much salt (if any at all) to this and should wait until the final seasoning to add any. Simmer the shells, everything, for about 30-45 minutes. Strain the liquid carefully (shells can break a tooth). You can refrigerate the stock after this step and make the bisque the next day. Save about a half cup of lobster meat for the bisque.
For four cups of strained stock, saute 3/4 cup of minced onion, then skin and mince two Roma tomatoes (best flavor) and saute until they break down, then add the stock to both. You can use a tablespoon of tomato paste but I don’t like that flavor as much. I use crab boil for the original lobsters, adding other savory seasonings to the stock like a dash of dry mustard and paprika and a bit of cayenne. Add seasonings as you saute the onion so they have time to flavor everything. I love Penzey’s Ozark seasoning and use that, which does have salt in it. If I add it, it goes in here. Keep tasting after the flavors bloom so you don’t over-season it. Add salt only if necessary at the very end, after adding the cream.
When the stock is hot, almost to the boil, add 1-1/2 cups of heavy cream and turn down the heat. When it comes back to a boil, take it off the heat, stir in about 2 tablespoons dry sherry, put it in bowls and garnish with lobster meat. Personally I like the bisque as much or more than the actual lobster. Makes it worth all the shell-picking.
We live in the woods, so Bob takes the shell leavings into the forest for the fox and the other critters. One of the joys of living up here is we don’t throw food garbage in the landfill and a compost pile anywhere near the house is an advertisement to bears and coyotes. Instead, Bob takes all our food garbage into the woods for the wild things. Mr/Ms Fox stops by to say thanks occasionally.