Friday, March 7, 2008

Shrimp Bisque

  • Husband: This is delicious. You could totally tell people it was made with lobster.

  • 1 year old daughter: Yummy, Mommy

  • 4 year old daughter (who LOVES shrimp): I am NOT eating this. The green things look gross.

Ah, the rewards of cooking for preschoolers. Some day she will go away to college and realize how good she had it. I had wonderful seafood stock leftover from making these mussels in white wine a few days ago. I actually doubled the recipe in this link, which after using broth for bread dipping still leaves about 4 cups leftover. Perfect for this shrimp bisque. If you do not have seafood stock on hand, you can make some with the shrimp shells (recipe below).

This bisque is very rich and flavorful. I substituted whole milk for the half -and-half and it was still plenty creamy. The total cooking time is roughly the same as a Dora the Explorer video (45 min) and it reheats well.

Shrimp Bisque
from Ina Garten, barefoot contessa at home

1 pound large shrimp. peeled and deveined, shells reserved (if making stock)
4 cups seafood stock
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

If making seafood stock: Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.

In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and heat gently until hot but not boiling. Season, to taste, and serve hot.

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