Monthly Archive for April, 2010

Lobster Bisque from Down East

The name “bisque” came later than the soup, which was originally  just called plain thick lobster soup.

Lobster Bisque Ingredients

5 cups fish stock or chicken stock lobsterbsique 300x277 Lobster Bisque from Down East
2/3 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup butter
3 celery stalks, scraped and cut into fine strips
2 carrots, scraped and cut into fine strips
1 leek, trimmed and sliced fine
1 onion, sliced thin and divided into rings
2 to 2 1/2 pounds lobster, 1 large or two small
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and cayenne
3 tablespoons minced parsley

Makes 8 Servings

Boil stock with rice for 45 minutes. Heat half of the butter in a large kettle, add the vegetables, and stir over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Split lobsters, take out sac and intestinal vein, and arrange lobster halves cut side down on the vegetables. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes. Turn lobster halves and stir with the the vegetables until shells are bright red. Add wine and brandy, cover, and simmer for 7 minutes. Take out lobster, remove meat from shells, and set aside.

Pound the shells with a mallet and return them to the kettle with the stock and rice. Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to 4 cups. Strain off the liquid, set it over medium heat, and whip in the cream and remaining 1/4 cup butter. Dice lobster meat and add it to the bisque. Add seasoning to taste and cook until lobster  is heated through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve in warmed soup cups.

Note: At the season of the year when lobster shells are very soft , or if chicken lobsters are used, the shells can be crushed to a paste and pureed a blender to add color and flavor to the bisque.

Love lobster bisque? Have fresh lobster bisque shipped to you or someone special. A Down East Favorite.

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Shipping Live Lobsters. Done Right

Shipping live lobsters requires three key ingredients: 1. Quality Hard-Shell Live Lobsters; 2. Quality Packaging; and 3. Experienced Delivery Company. Done right, live lobsters should be delivered alive and in perfect condition no matter how far they travel.

1. Quality Live Lobsters
Live Lobsters vary greatly in quality and price. For lobsters to arrive live and kicking, the lobsters must be lively, healthy and hard-shell. When lobsters shed their old shells, there are new, softer shells underneath. A hard shell lobster is a lobster that has not recently molted, or shed its shell. Hard-shell lobsters are hardier and can withstand the rigors of overnight shipping. You are also guaranteed more lobster meat from claw to tail with a hard-shell live lobster. Fresh caught lobsters should also be “seasoned” in cold seawater holding tanks for a few days to adjust them to a cool shipping temperature.

2. Live Lobsters Packed Rightshipping box only Shipping Live Lobsters. Done Right
Whether your lobsters are shipped to Boston, Massachusetts, or Flagstaff, Arizona, live lobsters should be packed right to ensure they are kept cold and moist. Only extra thick, insulated coolers should be used with either seawater soaked newspaper or rock seaweed. Coolers should be a minimum of 1 1/2 inch thick and a thirsty pad should be placed on the bottom to hold in any liquid.These containers provide temperature protection for your lobster until they reach their destination. Live lobsters should also be surrounded with icy-cold gel packs. Lobster should not be shipped with frozen ice or dry ice as this can be lethal. Finally, live lobsters should be packed with extra care to avoid any shifting and to withstand rough handling that could potentially crack or crush the lobster’s shells. Coolers should be packed in corrugated boxes and then shipped overnight to ensure freshness.

3. Live Lobster Shipped Right
Only shipping companies who have a reliable track record in shipping perishable seafood should be used. Live lobsters should always be shipped overnight to ensure your the shortest lead times. Here at Lobsteranywhere.com we have shipped thousands of lobsters. They almost always arrive on time, alive and kicking.

Our experience tells us there are two reasons that potentially cause problems.
Reason # 1: Invalid or incomplete shipping address. Apartment numbers, Suite number, or other crucial information our shippers need is missing
or or incorrect.
Reason # 2: The recipients are not home or the business is closed. When you order lobsters as a gift you should alert the recipient that a perishable package is on the way and plan accordingly.

Since 1999 LobsterAnywhere.com has shipped live lobster coast-to-coast and to as far away places as North Pole, Alaska and Haleiwa, Hawaii. Our lobsters are always shipped overnight by FedEx. We have built our reputation on prompt, reliable service. When it comes to overnight shipping of fresh seafood, we’ve been doing it longer and better than just about anybody. All orders are packed with care to preserve freshness and assure that your lobster dinner arrives in perfect condition. Lobster Lovers from across the USA have enjoyed the world’s best lobster shipped direct. LobsterAnywhere guarantees it!

Test the waters and give them a try! Get $8 off your first order. Enter code (FLYLOB) at online checkout. You select the exact day of delivery and LobsterAnywhere.com does the rest. Click Here and get cracking now, or call anytime at 1.888.85.MAINE.

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Fresh Mussels

Mussels grow in waters around the world. Here in New England you’ll find the Northern Blue Mussel, also called P.E.I. mussels (from Prince Edward Island, CA).  A long kept secret of New England fisherman, the black mussel continues to gain in popularity as a delicious alternative to the traditional steamed clam. Mussels are a bivalve shellfish that measures from two to three inches in length. The shell is primarily a blackish color with bluish highlights. Best enjoyed steamed with a little melted garlic butter.  Fresh mussels are also great in soups, sauces and pastas.

How can you tell the difference  between wild and cultured mussels? Wild mussels, which are a dull bluish color with white erosion marks, usually have seaweed or barnacles attached. Cultured mussels have shiny bluish-black shells, free of barnacles and seaweed. What’s more, with cultivated mussels there is really no need to scrub the mussel with a stiff brush or remove the beard (bysssal threads) of the clams.

Mussels give you muscles! A 6 oz portion of cooked blue mussels contains 40g of protein and only 294 calories. An equal portion of steak contains four times more calories and eighteen times more fat. Fresh mussels are also rich in iron, manganese, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, vitamins C and B12 and more essential Omega-3 fatty acids than any other shellfish.

Buy Fresh Mussels

Buy your fresh mussels from a busy fish market with lots of turnover. Look for the tag to see when and where the mussels were harvested. Shellfish purveyors are required by law to keep all tags for 90 days. Don’t hesitate to ask for the tag. If the tag is not available don’t buy the mussels!

You should always buy fresh mussels in a mesh bag. Some seafood markets will sell them in plastic bags- stay clear from these mussels! Mussels need to breathe (see storing mussels below). Take a whiff.

Mussels should smell clean and briny like the ocean. Never buy mussels that are cracked, chipped or broken. If any mussels are open, test them to make sure they’re alive. If gaping slightly, they should close if you tap on the shell. If any don’t close, discard them.

There are approximately 12-15 mussels per pound. Serve a ½ pound of mussels per person as a first course and 1 ½ to 3/4 lbs as a main course.

Storing Fresh Mussels

You can safely refrigerate mussels for 4-6 days. To store live mussels in the shell, refrigerate in a shallow bowl in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent them from drying out.  DO NOT store mussels in a plastic bag or air tight container. They will suffocate! Also avoid letting them sit in fresh water. The less mussels are disturbed, the longer they will remain alive; therefore, the time to clean them is just before cooking.

Mussels are a cinch to eat. All you need is a small fork and simply remove the meat from the shell,  and dip the meat in the broth. Enjoy with your favorite wine! Try a Pinot Blanc or Muscadet to bring out their flavor. Visit our friends at East Coast Gourmet for a classic recipe for steaming mussels.

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Lobster Bake

If you don’t live on the beach, no problem! Here is a simple recipe for a lobster bake at home.

Lobster Bake Ingredients

5 lbs. seaweed
4 sm. onions
4 sm. red potatoes
4 (1 1/2 lbs. ea.) Live Lobsters
4 ears sweet corn, shucked except the innermost leaves
2 lbs. mussels
2 cups water

Lobster Bake Instructions
Place a one-inch layer of seaweed (a layer of crumpled aluminum foil to raise lobsters off the bottom of pan will do) in a 16 x 12 roasting pan. Parboil onions and potatoes. Place lobsters on seaweed and arrange the corn and onions between the lobsters and the sides of the pan. Place clams, mussels and potatoes over the lobsters, keeping top level. Layer with the balance of the seaweed and add water to the pan. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and place on the stove or a preheated grill to cook. Start timing when you first see steam. Cook, covered , for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, but do not uncover for five minutes. Serve your lobster bake with clarified butter, clam broth and coleslaw. 

Do you live in the New England area and want to have a professional put on a fabulous Lobster Bake. Click here to learn more!

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