Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shrimp Bisque

We love shrimp and eat plenty of it during Lent but we still have Wednesdays and Fridays to contend with as fasting days. I saw Ina Garten making this super simple recipe the other day and posted it here for myself to remember to make it. I love the fact it has leeks in it and its wasy less fussy than my usual recipe.


  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (3 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (3 cloves)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place the shrimp shells and seafood stock in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the stock. Add enough water to make 3 3/4 cups.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the leeks are tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the cayenne pepper and shrimp and cook over medium to low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Cognac and cook for 1 minute, then the sherry and cook for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the shrimp and leeks to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.
In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the half-and-half and cook, stirring with a whisk, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pureed shrimp, the stock, tomato paste, salt, and pepper and

P.S. A few notes after making this tonight. I do not have nor do I have access to fish or seafood stock. I did this instead:
 Bring a quart of water, a whole unpeeled onion halved, 2 cloves of garlic crushed (papers and all)  3 stalks of celery and the shells from the shrimps. Salt and pepper. Simmer till the onion is tender then strain the broth. It should have a nice pinkish color and taste like heaven. Viola! Seafood broth. I buzzed the remaining stuff before adding the half and half. I did not like the stringy quality of the leeks but it buzzed into liquid velvet.

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