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Maine Lobster Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Maine Lobster Bisque with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds



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Bring the salted water to a rapid boil. Add the live lobsters and cover, steaming for 5 minutes over very high heat. Remove the lobsters from the salted water and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid, keeping it heated over medium-low heat.

Remove the lobster meat, and reserve the shells for the stock. Dice the par-cooked meat into small pieces, then cover and refrigerate, reserving for later use.

Add the reserved lobster shells to a large saute pan over high heat with the tomato paste, carrots, celery, onions, and butter. Stir gently until the mixture becomes slightly golden brown. Add the sherry and then pour the mixture into the reserved, warm broth. Add the peppercorns, parsley spigs, and bay leaf. Boil uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain out the solids and keep the stock heated at a low simmer.


  • Olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 medium white onion (diced)
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 2 C. pumpkin puree
  • 4 C. chicken stock
  • Bay leaf
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/3 tsp. curry powder, or to your taste
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 C. half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted coconut

Slowly sauté onion and garlic in oil until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and chicken stock, bay leaf, sugar, curry, nutmeg and mix well. Bring to boil, and then lower heat to simmer. Cook 20 - 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add half-and-half and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Blend in batches in blender. Strain through a fine strainer. Reheat gently, and serve with toasted coconut.


Cooking with Lobster:

The most important thing that you can do as a home cook is to use top-quality ingredients. When you cut corners and get low-quality ingredients, your dishes aren’t going to turn out the way that you’d like them to. Look for fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and in-season. Check to see if they’re in good condition when you add them to your shopping cart. When you get home, make sure to store them properly — it would be a shame for them to go rotten before you need to cook with them.

Quality matters for meat, too. So, when you’re planning on following a lobster recipe, you need to make sure that you get the best possible lobster on the market. This can be a challenge when you don’t live on the coast. Your grocery store might not have anything other than packs of frozen lobster that have been sitting in the freezer for weeks — if they have any lobster at all.

The good news is that you can order Maine lobster directly to your doorstep. You could be in a completely different state and have fresh lobsters delivered to your address within 24 hours. The website Lobsteranywhere.com offers whole lobsters and other delicious seafood ingredients like colossal shrimp and sea scallops. If you’re too intimidated to handle whole lobster, they also offer tails and meat. These come with the same quality and flavor but require a little less effort in the kitchen.

Now that your kitchen is stocked with the right ingredients, you can get started on these seasonal dishes.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrot
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ pound cooked lump lobster meat

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, celery, and carrot. Cook and stir until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Pour the vegetable and broth mixture into the container of a blender, and add 1/4 cup of the lobster meat. Cover, and process until smooth. Return to the saucepan, and stir in the half-and-half, white wine, and remaining lobster meat. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until thickened, about 30 minutes.


Do you know the difference between a pumpkin soup, bisque and chowder?

I didn't know until I started to write this post. I thought I knew, but definitely learned a thing or two and I want to share all the information I found during my research.

Difference between bisque, soup, and chowder:

Bisques and chowders are two kinds of thick soup. They both are soups

  • Soup is in a more liquid form and is made out of broth with pieces of vegetables or meat and a very lose broth.
  • Bisque and chowder have a French origin.
  • Bisque comes from the French words "bis cuites" meaning twice cooked, which unexpectedly has the same origins as the word biscuit.
  • Chowder comes from the French word chaudière
  • Bisques and chowders, both words are used often used to describe non-seafood dishes as well.
  • Bisque is smooth, while chowder is thick and chunky.
  • Bisque is thick, smooth, creamy and rich seasoned.
  • Bisque and chowder are classically based on a strained seafood broth of crustaceans like lobster, langoustine, crab, shrimp or crayfish.
  • In today's culinary world, bisque is also made without seafood broth and made out of vegetables. The pumpkin bisque is vegetarian.
  • Typically chowder is made with small pieces of vegetables, seafood, or meat. It also usually includes milk or cream, and gets its thick texture from hearty vegetables like potatoes.
  • The main difference that sets bisque apart from chowder is that chowder&rsquos thickness comes from the vegetables. Bisque comes from pureed shellfish into a fine paste, and this is used to thicken the soup.
  • Now we use thickeners for both soups like rice, flour or cornstarch.
  • You can use wine, brandy or cognac for bisque or chowder.
  • Bisque has more cream than soups if you count cream soups. The difference is that in a bisque you add the cream early during the cooking process, and in soups it is added later. For this pumpkin bisque I didn't do either one. After I served the soup in the bowl, I added a small spoon of whipped coconut cream in a quenelle shape.
  • In bisque, the cream acts as a thickness agent, and in soups, it will be pasta, potatoes, rice, flour or cornstarch.

For this pumpkin bisque, I didn't use wine, shellfish or cream during the cooking process. The flavor of the soup all comes from the roasted pumpkin, seasoning and remaining ingredients. I decided to take a different route when presenting the soup. I created a mountain in the center of the bowl of chopped Granny Smith apple and roasted pumpkin seeds. I then poured the soup around the pile of the apple mixture, and I topped with whipped coconut cream (full-fat) in the shape of quenelles.


Cousins Maine Lobster Truck

Cousins Maine Lobster Truck is one of the most successful food truck business stories, with trucks currently in 12 different cities including San Diego. We first heard about them after watching them strike a deal on the tv show Shark Tank and we finally got to try them out recently.

The truck is quite nice, with digital screens displaying their menu and photos.


They have quite a few lobster offerings, but I really just wanted to try their lobster roll. They offer both a traditional Maine-style lobster roll (with mayonnaise and served cold) and a Connecticut-style lobster roll (with butter and served warm).

Maine Lobster Roll

The lobster was served on a lightly toasted bun with a slice of lemon. What immediately stood out for me was the lobster. The Maine lobster meat was plump, succulent and sweet. I was a little surprised to find the mayonnaise lining the inside of the bun instead of being tossed with the lobster. I personally prefer it when the mayonnaise is tossed with the lobster so it’s more evenly spread across and you don’t end up pockets of mayonnaise. Still, I didn’t have any trouble finishing this roll.

Connecticut Lobster Roll

This was served also served on a toasted roll. The sandwich was served warm with a light coat of butter over the lobster meat. Again, the lobster meat was sweet, succulent, and plentiful. Of the two rolls, I liked this one a little more, but it really does just come down to personal preference.

Overall, I thought that the lobster rolls from Cousins Maine Lobster Truck lived up to the hype. I wish their lines weren’t always so long, but we really enjoyed the rolls here and would get them again.


Lobster Bisque

Usually, lobster bisque is made with a stock of lobster shells. Our version is much more streamlined (see: easier and less expensive ) and truly just as rich and delicious.

The result is a velvety smooth bisque with big chunks of lobster in every bite. It's decadent and so satisfying, and it comes together in just 1 hour! Here's how to nail it.

Build your flavors

This soup tastes super complex, but actually starts with pretty basic staple ingredients. The key here is building flavors. Start by melting butter (salt or not, your choice!), then add your mirepoix&mdasha humble but fragrant mixture of finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery. Next, stir in fragrant tomato paste and freshly minced garlic and let 'em cook briefly until just lightly caramelized for a deeply satisfying addition of sweet and savory flavors. Quality white wine and fresh seafood stock give the bisque a baseline of umami and a hint of sophistication, and thyme and bay leaf get perfectly infused into the slow simmering mix.

Texture is key

The two main players here are flour and cream. When we sprinkle the flour into the veggie mixture, we're basically creating a textured roux. Sprinkle in the flour evenly to avoid clumps, and give it a few healthy, vigorous stirs to eliminate any dry pockets. Cook it for a minute so that the flour absorbs some of the flavors already partying in the pot, then go ahead and slowly pour in your stock and wine a 1/4 cup at time while continuing to stir. We're only using 2 tablespoons flour here but a little goes a long way to create that thickened (but not gluey!) mouthfeel. Heavy cream is our final shining star ingredient: to make a proper bisque, do not opt for lower-fat substitutes! Cream is essential in lending the bisque that classic richness.

Speaking of stock, let's get into it. Here, we use seafood stock to really amp up the lobster flavor, but you could totally use vegetable or even chicken stock. Just be sure to choose one that's low-sodium, as always, so you can control the salt level.

Grab the booze

This recipe has got 1 1/4 cups of dry white wine. However, if you happen to have some on hand, replace 1/4 cup of the wine with sherry. Sherry is a fortified wine that adds an absolutely delicious, savory kick to your soup. The flavor is similar to marsala.

Finishing touches

Once your soup has simmered and the flavors have melded, pick out and discard the spent herbs, and puree it. Bust out your immersion blender or pour into a blender. You want the soup to be completely smooth. Then, pour it back into your pot and stir in the heavy cream and lobster. You basically just want to warm those things through, so bring to a simmer and then serve immediately garnished with fresh chives.

Lobster bisque options

Obsessed with bisque but don't have lobster on hand? Although you'll be missing out on that characteristic lobster texture, you can totally substitute in shrimp or even a tender white fish like tilapia or cod. If you love seafood flavors in creamy soups, we highly recommend you give this crab bisque a try!

If you've made this recipe, we'd love to hear from you&mdashleave us a comment and rating down below!


Several years ago, guests clamored for a book with all the delicious recipes that Annie made and served on the schooner and so At Home, At Sea: Recipes from the Maine Windjammer J. & E. Riggin was published. Fast forward fourteen years and the book, sold out for several of them, have guests clamoring once again for that same book. We decided to give you what you want… a second edition!

At Home, At Sea has been printed as a second edition with the look and feel of the Sugar & Salt series. It will have the same fabulous recipes (along with Annie’s many variations that have been created since that first printing) that made this book sell out the first time around.

The recipes and stories in At Home, At Sea recreate life on a Maine windjammer – a week in a different world, a different century – with homemade, old-world food cooked with fire and passion. In these pages, you’ll find memories of the Age of Sail- the gleam of brass, the sound of the wind in the rigging, and the delicious smells of Maine cooking- baked bread from the woodstove, steamed lobster, hearty stews, and mouthwatering desserts – all from the galley of the Schooner J. & E. Riggin .

Chef Anne Mahle started working on windjammers as a mess cook, and quickly developed a passion for cooking. She has spent the last 30 years working and learning, graduation from mess cook to head cook on the windjammers to private chef on a Caribbean yacht. She further developed her skills as a sous chef to classically trained Swiss chef Hans Bucher and at the Culinary Institute of America. She currently owns and operates the Schooner J. & E. Riggin with her husband, Captain Jon Finger.

At Home, At Sea , the second edition features some of Annie’s most requested recipes and variations (over 260 recipes) that have been created over the years, including:

  • Buttermilk Pancakes
    • Blueberry
    • Apple Walnut
    • Banana
    • Pumpkin Oatmeal
    • Caramelized Onion
    • Roasted Red Pepper and Rosemary
    • Kalamata Olive and Roasted Garlic
    • Focaccia
    • Garlic Knots
    • Fennel and Raisin
    • Caraway and Currants
    • Whole Wheat and Flax Seed
    • Stilton and Chives
    • Maine Blueberry, Ricotta, and Lime
    • Cranberry, Almond, and Clementine
    • Bundtlings
    • Cake

    The book also includes sections on Social Responsibility, the History of the Riggin , Parenting at Sea, Baking Ethos, Lobster Bake, A Week at Sea, Happenings and Lore, Cooking on a Woodstove, and more.

    You can read more of Annie’s writing on her recipe and lifestyle blog – At Home & At Sea.


    Soup is Important: Lobster Bisque and more at Farmstead Table, Newton, MA

    Chef/Owner Chad Burns hails originally from Michigan, where he grew up farming, hunting, and foraging. So local (and unusual) sourcing is not only second nature to him, it’s part of his identity and that of his excellent restaurant, Farmstead Table. He’s also dedicated to earth-friendly practices, both in the food he prepares and the way he builds and runs his shop, right across the street from the Newton Center T station, just outside of Boston.

    His Lobster Bisque with juniper was originally intended to be a special, but it has developed such a loyal following that Chef Chad can’t take it off the menu. Besides, he tells us, it tickles him to make something this great out of water. In the preparation, he makes sure every bit of lobster goes into the bowl, making it worth the price. It’s a light bisque, getting its richness from concentrating the broth rather than overusing the dairy. Butter is there to bring out the lobster’s sweetness, which isn’t hard when the lobster is cooked to such perfect tenderness. And the juniper—which he forages himself—is as lovely an aromatic as it is surprising.

    Soup is important, Chef Chad says—if you can’t season a soup well, you won’t be able to season a steak. So he makes room on the menu for several, and changes them up often. In the summer, he’ll make a fresh corn chowder or a chilled borscht. His improvised green heirloom tomato gazpacho won first place at Allandale Farms’ heirloom tomato festival (he made both smooth and chunky preparations).

    This night, in addition to the Lobster Bisque, he offers us two vegetarian fall soups: Parsnip Soup with roasted hazelnuts and pomegranate reduction, and a Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Bisque with toasted pumpkin seeds and warming spices. Because my dining companion is vegetarian, and I’ve already scarfed down the Lobster Bisque, I (reluctantly) let her have the lion’s share of the parsnip I handle the sweet potato/squash potion. Clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice really do have a warming effect as I dip my spoon again and again in the not-too-sweet bowl. It’s like a dream of pie if pie dreamt of going savory, a dream I eagerly share if this is the result.

    That decision to give up my rights to the parsnips was not the brightest one I’ve ever made. First off, I love parsnips, and second, this bowl was (with no shade thrown to the other two) the first among equals. Parsnips from nearby Hadley, combined with celery root and onions, come together to make a truly perfect soup. The parsnips are sweet and incredibly fresh there’s a hint of tartness from the pomegranate reduction the roasted hazelnuts provide savory notes and crunch. This is smart, smart soupmaking.

    There are many other delights to be had at our rustic planked table, beneath the farm-style tin lights, among the mason jars that serve as water glasses: there’s Tom, the friendly bartender, who makes a first-class Aviation cocktail and convinces us to get an order of Brussels sprouts. He describes them, aptly, as “fried vegetable candy.” They appear and then disappear like magic. We’re also lucky to have arrived early enough that there are still popovers. They serve these at lunch, when they do a soup, salad, and popover special. Evening diners originally had to make due with whatever popovers had survived the lunch rush. Now they make a second batch for dinner, but it’s first come, first served, and I’d be happy to put an elbow in the eye of any patron getting between me and the last one. The excellent house-made spelt bread is ample compensation for the latecomer.

    The bright, whitewashed room is quiet, the music blissfully kept low, which will be a good thing for the Hangover Brunch planned for New Year’s Day. (One hopes there will be popovers.) There are only about a dozen or so tables, so reservations are recommended both for special events and evenings. Go and sample their wares, and their wisdom. I’ll end with two examples of the latter: Bartender Tom says: “We’re humans. We eat carbs. And butter.” And Chef Chad says: “It’s just food. It makes you happy.” Wise words indeed.


    Smoky Pumpkin Bisque

    (By Jolie Oree-Bailey, executive chef, Low Country Quisine, Dallas, Texas)

    By sauteing her soup vegetables in bacon fat, Chef Jolie Oree-Bailey brings a smokiness to her pumpkin bisque that adds flavor complexity and a cozy, comforting vibe. Combine that with the addition of heavy cream, and you end up with a luxurious supper that can more than withstand the cooler temperatures of late fall.

    • 3 slices bacon
    • 2 tbsps olive oil
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 15 oz can pumpkin purée
    • 2 tbsp seasoning of choice (Oree-Bailey uses A Dab A Do Ya ! seasoning)
    • 2.5 -3 cups warm chicken stock
    • .5 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 4 mini pumpkins, for serving
    1. Slice the tops off the pumpkins and remove the flesh and seeds.
    2. Preheat a medium saucepan over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Add bacon and saute until all of the fat has been rendered Remove the bacon and set aside on a paper towel to drain.
    3. Add olive oil and minced garlic to the saucepan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
    4. Whisk in pumpkin puree and seasoning blend. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes so that the puree can absorb the flavor of the bacon, garlic and seasoning.
    5. Add warm chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
    6. Whisk in the heavy cream and continue to simmer for 5-7 additional minutes.
    7. Ladle bisque into the mini pumpkins and garnish with crumbled bacon and a drizzle of cream.

    Lobster Rolls

    Welcome to June, folks! Summer is starting so bring out the grilling recipes. But wait – don’t forget about the refreshing cold recipes that hit the spot during this time, as well. I’m talking about the fruit salads, ice creams, and other chilled salads.

    This year, I’m adding a new recipe to my summer repertoire – Lobster Rolls. I was inspired by the lobster bisque I made earlier this year. I found that making lobster was much easier than I had imagined. No need to buy live lobsters and get frightened to death by them jumping from the pot, à la Julie & Julia. Nope. Lobster tails would work just as well. Plus, they were more easily available.

    Without further ado, let’s dive into this easy, refreshing, and flavorful Lobster Roll!

    What is a lobster roll?

    A lobster roll is a traditional food that comes from New England. It is made with fresh lobster meat and tossed with mayo or butter (depending on the region), celery, and lemon juice and served in a top-sliced, buttered bun.

    A lobster roll can be served hot (if made with butter) or cold (if made with mayo). I’ve had both and found that the refreshing, cold lobster roll is so perfect. You can really taste all the flavors and the richness of the lobster is tamed a bit.

    How to make these rolls

    This recipe for lobster rolls is one of the simplest you’ll find. No fancy ingredients or spices. That’s because we want the lobster flavor to shine here.

    Lobster vs Lobster Tail

    Typically, a lobster roll is made with the whole lobster. But because cooking a whole lobster is outside of my comfort zone (and I don’t know if I could find a whole lobster at my grocery store), I just use the lobster tail. Depending on the size of the tail, you can get enough meat for about 1 roll. Mine were on the small side so it took 4 tails to make 3 rolls.

    Assembling the rolls

    After the tails are cooked and cooled, I remove the meat and toss with the other ingredients. I let the mixture chill for 1 hour and then serve it up. You can let it sit for as long as 2 days before serving, if you want the make the mixture ahead of time.

    When serving, you want to use a toasted, buttered bun. To do this, butter the sides of the bun and then toast in a pan until golden brown. Then, simply load up the buns with the chilled lobster mixture and top with some fresh chives for added color.


    Watch the video: Βαλτί Αστακού (August 2022).