October 19, 2012

National Seafood Bisque Day

Elaine: "Yeah. I met this lawyer, we went out to dinner, I had the lobster bisque, we went back to my place, yada yada yada, I never heard from him again."
Jerry: "But you yada yada'd over the best part."
Elaine: "No, I mentioned the bisque." - Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld in "Seinfeld"

It's National Seafood Bisque Day!

A bisque is a creamy, aromatically seasoned French soup traditionally created from the broth of crustacean - like lobster, crab, or shrimp - shells. The word "bisque" comes from either the Bay of Biscay or bis cuites, a French term that means "twice cooked" which refers to the bisque making process.

I went into today with one thought in mind: how can I make this dish not suck? I've had some rough experiences trying to make seafood dishes vegan (see: National Clam Chowder Day) in the past, so I really wanted today to be a success (since we're getting so close to the end of this project, I feel like I really need to step-up my game).

I broke down the flavors of a traditional seafood bisque into something I think is a pretty good way to celebrate today's food theme...

Deconstructed Unseafood Bisque
- 1 small clove of garlic, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- splash of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of white wine (I used a pinot grigio)
- 1 Tablespoon of brandy
- 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup of cashew cream
- paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 fresh roma tomato, chopped
- 2 Sophie's Kitchen Breaded Vegan Fish Fillets, grilled or baked
- crusty French bread, grilled or toasted

Directions: Saute the garlic and onions with olive oil in a pan until translucent. Add wine and brandy. Reduce until alcohol has burned off. Add tomato paste and cashew cream, stir until heated through before tossing into a blender to combine. Mix in paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Spread generously over crusty French bread, top with chopped tomatoes, and Sophie's Kitchen Breaded Vegan Fish Fillets. Serve with a glass of the pinot grigio you used to make the dish and feel like a total badass in the kitchen.

Happy National Seafood Bisque Day!