Day 3 of Living Water-Less

I finally pushed H to shower at our friend’s place yesterday. He said it’s just not a french thing to ask someone such favor. I said, it’s an Asian thing to shower regularly, even if it’s not a french thing to be clean. *smirk* Anyway, he and E ended sharing 3 bottles of beer and a boudin noir (a really, really good spanish boudin noir), while we women chatted needlessly. We didn’t accept the offer to lunch-in, that would be crossing too many lines at once. And I kinda want to shake my legs and enjoy some sun.

But even after repeated calls the past few days, the promised water truck is nowhere to be seen and I refuse to be defeated and turn moody. Besides I managed to snag some ingredients out of the ordinary. I want to cook something. I want to whip up a storm in the kitchen! And why shouldn’t I, right? Even if the dirty dishes are mounting. So what?

So.. I decided to experiment cooking lobster bisque. Yeah, uh-huh. Lobster. Tonight is the night.

This is the supposedly frozen lobster meat. But those who had tried fish cake or Thot Man Pla (Thai Fish Cake) would understand when I say the texture is more like lobster cake than real lobster. Nevertheless, the meat tastes much better than crab stick. And the soup turns out okay, more than okay in fact. For 3.5 USD for a pack of 3 lobster cake, I get a very tasty lobster bisque. Well, as much as this can be called lobster bisque. For one, H said the colour is not fiery enough. Probably because I added the cream too vigorously.

Do note that this soup is very filling, could be because of the lobster cake or the cream. Or both. We thought we saved some room for dessert, but after 10 mins, we couldn’t possibly eat anything else.

Mon coeur, you can write this recipe in your book.” said H, after he licked his bowl and spoon clean.
“Yeah, so do you like it?”
“Yes, for Angola, this is more than okay. But ask my mom to get you fresh lobster. I’m sure your soup will taste much better.. ”

LOBSTER (CAKE) BISQUE
(inspired by Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain)
serve 3-4

3 lobster cake (see my note above), sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp OO
4-5 medium to large shallots, sliced
1 large garlic clove, diced
1 bouquet garni
3 cups water
1/2 cup cream – I have adjusted the quantity
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp paprika paste
1 cube shrimp/crayfish/prawn bouillon, optional
1 celery stick, chopped
1 leeks, white parts only, sliced
a dash or two of cognac
salt
pepper
dashes of tabasco, optional

  • In a non-stick pot, melt the butter and brown the sliced lobster cake, about 3-4 mins. Remove several pieces and set aside for garnishing later.
  • Add the OO into the pot, together with the shallots, garlic, celery and leeks. Cook until they turn soft, then add the tomato and paprika paste. Mix well and let it cook for about a minute or two.
  • Remove the pot from fire and add the cognac, while scraping the bottom of the pan to get the delicious grits.
  • Return back to fire and add water and the bouquet garni, season with salt, pepper. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for about 20 mins or so.
  • Remove the pot from heat, remove the bouquet garni, and using immersion blender, pure the soup into your desired consistency.
  • Add the cream and let it continue cook till the soup thickens. Taste and adjust. I added the shrimp/crayfish/prawn bouillon to get an extra seafood-y taste. You can skip this if you want.
  • Ladle into shallow bowl and garnish with the other lobster cake pieces. Add some tabasco for an extra zinggg..

Note: if you’re using real lobsters, cut them in joints and do exactly the same way with the lobster cake. Brown them before finally boiling them in water. Remove with slotted spoon and you can serve the lobster in tact or remove the meat.

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