Recipe: Scallop and Lobster Bisque from The Idle Rocks Hotel
3 April 2017
Head Chef Guy Owen from The Idle Rocks Hotel has shared this sumptuous seafood recipe with us- doesn't it look divine!
1 lobster (700-900grams)
1 brown crab (1kg)
4 hand dived scallops (roes off and cleaned)
A few sprigs micro basil
Foraged sea vegetables (sea beet, rock samphire)
A dozen oyster leaves
As with all shellfish, the way in which you cook and for how long is vital in obtaining the best possible result from the produce. Always start with very fresh shellfish. The fresher the better. And purchase uncooked, live products. There is a lot of speculation on what is the 'kindest' way to cook live shellfish. In my opinion, placing them in the freezer for about 10 minutes sends them off to sleep. Then dropping them straight into a rapid boiling pan of water ensures no distress. This applies to both lobster and crab. The timings are guidelines for the weights suggested in the ingredients of this recipe. As with both the lobster and crab, it's important to point out that you must drop them into the boiling water and after 30 seconds reduce the heat so the water is only just boiling, cooking them too fast will result in tough flesh, ruining the quality of the meat.
Crab – 12 minutes of cooking
Whole lobster – 5 minutes of cooking
Another important point is that when the fish is cooked, to not plunge it into ice-water. Sometimes when doing this the membrane inside the shell can stick to the meat, causing the meat to tear and fray. Remove the cooking fish safely from the boiling water and place it in a bowl of cold water with a running cold tap. This still cools the fish effectively and quickly, but reduces the risk of the flesh sticking to the shell. Once the lobster and crab are sufficiently cool, remove the flesh from the shells making sure you reserve the shells for the bisque. Keep the meat to one side, cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge along with the scallops.
300g crab/lobster bones
150g tinned tomatoes
15g tomato paste
1 bulb fennel
1 medium white onion
6 white peppercorns
2 star anise
12 coriander seeds
2 bulbs garlic
1 bunch basil
200ml chardonnay/or another good quality white wine
1.2 litres water
200ml double cream
Sweat off in a large saucepan the onion, fennel, carrot, peppercorns, anise and coriander seeds until soft and tender. Then add a whole bulb of garlic, split in 2 along with the crab/lobster bones. Continue to cook and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Then add the water, white wine, tomato paste and tinned tomatoes. Cook over a medium-low heat for around 2 hours until reduced by half. Next strain off the liquid into another pan through a fine sieve. Discard the solid ingredients and place the liquid back onto the stove on a medium-high temperature, along with 2 crushed cloves of garlic and half a bunch of basil. Reduce by half again until liquid begins to thicken slightly. Strain off the garlic and basil and place liquid back onto the stove, adding the cream, 2 more cloves of garlic and the rest of the basil and reduce until cream tastes cooked out. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Strain off and keep the liquid warm until ready for use.
Spinach and Fennel Puree
1 bag baby leaf spinach
2 bulbs of fennel
¼ bunch dill (picked off stalk)
Knob of butter
Cook off the baby leaf spinach and dill in a pan of boiling water, plunge into ice water, strain and reserve to one side of later. Very thinly slice the fennel and gently sweat over a gentle heat until soft and tender, it is important to not get colour on the fennel. Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until very smooth adding a couple of knobs of butter at the end along with seasoning to make it velvet smooth and taste good. Cool rapidly over ice water, Vacuum down before use.
To Plate the dish, start off by taking the shellfish out of the fridge 10 minutes before plating. This allows it to come to room temperature a little. In the meantime take a frying pan and place on a high heat with a little pomace oil. When the pan is hot, place your 4 scallop's face-side down in the pan and sear until a light golden brown is obtained. Then add a good pinch of salt, a couple of knobs of butter and a good squeeze of fresh lemon. Flip the scallops over a cook in the butter and lemon for roughly 30 seconds. Transfer to a tray and leave to rest for 30 seconds. Take you fennel and spinach puree and make a large dot right in the centre of the bowl. Next place a slice of lobster tail and a slice of lobster claw in the middle, followed by your scallop, followed by some of the picked crab meat. Garnish with the sea vegetables, and finally pour over around the sides, the hot shellfish bisque.
Serve immediately & enjoy!