The other night I thawed out some cooked langoustine tails that my mother left in my freezer while house-sitting during our vacation. (Langoustine is a small kind of lobster which produces lobster tails about the size of a shrimp, but with the tender sweet flesh of lobster.) I thought about what to do with them, and decided to make bisque… mmm, that sweetness and creaminess… no, wait… better make seafood chowder – hardy and perfect for a cold wintry (yes, even in March) evening… definitely chowder… no, bisque… in the end, I ended up making … both… all in one dish… and it came out fabulously delicious. I have dubbed it the chow-bisque. Sweet and creamy like lobster bisque, but thick and comforting like a chowder – it was the best of both worlds. Brian gave this two thumbs up!
This soup is easy to prepare but would make a sophisticated and savory, yet substantial menu offering for any seafood-loving dinner or lunch guests. It also freezes well, so make a big batch and warm some up on another cold day!!!
I used langoustine lobster, but regular lobster, shrimp or possibly even a firm whitefish might work well for this recipe, cut into small pieces.
Langoustine chow-bisque – this made about 3-4 servings.
3 cups cooked langoustine tails
2 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup canned corn kernels
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/3 stick of butter
6-8 cups milk (depending on how thick you want your consistency)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry wine (sherry is what gives lobster bisque that sweet and slightly nutty flavor)
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
Start by sautéing the shallot in butter in a soup pot for a few minutes on low-medium heat, until the shallot is soft and translucent. Then add the flour and mix with a spoon or fork into a paste.
Now add the milk, salt and pepper and make sure to scrape up the shallot and flour mixture and incorporate into the milk. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low, and add the potato, lobster tails and corn.
Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and done and the soup has thickened up a bit. Stir every now and then to make sure the milk doesn’t boil over.
Finally, add the tomato paste, sherry and tarragon, and stir well to incorporate. Let cook for another couple of minute to cook out some of the alcohol.
Serve with a side of good crusty bread, and don’t forget to dip it into the chow-bisque!