You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 19, 2009.
Sorry I’m late today. This is a rather unsatisfactory post all around, actually.
First, there’s camera drama. My friend Dave has my camera but doesn’t think he does. I left it there on Thanksgiving, when I cooked him (and 14 other people) a goose. So, still no pictures, although D. says she can help me find one somewhere. [Done! - D.]
Then, well, there was the bisque itself. I was excited to make bisque. I’ve had it numerous times in restaurants, and I thought I would like making it. I adapted the lobster bisque recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. Bourdain has never led me wrong before; therefore I must claim credit for this miss.
First, I sauteed shrimp, in their shells, all chopped up. I had some extra shrimp shells in the freezer so I threw those in for good measure. “That stinks,” J. said. I had to agree, but I was hopeful. Then I threw in some chopped celery, garlic and onion. The extreme fish-shell aroma receded, to be replaced by a pleasant, shrimpy aroma. About then D. called. We discussed camera drama. While we were on the phone, I added some tomato paste and brandy. Things were definitely looking up.
Then I stirred in some water and a bouquet garnit and let the whole thing simmer for about 45 minutes. The shrimp-shell smell was rather strong, but I plowed on ahead. Following Bourdain’s instructions, I ground up the shrimp, shell and all, in my food processor, put it back in the pot with some cream (diluted with milk – maybe that was my mistake?) and cooked for another half an hour. I strained the whole mess through a seive, pressing hard on the solids. I re-heated it, seasoned with salt and pepper, and served. It was a pleasant, orangy-shrimpy colour. It sort of stunk.
We each took precisely one bite.
“It just tastes like shrimp shells,” J. said, “I want to like it, after all the work you put in.” I had to agree. A definite miss.
Maybe it was the gorgeous lemongrass chicken, served with a green papapya and mango salad, that J. and I were whipping up on the side. Every bite a revelation of hot, sour, salty, sweet, and fresh.Of course sauteed shrimp shells couldn’t stand up.
In the end, it was an amazing dinner.