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Creating a bisque, and is it appropriate as a sauce?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have an eye on doing a lobster ravioli for the pasta challenge. In the past I've always thought of a bisque as being a sauce that would be appropriate for something like that. Particularly if I am able to use the shells from the lobster. I've never made a bisque from scratch and in reading about it, I am a bit surprised. I would have thought.. seafood stock with a bechamel! But apparently rice is added to introduce starch.

 

I also read possibly pureeing the shell? That doesn't make much sense to me. I'd love some input on this. First is a bisque a decent sauce for a seafood style ravioli? And two, if you have experience making one I'd love your lessons learned!

post #2 of 10

In my opinion, a bisque is an elegant preparation that is time consuming and should be left to stand on its own.  I've made hundreds of pastas that use lobster stocks as sauces and think its best to make a rich, flavorful lobster stock with the bodies.  From there you can reduce the stock in the pan, add your ravioli, and finish with nice knob of butter and a touch of acid.

post #3 of 10

made lobster bisque in class today and used some of it for the base of my lobster pasta sauce as well.  i thought it turned out really well.

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #4 of 10

Just saw on "What did you have for dinner?" and if it works it works. Great idea! It looked very good.

post #5 of 10

I puree the shells but you have to strain!

post #6 of 10

Making a bisque isn't all that difficult, Eastshores and it is absolutely delicious when used as a sauce for your seafood ravioli.

 

You can start with fresh lobster or even use frozen ones, as long as the heads are still on. The heads are where the flavor is, not so much in the shells. Boil the whole lobsters as usual, remove the meat.

 

Over to the bisque; use a wide pot, add olive oil, add the heads and shells on medium high fire. Stir frequently and break the shells/heads in smaller pieces-while frying- with the end of a rolling pin or anything else that will help. Let the shells fry for quite a while. Add a small tbsp of tomato paste to the shells and -very important; let the tomato paste fry sufficiently to remove the bitter taste from it; keep stirring it with the shells. After that, add a tbsp of pastis or ouzo or raki. Let the alcohol evaporate completely. Add a small tbsp of flour and stir in; the whole thing will look messy, don't worry.
Add around 1/2 cup of dry white wine or vermouth and let the alcohol evaporate for a little while. Now add chickenstock or fishstock or plain water. I mostly use water or chickenstock and I avoid fish stock as it can smell and taste very badly when cooked too long. Now add aromats like a little celery, onion, clove of garlic, tarragon, bouquet garni etc. Let simmer for around 30 minutes. Strain but push all liquid out of the remaining solids while they are in your sieve.

 

Reduce the liquid, add a little cream, taste, add s&p and a pinch of cayenne powder.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chris! I think I will give this a go since I would like to check off creating a bisque from scratch on my list of culinary pursuits. I love crab so I could see this becoming something I do often. Thanks everyone for the inputs.
 

post #8 of 10
A little late to the dance, but turning a bisque (lobster) into a sauce is basicly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauce_Am%C3%A9ricaine

Al
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

After looking at that, how does it differ from a "bisque"? It's sounds like it is almost both technically and ingredient wise the same thing that Chris described? Thank you for the link though, interesting for sure. I just wonder if perhaps they are the same and being called two things, although "bisque" was a french term as well as far as I recall.
 

post #10 of 10
Exactly. It is essentially a repurposed bisque. Maybe thicker. Modern versions are often super reduced. Strictly speak a bisque is made from shell fish with shells that can be roasted, so shrimp and crab bisques are a thing. As farbas I know Sauce American is only made from lobster.

Al
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