Lobster bisque makes for an elegant start to any special dinner for two.
Two 2-pound lobsters, steamed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Twist off the claws and tails from the lobsters. Remove the meat, discarding the green tomalley and reserving the shells. Coarsely chop the meat to measure about 2 1/2 cups, and transfer to a bowl; cover and chill.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium. Add the lobster shells, and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sherry, and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until reduced to about 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard the solids. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, tomato paste, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the reserved lobster stock and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Place over medium heat, stir in the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer. Add the lobster meat, reserving 1/4 cup for garnish.
- To serve, ladle the bisque into bowls and top with the reserved lobster meat and chives.