LOBSTER BISQUE WITH CHILI-LOBSTER OIL
2 x 1 lb (500 g) cooked lobsters
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
½ fennel bulb, trimmed
1 carrot, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, slivered
4 hot red chili peppers
2 bay leaves
½ tsp (2 ml) saffron threads, crushed
½ tsp (2 ml) whole black peppercorns
¼ tsp (1 ml) salt
4 cups (1 L) grape seed oil
¼ tsp (1 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
2 x 1½ lb (2 x 750 g) fresh lobsters
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
½ fennel bulb
1 whole garlic head, cut in half, crosswise
1 large tomato, chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns
½ cup (125 ml) brandy
½ cup (125 ml) dry sherry
4 cups (1 L) fish stock or bottled clam juice
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste
¼ tsp (1 ml) saffron threads, crushed
2 egg yolks
6 large scallops
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
micro greens, for garnish
- To make CHILI-LOBSTER OIL: Working over a large bowl, cut off lobster tails and claws and remove meat to a separate bowl. Cut up meat into bite-sized pieces, wrap and refrigerate. Crack lobster shells and rinse bodies. Place in a large heavybottomed saucepan along with remaining ingredients except for crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a low simmer. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often.
- Strain through a large fine-meshed sieve over a large bowl. Discard lobster shells and vegetables. Once oil has cooled, add chili flakes and pour into a large bottle and refrigerate until ready to use. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze up to a month.
- To make BISQUE: Rest lobsters on their backs on a cutting board while bringing a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add lobsters to boiling water head first and boil until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer lobsters to a large bowl until cool enough to handle. Let water in saucepan settle and cool. Then remove and reserve 3 cups (750 ml). Discard remaining water in saucepan.
- Working over a large bowl to catch juices, cut off lobster tails and claws and remove meat to a separate bowl. Cut up meat into bite-sized pieces, wrap and refrigerate. Crack lobster shells and rinse bodies. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add lobster shells and bodies and sauté over medium high heat until shells turns a rich colour, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, so they don’t burn.
- Add onion, celery, carrots, fennel, garlic, tomato, herbs, bay leaves and peppercorns. Stir in brandy and sherry and boil vigorously until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add fish stock or clam juice, reserved 3 cups (750 ml) cooking liquid and any lobster juices that may have collected in bowl when removing meat from shells. Bring to a boil. With lid ajar, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour for flavours to develop.
- While stock is cooking, place whipping cream in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Remove and cool. Refrigerate.
- Strain stock through a large finemeshed sieve over another large saucepan. Press firmly on solids to remove any juices. Discard solids. Continue to simmer stock for 30 minutes. Then whisk in tomato paste and crushed saffron and continue to simmer until soup is reduced to about 4 cups (1 L). Remove from heat. Stock can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated.
- Shortly before serving, remove 6 or 12 bite-sized pieces lobster meat from refrigerator. (Reserve leftover lobster for another dish.)
- Combine reduced stock and cream in a medium-sized saucepan. Boil gently whisking until smooth.
- Whisk egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly whisk in ½ cup (125 ml) hot stock. Then whisk egg yolks into saucepan containing stock. Continue to simmer, whisking steadily until thickened and smooth. Cover soup and keep warm while searing scallops.
- Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil in a grill pan. Add scallops and sear on both sides just until pale golden and not quite cooked through. Add pieces of lobster to pan just to warm. Remove from heat.
- Give soup a little whisk. Then ladle into 6 heated bowls. Top with seared scallops and warmed pieces of lobster. Garnish with a few micro greens. Drizzle with Chili-Lobster Oil and serve.