Sarp Kizir, host of the Roughchop Ottawa Podcast, is Ottawa’s riotous merry-making everywhere culture man. He is a relevant voice of discovery and reclamation.
When I first started as a food writer in Ottawa, I wrote about the city’s ‘panini and salad district’. I was working in a nondescript office building in the downtown core along Bank St. and it was the early 2010’s. Along with my nondescript building, was a pretty nondescript food scene in the area. Between Sparks, Somerset, Elgin and Bay you knew what to expect when lunchtime rolled along. You knew that a bunch of boutique salad places had opened up and they were all the rage. You knew that there would no shortage of shawarma and that the biggest lineups were in front of the hot dog stands and chip trucks. All that to say, along with the food scene in the downtown core, my food writing has come a really long way as well. As Ottawa grows, so do we.
Today, my friends, I present to you a dish that proceeds with grandeur but delivers humble simplicity with its modest requirements. Today you will be navigating your way through calm and cool waters on a journey that will take your tastes buds where they need to go. Chardonnay will be your compass and lobster will be your destination. The bottle I’m referring to is a 2016 Arooyo Seco Monteray Chardonnay by J. Lohr. One of the more affordable Californian vintages at $19.95 that will be as buttery as the lobster you pluck from your favourite fish mongers counter. A rich and silky lobster bisque is what we will be working on and let me tell you, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
- 2 medium size cooked lobsters. The cheaper the better.
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3 bay leaves
Place lobsters, salt and bay leaves in a big enough pot and cover with water. Place lid on pot and bring to a boil. Let the lobsters boil for a good hour or so. The more they boil the more flavourful the bisque will be. Don’t worry about the meat because you will remove the meat from the shells about 15 minutes into the cooking process. The meat can be used later for lobster rolls, lobster salad or as a garnish. YUM!!!!
Okay, so you’ve removed the lobster meat from the shells and now you want to put the shells back into the pot to let the stock form and mature some more. Don’t forget to include the entire mess you made on the cutting board you used to separate he meat from the shells. That is all going back into the stock to add more flavour. Get messy, don’t try to get it right, I’m right here with you and will make sure you don’t fall. Now that the stock is made, we can work on making the bisque.
- 4 cups Lobster stock
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1tsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups of pomodoro
- 1 cup of chopped leaks
- 1 cup of chopped onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- half cup of rice
- 2 ounces of Brandy or Pastis
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
In a separate pot, sautée the onions, leeks and garlic until somewhat translucent and you can smell it in your kitchen. Add the tomato sauce and pomodoro and stir well.
Once initial ingredients are mixed well, add a pinch of salt and all the spices. Stir until properly combined and then add the lobster stock and the Brandy. Cook for an additional 30 minutes until liquid is reduced by 1/3rd.
Add rice and then allow the bisque to simmer until rice is cooked. Once rice is soft and cooked, you may blend the bisque to your desired texture. The smoother, the silkier the better.
Once bisque is ready to serve, add a splash of half and half cream or heavy whipped cream to garnish as it looks in the pics, and also add lobster meat if you desire.
Remember you can always send me a direct message to talk to me about cooking. Follow me on social media @roughchopottawa and I will be there to answer any questions you have. Happy cooking everyone!
Looking for more recipe ideas? “Hello My Name Is…” was a weekly summer column by Apt613 contributor She Who Must Be Obeyed. Every week stars one key seasonal ingredient in a new and original recipe. For your bookmarks, 15 of those recipes are found here. Happy cooking and bon appetit!