Friday, January 13, 2012

Recipe: Duet Seafood Bisque

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. – Johnny Carson

Smooth and creamy seafood bisque. Perfect for a chilly night.
A strange name for a bisque, no? Well the reason I have named it so is because so many of the ingredients used are in twos. It’s not that I forced it into that form so much as it seemed those were the correct amounts…

This must be healthy for you. Take a look at the vegetables! Forget the two slices of bacon. If you’re serving four that’s only 1/2 a slice per person. Hardly worth mentioning.

The vegetables just before puréeing.
If you note, the vegetable sauté is a fairly classic French mirepoix. Mirepoix is a traditional flavour base for many French recipes.

From there I “departed.” The puréed vegetables make the wonderful rich broth that is associated with bisque. The colour is a very beautiful light orange from the tomatoes and carrots. It’s a perfect foil for the pink shrimp, white scallops, and yellow corn.

Make sure you don’t add salt until after you purée. If you salt as you go it may be too salty. Remember to add a little salt for the corn, scallops and shrimp as well. You may be surprised how much salt you do end up adding. I was.

Not enough salt will leave this dish "flat" and tasteless. Too much will make it...salty...

You can make this vegetarian very easily. Simply change the bacon for vegetable oil, omit the seafood and double the corn.

On a cold, snowy day this sort of rich dish really makes you feel better about the world. Bisque for the soul, one might say...

This is the thick and creamy result of the vegetables, milk
and sherry. A filling and perfect base. Add salt now.
Duet Seafood Bisque 
Prep: 10 min  |  Cook: 30 min  |  Serves 4-6
2 slices smoked bacon, chopped
2 lg shallots (or 1 medium onion)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, un-peeled, washed and finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
4 cups water
2 tbsp sherry
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp basil
1 to 1-1/2 cups frozen corn*
1/2 to 3/4 lb scallops*
3/4 to 1 lb shrimp*
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Chop the bacon, onion, celery and carrots.

Sauté the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until the fat begins to render out, about 2 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, celery and carrots. Continue to sauté for a further 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

While the vegetables are sautéing, prep the potatoes and tomatoes.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes.

Prepare the seafood. Quarter the scallops and chop each shrimp in half.

At the end of the 15 minutes, purée the vegetables and water with an emulsion stick blender until very smooth. Add the evaporated milk, sherry, basil and tarragon. Taste for salt and adjust. Add black pepper to taste. Bring back to a simmer.

Add the drained corn and seafood. Let come to a boil, reduce heat and cook for a maximum of 4-5 minutes, or just until the seafood is opaque.

Serve each bowl with a dab of butter and more cracked pepper. Serves 4 as main or 6 as a first course.

* For a main course use the larger amounts.


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1 comment:

  1. i don't know how i found your site but i'm glad i did....i like your take on food =)