An Elegant Corn Soup with Lobster

An Elegant Corn Soup with Lobster

This lesson’s dish is a cream of corn soup with poached lobster and a fines herbes salad. This is a classic, simple soup that is quite complex to make. However, the beauty of the dish comes from the elegance and simplicity of the finished product. This lesson’s soup is a thick soup, meaning it has a 2-to-1 ratio of liquids to solids.

Corn Bisque with Poached Lobster and Fines Herbes

Initial Steps

The first step in this recipe is to break down the corn. Remove the husks and use a towel to gently rub the silk off the corn. Then, gently shave the kernels off the corn using a vegetable knife. Next, milk the corn and discard the husks. Once it is ready, put the corn in a bowl.

To make corn stock, cut the cobs crosswise in half or in thirds. Julienne the onions. Place the corn cobs and a mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery in a pot with cold water. Let it simmer for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to cook the lobster, boil two gallons of water in a pot. Add two ounces of salt to the water. Squeeze 1 lemon and drop it in the water. Drop the lobster in and cook it for 7½ minutes. At that point, the lobster will be 90 percent cooked. Remove from water and set aside at room temperature.

For the soup, melt butter in a pan. Add the julienned onions, shaved corn, and thyme stems. (Reserve about two and a half cups of the shaved corn for garnish.)

Cook until the onions are very soft. Remove from the heat and set aside while you wait for the stock to finish.

Preparing the Lobster

To prepare the lobster, wait for it to cool. Take off the claws and separate the head and the tail. Remove the elastic bands to work on the claws. Separate the arms from the claws. Remove the feather joint from each claw.

There are two ways to remove meat from the claws: using scissors or a lobster opener. Cut the shell on the outside, and then flip it over and do the same across the ridge. Pull the two halves apart and pull the claw meat out.

The arms are best prepared with scissors. To prepare the tail, straighten it and squeeze it to break the connection between the exoskeleton and the meat. Peel off each segment, cut the belly on each side, and take the whole tail out.

Inside the head, there will be a tomalley, which can be used in sauces or garnishing. Additionally, the legs will contain a small amount of meat, which you can remove with a rolling pin.
Cut the tail in half and remove the large intestine. Then, cut the tail up at each compartment.

Cut each claw in half, and then down to bite-size segments. The fingers are a different texture from the hand of the claw, so keep the fingers separate from the hand.

Final Steps

Once the stock has simmered for 35 minutes, strain the stock into an empty pot. Heat up the corn and onion mixture, add the stock, and simmer for 25 minutes.

At the 25-‑minute mark, season lightly with salt. In two batches, transfer to a blender (use a ladle to transfer the vegetables first so they do not splash). Do not fill the blender more than halfway when working with hot soup.

Create two batches. The first batch will be thicker. Blend for two minutes, slowly increasing the blender speed to high. Check the consistency by using a ladle and rubbing your finger across it. Blend for one more minute, and then strain it into a pot, using the ladle to push particles through.

Blend the remaining soup, using the same process. Bring the soup back up to a simmer. Check its thickness and seasoning.

Add half a cup of cream, and adjust the seasoning as needed while letting the soup return to a simmer.

Next, put butter in small frying pan. Add a bit of water to keep the temperature low for cooking lobster. Add the reserved corn and lobster. Season this with salt and Espelette pepper.

Make the fines herbes salad. This uses non-resinous herbs: tarragon, parsley, chervil, and chives. Put equal parts in a small bowl. Add salt and olive oil, and then mix. This will be a garnish on the soup.

Once the lobster is ready, plate it using a slotted spoon. Top with the fines herbes salad. Put the soup in a glass gravy boat, and then pour an appropriate amount around the lobster.

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