Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lobster Killer

I'm sure most, if not all, of you have seen "Julie and Julia" right??  Well, do you remember the scene where Julie frets and frets over having to MURDER a live Lobster?  It is hysterical.  The Talking Heads song "Psycho Killer" plays in the background, as her adorable husband, Eric, mocks her by singing "Lobster Killer....Lobster Killer...."  She ends up taking the easy way out, and drops the unsuspecting crustacean into a pot of boiling water, killing him instantly.  Shortly thereafter, we watch as "Julia Child" played by Meryl Streep plunges her chef's knife into the skull of her Lobster, also killing him instantly, but in a more gruesome, obvious sort of way.  What a great movie.

Anyways....I've murdered many a lobster in my day- the "easy" way, by dropping them in the boiling water and closing the lid- so I haven't had to actually watch/hear them die.  But last week, our dear friend, Joseph, came in to town on his 'R & R' from a defense project in Alaska.  He offered to buy a live Lobster if I would take on the laborious task of making homemade Lobster Bisque.....um, DEAL!  After scouring through all of Huntsville looking for a live Lobster tank (thank you, Hampton Cove Publix and Jessica Erwin for steering me there!) we finally returned home with our 2-pound guy, ready to make the most delicious Lobster Bisque out of him.  Although I was still dressed in my Chef Jacket from working earlier that day, I felt like a terrified little girl when I came face-to-face with the task of actually killing the poor thing (we had to dismember him while he was completely RAW, no boiling allowed.)  Luckily, I had two men around the house who were more-than-willing to wield the knife and do the deed.  I turned my back while Taylor and Joseph stabbed the Lobster through the skull, and when I turned around to make sure they did a good enough job, they looked like two little boys holding a magnifying glass over an ant on a sunny day.  Evil!  Ha ha.

Fast forward 4 hours later, and we were scarfing down some of the most delicious bisque I've ever put in my mouth.  It was so good, I just couldn't help myself and I literally seared the entire roof of my mouth while it was still boiling hot.  Without further adue, here is the recipe for the WORLD'S BEST LOBSTER BISQUE! (Used a recipe from E.R. Bradley's Saloon in West Palm, Florida for inspiration)  It is surprisingly simple, but oh-so-time consuming.  Well worth the trouble, though.  TRUST ME!

The Greatest Lobster Bisque in the World
  
Ingredients for the Lobster Stock:


1 whole live Lobster
1/2 stick of Butter
1/2 a cup of diced Carrots
1/2 a cup of diced Celery
1 cup of diced Onion
1/2 cup of Sherry
1/4 cup of Tomato Paste
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs of fresh Thyme
4 cups of water

Ingredients for the Lobster Bisque:

2 cups of Lobster Stock
3 cups of Heavy Cream
2 cups of Half and Half
1/4 cup of Sherry (to taste)
Salt (to taste)

3 Tablespoons of Butter

 Directions:

Using a chef's knife, stab the live lobster through its head very quickly to humanely and instantly kill it. Remove its tail and claws, split the abdomen in half.
Remove the tail and claw meat from their shells, chop the raw meat, and set aside.
Boil the remaining body and shells of the lobster until bright red. 
Crush the boiled shells with your knife.

In a large saucepot, combine the butter, onions, carrots, and celery over medium-high heat until the vegetables turn translucent and barely golden on the edges.
Deglaze the pot with sherry, then add the tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, water and crushed lobster shells.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1.5-2 hours. Strain the broth, discard the vegetables and shells, and return the strained broth to the heat.
Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid for 30 minutes, until only 2 cups of liquid remain.

Combine the reduced lobster stock with the heavy cream and half and half. Add sherry to taste.
Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and reduce by half- about 1 hour.

In a separate pan, melt a few tablespoons of butter, and sauté the chopped tail and claw meat until white. Divide the meat amongst the soup bowls, then pour the soup on top and serve.



Somebody please give this a whirl and let me know how it turns out for you!  A whole lobster will run you about $20.00, but the rest of the ingredients are dirt cheap.  It is well worth the time and effort for a special occasion or if you really want to impress somebody.  :)  Enjoy!  ROLL TIDE ROLL!

Cheers, 


The Chef Next Door

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  1. UM this looks so delicious! The color on that soup is so vibrant! Looks time consuming but i'm sure it is oh so worth it, I hope to make this one day

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  2. The color is vibrant due to the many hours of reducing the stock until it is very very potent and also the tomato paste. You should totally give it a try on a weekend day or something!

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