McCormick and Schmick Lobster Bisque?

kitchendetectiveSeptember 19, 2007

We ate at McCormick and Schmick's recently. Bar none, that was the best lobster bisque that I have ever eaten. Does anyone have a version of their recipe? Alternatively, does anyone have a great lobster bisque recipe?

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I found this, it may be close? It says you can use lobster instead of crab.

This recipe is from Billy Hahn, executive chef for Jake's Seafood restaurants in Portland OR, and McCormick and Schmick's in Portland and now part of a chain of seafood restaurants. You can also use lobster if you have it, but the crab variety is delicious as is.

Crab Bisque
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup celery, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon shallot, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
2 ounces brandy, or cream sherry
2 pounds crab, dungeness in shell, or lobster, shrimp or crawfish
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 cups water
6 ounces crab meat

Saute onions, celery and shallots in butter in large stock pot until tender. Add crab, cut up, and simmer 15 minutes. Move crab aside and add flour and sugar, stir into vegetables and butter. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add brandy and cook 5 minutes. Add wine, tomato paste, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, cream and water, Simmer 15 minutes and remove from heat. Press solids through fine mesh strainer, put back in pot and heat. Taste, and if necessary, simmer until reduced and flavor is bold. Garnish with crab meat, in each bowl. Note: adding additional crab shells and guts with whole crab will increase flavor.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:19AM
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This sounds wonderful! I will try it tomorrow. Will report results.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 12:15PM
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I made this for dinner last night, with French bread, salad, and wine. The flavor was wonderful, even though the crab legs I used were frozen. However, the texture was too thin, even after an extra hour of reduction. What do you think I should do, add more flour at the flour step, add something else, or just reduce for a longer time--possibly several hours? I don't want to change the flavor at all.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:43AM
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I don;t know from McCormick and Schmick but here is a lobster bisque recipe I have been meaning to try. I only offer it up so we can compare ingredients.

My math may be off a bit but looks like this recipe wants about the same amount of liquid as yours does although it calls for stock not water . The big difference is this recipe calls for thickening with cornstarch.

I you love the flavour I would try the cornstarch, other than that you could reduce the water but that would make the soup stronger in flavour.

I would not cook for hours, that would break down the soup in my opinion.

PS: When I make this it will NOT be with live lobsters...I'm such a wimp!

Lobster Bisque

2 1-pound live lobsters
2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion sliced
1 large celery stalk sliced
1 small carrot sliced
1 garlic head cut in half crosswise
1 tomato sliced
2 Tbl chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbl chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
8 whole black peppercorns
1/2 Cup brandy
1/2 Cup dry Sherry
4 Cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
1/4 Cup tomato paste
1/2 Cup whipping cream
2 Tsp cornstarch
1 Tbl water

Bring large pot of water to boil. Add lobsters head first and boil until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobsters to large bowl. Reserve 2 cups cooking liquid. Cool lobsters.

Working over large bowl to catch juices, cut off lobster tails and claws. Crack tail and claw shells and remove lobster meat. Coarsely chop lobster meat; cover and chill. Coarsely chop lobster shells and bodies; transfer to medium bowl. Reserve juices from lobster in large bowl.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add lobster shells and bodies and saute until shells begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onion and next 8 ingredients. Mix in brandy and Sherry. Boil until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add fish stock, reserved 2 cups lobster cooking liquid and lobster juices. Simmer 1 hour.

Strain soup through sieve set over large saucepan, pressing firmly on solids. Whisk tomato paste into soup. Simmer until soup is reduced to 3 cups, about 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Add cream to soup and simmer 5 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Add to soup and boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Mix lobster meat into soup and stir to heat through. Ladle soup into bowls.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 12:58PM
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Wow, that sounds great--probably stronger flavor. I have cooked live lobsters in the distant past, but I no longer do that. They make a sort of screeching noise. Creepy.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:35PM
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