Bisque… don’t be afraid!

Today was a busy day.  Lots of errands, school for the kiddo, and work in the studio.  I knew I was going to have to make a snap decision in the grocery store of what to fix for dinner.  Wow am I happy I did!

Simple Seafood Bisque

Simple Seafood Bisque

I took a quick pass by the seafood (I always do)- and they had precooked snow crab clusters on sale.  Perfect!  I wasn’t sure when Laurie would get home so I figured I would keep water on to simmer in our large dutch oven and when she got home pop it up to a boil.  The best part?  After enjoying some steamed crab I would make SEAFOOD BISQUE for Laurie and Owen to take for lunch the next day.

If you think bisque is hard, it’s not.  It comes together easily when you take your time and keep stirring.  Best of all, you eek every bit of flavor out of the seafood you buy.

I already knew we had some frozen tilapia filets in the freezer and some precooked frozen shrimp.  So here was the procedure for making the bisque you see here:

2 pounds snow crab clusters (already cooked)

18 precooked frozen shrimp (thawed)

2 tilapia filets or other white fish (fresh or flash frozen/thawed)

half & half (you know, light cream)

organic beef stock (you can use chicken stock, but I used what was open)

chopped onion (about 1/2 cup)

1/3 cup flour + salt and pepper

1/2 oz. port wine (or a hearty red wine… or white!  It’ll all work)

Old Bay seasoning

tsp. fresh parsley leaves

tsp. fresh rosemary leaves chopped

Steam the crab clusters until they’re hot and serve —  keep the water in the pan.  Reserve one cluster from the dinner and set the meat from that aside in a bowl.  As your family eats through the crab meat make sure you keep all of the shells!  I also kept the shells from the shrimp after I thawed those.  Put all of those scraps into the steam water and bring it to a boil.  Loosely cover and stir occasionally- we’re drawing all the flavor out of those scraps.  After 10-15 minutes you can strain the water (now seafood broth) into a bowl- discard the shells and set the hot broth aside.

Using the same pan again melt a tablespoon or so of butter over medium heat and saute the onions until they’re transluscent.  Meanwhile coat the uncooked fish in the flour along with some salt and pepper.  Push the onions in the pan off to the sides and lay the fish into the pan flat.  Cook until just done on one side (4-5 minutes), then flip.  Add a bit more butter if necessary.  Don’t overcook the fish, it will finish cooking in the soup.  Remove the fish and set aside.  Now you’ll have some sticky flour in the pan with the onions.  Turn the heat up to medium high and add some of the seafood broth – stir until it bubbles.  When streaks show on the bottom of the pan add more broth and continue stirring.  You can add in the remaining flour as you stir the broth.  What you’re doing here is thickening the roux and reducing the liquid as you go.  Add salt, pepper and some Old Bay seasoning.  Then begin adding the beef stock.  Keep stirring!  When you have the amount of liquid you desire add the port wine.  Keep that heat medium high and keep stirring.  Finally, begin introducing the half & half a little at a time- keep stirring!  When you have the amount of liquid you want add in the crab meat, shrimp and fish.  Gently break the fish into large chunks.  When you stir be gentle, you don’t want to break up all of the fish.  Stir in the parsley and rosemary and turn off the heat.

You see in the photo I like to add a little more Old Bay to my own bowl.  Get the crackers and enjoy!  ~TH~

Soups on!

Soup’s on!


9 thoughts on “Bisque… don’t be afraid!

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