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lobster bisque without killing the lobsters?

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tmd218 Feb 7, 2008 03:04 PM

Okay, I would love to make some lobster bisque for Valentine's day dinner, but I am too squeamish to kill the lobsters. I am also too squeamish (and I don't think it is very nice) to dump them alive into the pot. Any ideas?

Should I just go with a creamy crab bisque or a she-crab soup maybe? Or can I get away with using frozen lobster tails? I will be making the soup two days in advance if that helps (or hurts).

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    ATaleOfFiction RE: tmd218 Feb 7, 2008 03:41 PM

    You could probably just get the place to steam the lobster for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ATaleOfFiction
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      aurora50 RE: ATaleOfFiction Feb 7, 2008 03:46 PM

      That's what I was going to say. A lot of grocery stores that have lobster tanks will gladly steam the lobster for you - just call and ask.

      1. re: aurora50
        Veggo RE: aurora50 Feb 7, 2008 04:03 PM

        And you need the carcasses to make the stock, frozen tails simply won't do.

    2. Richard 16 RE: tmd218 Feb 7, 2008 06:59 PM

      Find a place that sells lobster stock or lobster base. I''ve never used a pre-made (I make my own) but here's one online site:

      http://www.scandinavianspice.com/DW_l...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Richard 16
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        Snowflake RE: Richard 16 Feb 8, 2008 05:00 AM

        Here is a good way to trick yourself: Put the live lobsters (still in the bag) in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes while you are bring the water to a boil. By the time the pot is ready, your lobsters will be sightly numb and won't be moving around so you can dump them into the pot with less guilt.
        As others have said that you really need the whole body for a good bisque and even having them steamed at the fish monger might cause you to loose out on some flavor during the steaming at home process.

        If you want to go with a easier more humane recipe and have the lobsters steamed for you, you can use this recipe for lobster stew:
        http://www.summershackrestaurant.com/...

      2. Katie Nell RE: tmd218 Feb 8, 2008 05:45 AM

        You could try this recipe for Funwithfood's Phantom Lobster Bisque: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31173... It's fabulous and only uses lobster soup base, so it's inexpensive as well as tasty! I ordered both the lobster base and the chicken base, and they are both great. I use the chicken in all kinds of dishes. I would think you might be able to substitute other quality soup bases, if you don't want to mail order.

        1. grampart RE: tmd218 Feb 8, 2008 05:49 AM

          http://photos15.flickr.com/22175929_e...

          1 Reply
          1. re: grampart
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            morwen RE: grampart Feb 8, 2008 10:43 AM

            *chuckle!!* But probably won't encourage the OP to drop a live one head first into the pot! The link jules127 posted is very similar to the way I was taught to prepare live soft shell crabs. Having heard arguments pro & con for years now I'm convinced that dropping them head first into a big pot of water at the rolling boil is as humane as any method. I do make sure that the water returns to that rolling boil before dropping a second one in.

          2. j
            jules127 RE: tmd218 Feb 8, 2008 08:48 AM

            Killing them is supposedly the most humane way....

            http://cooking-lobster.com/cooking-lo...

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              Billow Fair RE: tmd218 Feb 8, 2008 09:47 AM

              Lobsters are first cousins to cockroaches, so it doesn't bother me to drop them into a pot. I have heard (tho' I've not done it) that you can place them in a sink half full of cold water and let hot water run in slowly...and they just sort of drift off. They are dead before the water gets warm to the touch, and you can transfer them to the pot. Since you didn't ask, my favorite way to cook them is one Alton Brown suggests in his first cookbook: Bring about 1 1/2 inches of water to boil in a stockpot with some potatoes in the bottom, throw in the lobster (icy cold or coma-sleepy warm) and steam them. It saves all the flavor for your bisque, and you get some boiled potaotes to serve alongside.

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