A delicious creamy seafood bisque with lumps of crabmeat and shrimp flavored with a kick of cayenne pepper and a hint of sherry.
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When I received a request for a seafood bisque recipe I thought of the shrimp bisque I usually order at one of my favorite restaurants, but that's it... I have never eaten the stuff anywhere else and not until I became an adult. True confession. So I called my Mama and asked her why she never made a seafood bisque and while laughing she said, "I don't know, I guess we were so satisfied with our gumbo we didn't want anything else."
It's like, "Gumbo ... the perfect food!"
She did say that there is such a thing as crawfish bisque. It is a time-consuming task where the heads of the crawfish are stuffed with a crawfish stuffing and served in a sauce. I do remember a good friend of mine (Hi, Becky!) from Gueydan, Louisiana, saying that her family gets together and makes this special dish every Good Friday for their large family gathering. Sounds like it's worth the effort.
So with no family recipe to go by I started looking at different bisque recipes. I asked a friend about some particulars of her bisque and with some trial and error and the help of my daughter and son-by-love as taste-testers this is what we came up with:Print
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces uncooked Louisiana shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons butter
2 rounded tablespoons chopped green onion
2 rounded tablespoons chopped celery
1-2 cloves crushed, pressed
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup seafood stock
1-½ cups milk
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces fresh lump crab meat
2 tablespoons sherry
Chop the shrimp into bitesize pieces.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy pot like a dutch oven and cook shrimp for 3 minutes while stirring until just cooked and set aside in a small bowl.
In the same heavy pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter then add green onion, celery, and garlic sauteeing until tender.
Next, stir in flour to vegetables and cook for one minute.
Slowly add the stock and milk into the flour and vegetable mixture stirring until well blended and cook on medium heat while stirring until bisque is thickened.
Add salt, pepper, and tomato paste and stir until paste is dissolved into the sauce. Stir heavy cream in and enjoy the swirls until there are no more. Next, add the crab meat (after passing your fingers through the meat to make sure there are no shells) and cook for 5 minutes. Now, stir in the cooked shrimp and sherry and bring bisque to a simmer then turn the heat off. Serve hot.
Do not overcook the shrimp or they will become tough. Do not substitute or leave out the real sherry which crowns the dish with exceptional flavor!
Now, this is the pretty part. Stir heavy cream in and enjoy the swirls until there are no more. A bit of art for your entertainment.
Before adding the crab meat pass your fingers through the meat to make sure there are no shells. Do not substitute or leave out the real sherry. It crowns this dish! Serve hot.
Some recipes call for the bisque to be blended in a blender or food processor before serving, but I like the thinner texture of the sauce with the lumps of seafood to bite into.
This was such a fun and challenging project. I believe it is better than my favorite restaurant bisque. Can't wait to make some for my Mama, but I have a feeling it won't take the place that gumbo has in her heart.
A big thank you to my Facebook friend who requested this recipe. I hope you enjoy making this bisque next time you get to escape to the beach with your bride.
I enjoy reading your comments so feel free to send them to me. Thanks!
"Character is what you are in the dark." Dwight L. Moody