the appetizer:

The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors: 101 Surprising Flavor Combinations and Extraordinary Recipes That Excite Your Palate and Pleasure Your Senses by Robert and Molly Krause includes recipes like Deconstructed Lobster Bisque; Braised Duck with a Lift; and Sardinian Toasted Pasta with Chestnut Sauce.

Cookbook Profile

Deconstructed Lobster Bisque

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


"Smokin' Crustacean"

Lobster + Cream + Smoked Paprika

Deconstructed Lobster Bisque

The delicacy of lobster offers a rich taste that goes well served with a rich accompaniment—cream (though it's often butter). The cream smoothes out the lobster flavor without obliterating it. Smoked paprika has a deep, intense flavor that makes this combination both complex and delicious. For a twist on the lobster bisque, serve it in coffee cups, top with frothed milk (use an immersion blender), and call it "lobster cappuccino" that's sipped from a cup.


>Most lobster meat comes from the crustacean's claws and tail and can be baked, broiled, or fried. You can also cook the shell and body to make a flavorful stock, or use the red roe as a seasoning. This application needs the whole lobster; for a more straightforward approach, use the meat only to garnish a creamy potato-paprika stew.


Use cream as the base for a savory sauce, soup, or starch. To decrease its proportion in the following bisque, add a starch such as potato—a twist on the classic brandade with lobster and smoked paprika.

Smoked Paprika

Paprika can range from slightly sweet to quite spicy. Smoked paprika has a distinct flavor key in chorizo and Spanish cooking and will add a layer of interest to the cream's monochromatic flavor.


"Smokin' Crustacean" Recipe:
Deconstructed Lobster Bisque

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Pull out this rich, flavorful soup for special occasions.

  • 2 whole lobsters (1-1/2 pounds [680 g] each)
         or 3 pounds (1.4 kg) shrimp, unpeeled
  • 2 cups (475 ml) water, plus more to stop lobster cooking
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, plus more for sautéing meat
  • 2 stalks celery, rough cut
  • 2 large carrots, rough cut
  • 1 whole yellow onion, rough cut
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough cut, plus more for sautéing meat
  • 3 ounces (85 g) tomato purée
  • 1/2 bottle (375 ml) dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (23 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) brandy
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) cream sherry
  • 2 cups (475 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Blanch lobsters in salted, boiling water for 12 minutes and then immediately plunge into an ice bath. Crack lobster shells and remove meat. Set meat aside. If using shrimp, peel shrimp and set meat aside.

>Heat rondeau (a large pot, wide and low, with 2 handles) or other large pot to medium and add butter. When the butter stops bubbling, add lobster or shrimp shells, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and tomato puree. Cook until lightly caramelized. Deglaze with white wine and add thyme, bay leaves, and water. Cook for at least 30 minutes. Strain stock and discard solids.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add to strained liquid and stir to distribute, allowing mixture to thicken.

Add brandy, sherry, and cream. Season with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

Sauté lobster or shrimp meat in additional butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Serve with bisque.


Lobster is a luxury ingredient available fresh in many supermarkets. Don't be intimidated by buying a whole lobster! Get your money's worth by saving the shells, freezing if not using right away, and making a stock for this impressive combination.

  • The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors
    101 Surprising Flavor Combinations and Extraordinary Recipes
    That Excite Your Palate and Pleasure Your Senses
  • by
  • Fair Winds Press 2010
  • Hardback: $26.00
  • ISBN-10: 1592334326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-59233-432-2
  • Information provided by the publisher.

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The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors


This page created December 2010