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Prawn bisque


maremosso
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After shelling your prawns, toss the shells into a stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover everything, and *SLOWLY* bring to a simmer, skimming any nasties that come to the top. Add some rough-chopped leeks, carrots, and celery, simmer for about 45 minutes, ladle it through a mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a container big enough to hold it. If you just dump the the stockpot into the sieve, you risk clouding up your stock.

Edited by fryguy (log)
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I like fryguy's recipe for sheer simplicity, but it may be a little thin. Other recipes would add a small amount of heavy cream at the end, and some would thicken with a bit of flour, or two egg yolks whisked into the cream.

Edited: to say that I just realised that the above turns a stock into a bisque, and there is a lot of personal preference at this stage...

Edited by jayt90 (log)
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i like to saute the shells first in some butter, to extract the flavor into the fat. i think that carries the flavor through the stock really well, but then, i like everything better with a little butter.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I would go with chezcherie's method of of first sauteing the shells in a little

butter and/or oil. I would also, if whole shrimp are availible, add the heads

with the shells for a richer flavor.

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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I would assume the shells have already been cooked because, of course, one always cooks prawn in their shells, n'est ce pas?

So sauteeing them in butter would just add stuff would have to skim from the stock.

Before whisking cream and fresh (cold) butter into the actual bisque.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I agree wholeheartedly with Wayne, that using the heads does indeed make the stock better. Exponentially tastier.

Edit: After reading Jinmyo's post I realized that I don't even use shells to make my stock, only heads. Is that weird?

Edited by patti (log)

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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I paraphrase Escoffier's method for bisque, thickened with rice.

For me the flavouring with burnt brandy is essential.

Cut into small dice 1 oz carrot, 1 oz onion, 2 parley stalks.

Brown in butter in a saucepan. Add "a fragment" of bay and thyme.

Thrwo in 2lbs of raw prawn in their shells (and heads), toss untill they get a good red colour. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs of brandy and flame (essential), add a glass of white wine, season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and set to reduce.

Moisten with 1/4 pt white stock (chicken stock) and leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Shell some of the prawn and set aside for garnish. Add 3 oz of rice cooked in 1 1/2 pts of white stock (with the stock). Whizz with a stick blender (Escoffier pounds in a mortar), but we have technology, then sieve twice though a course sieve and then twice through a fine sieve. Butter the surface to stop a skin forming if you hold at this point.

Dilute to desired consistency, and finish with 2 1/2oz butter and 3 tablespoons fo heavy cream, and a little cayenne Garnish with the reseved prawns.

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I would assume the shells have already been cooked because, of course, one always cooks prawn in their shells, n'est ce pas?

usually, oui. but not always. for example, when i tempura batter shrimp, i peel them first. but always save the shells in the freezer, for just such a bisque event!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I would assume the shells have already been cooked because, of course, one always cooks prawn in their shells, n'est ce pas?

usually, oui. but not always. for example, when i tempura batter shrimp, i peel them first. but always save the shells in the freezer, for just such a bisque event!

D'accord.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Thank you all for your help.

I made the Bisque following jackal10's guidelines.

I used raw prawn shells, since I had shelled the prawns (here they are called "white" prawns, and are tastier than the bluish variety), marinated them in lime juice, a little Tequila and chili flakes, skewered them, sauteed them and served them as appetizers on a fennel salad.

I was careful to add the Cognac to the roasting shells, and flamed it as suggested. And yes, I used the heads and all. Then barely simmered the stock and ground it, but this is where the difficulty came in: parts of the head shells were really too hard to grind down properly, even with a 600W Braun processor. So I had to remove the hard bits by hand.

After sieving and filtering the bisque many many times I finally got a gorgeous thick liquid, well worth the effort in the end.

Next time I'll pick off the hardest bits ahead of time. The roasted flavour of the Cognac is the unbeatable touch.

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