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Oct 22, 2009 07:21 AM

what's the point of flambe when making lobster bisque?

i read in this site many versions of making lobster bisque.
one curiosity came to my mind. it is that why people flambe when making lobster bisque?
ok! some recommned add no alcohl into the bisque or just little drop. but if i insist to add a good amount of alchol such as brandy or shery wine, people suggest falmbeing it first or totally evaporating the alcohle and futher any of liquid, making it probably syrupy consistency before adding any liquid such as heavy cream and cooking liquid i preserved from the steaming or lighly boiling the lobster or crab.
what kinds of diffrence the regimen brings out? i mean in such cases of adding alcohle, the diffrence between the bisque w/o flambe or w/ flambe.

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  1. In general, the point of flaming is usually to burn away the alcohol and concentrate the flavor bases of whatever liquor, wine, or spirits you are using so they will complement the ingredients. If you are using a very small amount, it's not necessay, but if you are using more than a spoonful and don't flambe, the dish you are making will be overpowered by the taste of alcohol.

    1. flambe is only for quickly evaporating the alcohol. why are you reducing the liquor to such an extent that it is syrupy? shells, stock, tomato, aromatics. cook. strain. add cream, salt, pepper, sherry. taste. season as needed. that's it.

      there should not be a "good amount" of any booze in bisque, unless you're making gallons of the stuff. it's only added to complement the flavors, it's not something you should be able to pick out on your palate when sipping the bisque.

      1. The beginning of a great lobster bisque is to saute the shells (make sure you remove the digestive sack from the upper body portion by the way) in a bit of oil, and when the shells are just beginning to shrink and color, you add a measure of brandy... from a small glass off the heat... and it will effectively deglaze the pot and add flavor to the stock you make. No need to flambe, the heat from the pot will very quickly evaporate the alcohol and just leave the flavor behind!

        1. There are certain flavor compounds in shellfish that are released only in alcohol, hence, the use of Brandy or other alcohol to flambe shellfish..

          I always flambe Shrimp when sauteeing. There is a difference. I learned this technique from something written by Christopher Kimball of Cooks Illustrated.

          Only a few TBS are needed. More can be added for flavor.

          Try it, it really works!