I've always been a lover of seafood. Shellfish is definitely one of my favorite things to eat. Andy and I do a seafood boil every now and then. We boil all of the seafood in a pot and then lay everything out on a sheet pan. Then we go at it like some ravage beasts. It's a messy sight. But in my opinion, the ONLY way to eat a seafood boil is with your hands and to get messy.
From these seafood boils, we usually end up with a bunch of shrimp shells. Most people might throw them away, but they're like seafood gold. And one of my favorite things to make with them is a good old fashioned bisque.
A bisque is traditionally a shellfish soup thickened up with cooked rice. However, in today's sense, most bisques are thickened with a roux for better stability and consistency. Follow the following steps and you'll have the perfect bisque every time.
#3. Add fish/seafood stock or a fish veloute (remember veloute is just a fancy word for gravy!) - it's also a good time to add a sachet of herbs too (mine had thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaves).
#4. Incorporate a roux (equal parts flour and fat, by weight) if needed - you can easily make a beurre manie by combining equal part soft butter with flour and forming small balls, then stirring them into the mixture
#5. Simmer, skimming occasionally.
#6. Puree the mixture (shells and all) and return to a simmer.
#7. When you've achieved your desired flavor, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or chinois.
#8. Return the soup back to the heat and bring to a simmer. Finish with cream, if desired.
|As amateur as it may be... I kind of like my reflection in the spoon =)|
And now you've got yourself a bisque! Garnish with whatever shellfish you used in the broth and some fresh herbs. Soups don't get any better than this!