Very few things make me happier … to eat … than seafood. All kinds of seafood. Any kind of seafood … except those ribby chewy things that tastes like a tire.
Sushi. Crab Legs. Shrimp. Oysters. Calamari. Smoked Anything. … and Lobster.
And one of the best things I have tasted recently … maybe ever … is the Lobster Bisque served by a local restaurant.
Handmade … by the Little Not-So-Old Italian Lady who owns the place.
I buy it by the quart … right after I have a bowl of it, along with a toasted cheese sandwich … white mellow cheese on rye with grated onions.
It costs one arm and half a leg. And is worth every cent.
So in various conversations with a friend who is working her way toward opening a restaurant or catering service herself some day I mentioned the Soup … and how delicious it was.
Now lord knows I am not a Chef. Lived with one. No thank you very much.
But I make a mean pot of soup.
So … she said to herself … how hard can this be? And I set about learning the Secret Ingredients of the aforementioned Nectar of the Gods.
I was pretty sure that it must have started with a commercial soup base … like LeGout or something. So the next time I got the soup I casually mentioned how I had never seen something like that in a commercial base.
“Oh no,” bragged the LN-S-OIL. “I make everything totally from scratch here.”
One piece of the puzzle down … several to go.
Next time, I complemented her on the unique taste of it all … then said “But I am sensitive to the preservatives in Crab Meat. Isn’t this made with Crab Meat?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that.” she said. “But have no fear. I always wash all the Crab Meat before I put it in the soup.”
So although I was pretty sure that a lobster had indeed wandered through the mix at some point, he had not left much of his meat behind for the cause … leaving that task to some poor unfortunate crabs. Fake crabs if my taste buds served me well.
The pink color … tomato paste … obviously.
Any further questions on subsequent visits were met with less than informative answers. So I was on my own.
Creamy soup … cream base … and what to thicken it with? My usual cheat of instant potato flakes was out of the question. So I resorted to … reading the directions.
Unfortunately most of the online recipes included all kinds of spicy spices or vinegary ingredients. Not the taste I was looking for.
This was to be the thing I craved … which I use straight, on pasta, with shrimp, and over asparagus.
So the ingredients are currently sitting at scallions, butter, cream, fish/lobster stock, parsley, a flour paste of flour and butter for the thickening, tomato paste, and crab meat. Plus fresh ground pepper and sea salt. And wouldn’t a splash of cooking sherry or white wine make it all better?
But I digress.
So I set out to the store to get what I needed to augment my ingredients here at home.
Crab Meat was on a tremendous sale … so I got the real stuff instead of the fake stuff. Hope that doesn’t throw everything off too much.
And then I made the ultimate sacrifice. Well, I suppose technically the lobster made the ultimate sacrifice.
I am going to have lobster for dinner tonight.
For the shell … for the broth … of course. So I can make Lobster Bisque tomorrow. Why else?
I discovered a few years back how great the local supermarket was in the making of a great dinner. Pick lobsters. Have them steam them for you. Get potatoes to nuke. Get toppings for potatoes. Go to Salad Bar and assemble the dinner salad of choice.
Nuke Potatoes and Melt Butter at home.
Instant great dinner.
Going up to the Seafood Counter I saw that Lobsters were on sale too.
“May I help you?” said the gal behind the counter.
“Yes” I replied. “I would like to get a lobster for dinner and for the soup I plan to make.”
“Would you like to pick out one?” she asked.
Oh. Right. Like I want to be a murderer.
I’d look at them.
Look into his beady little eyes.
Feel sorry for him.
Take him home.
Get him his own fish tank …
“No, thanks” I said. “You just pick. I’ll be back in a few.”
Let her be the mass murderer.
And I headed off to do the rest of my shopping … trying real hard not to think of any struggling crustacean pleading for his life.
And now I sit here at home.
The red potatoes are nuked. The butter is melted. The salad is served. And the lobster is still hot.
It’s the least I can do for the cause.