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Cooking with Rebecca Bent

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Crabster Bisque

I like Bisques and have recently become a fan of using a blend of lobster and crabmeat. I am hoping to start a trend and maybe after trying this simple bisque, you'll give it a try and share this recipe with all your friends. And if you are set on adding a pinch of Old Bay instead of nutmeg, well go ahead.

Roasted Vegetable Crabster Bisque
makes 4 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 cup diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 baked potato broken up with your hands
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (or milk for lower fat)
½ cup pureed roasted butternut squash
1 cup roasted cauliflower
½ pound chopped lobster meat
½ pound claw crabmeat (it's has the deepest flavor)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Crème fraiche

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook until soften, about 7 minutes, stirring every so often. Add in the tomatoes, potatoes, broth, and cream, pureed veggies, roasted cauliflower and puree it with an immersion blender. Let the soup simmer slowly for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and place transfer the lobster meat and claw crabmeat into the soup and puree it thoroughly with an immersion blender. And be very careful when blending as the soup is hot! See note below about consistency.

Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and boil the soup for another 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper, and add a pinch of nutmeg. Serve immediately with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Note: I like my soup very smooth which requires me to blend it for at least 2 minutes. But this is up to you. If you like it chunky, don't blend up the lobster and crabmeat.


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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shrimp vs Lobster: which one do you serve?

I love cooking competitions, I really do. It is somewhat of a tradition in my family and has expanded over the years. When I was really little we used to gather down at the shore and cook up different varieties of meals and see which was the tastiest. By far the hardest competition to judge was always between shrimp and lobster. And this year I decided I was going to take this competition beyond my own doorstep to really learn the truth. So as the weather turns warm, start up a little competition in your house and report back the results. Also, tell me where you live and then where you are originally from, because I have a theory!

To get you started here are two simple recipes and best of luck!

Herb-Stuffed Shrimp
makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, rinsed and patted dry
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and patted dry
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying
12 jumbo shrimp, the larger the better, deveined and butterflied, but shells on
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small bowl combine the basil, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the 2 tablespoons softened butter and mix until a paste is formed.

Stuff the herb butter paste between the shrimp shells and meat.

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes per side, or until the meat turns opaque. Serve immediately, dribbled with the lemon juice.

Butter Broiled Lobster Tails
makes 2 servings

2 large lobster tails, from a 1½-to 2½-pound lobster
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional melted butter for serving
1 teaspoon sea salt

With a pair of scissors, cut down the top center of the lobster shell. Gently pull out the meat, rinse the shell, and set it aside. With the scissors, carefully butterfly the tail. Place on a sheet pan with the opening facing up, and brush generously with butter. (I also like to skewer the tail so it won't curl) Heat the broiler and place the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Broiling time will vary: 1½ pound lobsters need 10 minutes; 1¾ pounds need 11 minutes; 2 pounds need 13 minutes; and 2½ pounds need 17 minutes.

Meanwhile boil the shell to clean it.

Remove the lobster and place the meat back into the boiled shell opening to serve, with more melted butter and sea salt.

You can also broil the meat in the shell if you prefer. Cooking time is the same.


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