Lobster Bisque with Langostino Lobster Tails

Lobster Bisque with LangostinoThe Lobster Bisque Challenge!

Lobster Bisque isn’t over rated, but it is often over cooked.  You’ll find that most recipes use a ton of cream to define their soup recipe as a “bisque”, then hours of waiting time to reduce.  Is all of this really necessary?  I say Nay-nay!  I’ll prove it to you in this recipe I’ve developed that not only cuts your cooking time in half but knocks out 2/3 of the fat content because you don’t really need that much cream.  Even Bobby Flay’s Lobster Bisque recipe has 6 cups of Heavy Cream in it.  Crazy!  I use only 2 and I promise you it’s just as good and if not, even better.

Langostino Tail MeatIn this Lobster Bisque Recipe I’m going to be using Langostino Lobster.  I honestly prefer Squat Lobster if you have it available.  The benefits of each are the same but there are some differences.  First, the price is incredibly reasonable.  I bought 3 pounds of solid meat, not shell, for just 20 bucks!  The difference in my opinion is a sweeter, softer lobster tail meat when you are using Squat Lobster to make Lobster Bisque.  Don’t ask me why, it’s just that way.  Regardless of the reasons, they’re both very affordable and they both make a very impressive Lobster Bisque come to life.

Lobster Bisque Ingredients:

1 cup water
2 tsp Tomato Bouillon
6 Roma Tomatoes
2 Celery Stalks
1 Carrot
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Chopped Ginger
3 Parsley Sprigs
3 Large Basil Leaves
3/4 cup Red Wine (sweet)

1 Onion
2 Tbsp Butter
1/3 cup Corn Starch
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs Langostino Lobster tails

Set the water and bouillon on medium heat on the stove.  Combine all the vegetables except for the onion in a food processor or blender and puree.  Then add mixture to the Tomato Stalk.  Chop onion and sauté until Caramelized, and then add the Corn Starch and Cream.  When the Cream thickens like a country gravy, add the seasoning and add all the onions and cream to the soup.  Chop half of the Langostino Lobster tails into small pieces and add to the Bisque.  Stir frequently and wait to reduce; 20 to 25 minutes.  It will burn the bottom if you’re not stirring!  Once it has reduced to your desired consistency, add remaining Lobster tails and serve.  If you are using large lobsters for this Lobster Bisque Recipe, all directions still apply, only adding the meat in increments isn’t necessary.

Salt and Pepper Calamari – P.F. Chang’s Recipe

Tender Calamari is Possible!

For most people, making tender Calamari is no easy chore.  Even restaurants struggle with it.  The reason is because of the cut they are using.  When you get it in rings, it’s slices of the body on those six inch squid, so it tends to be very chewy.  When you get all eight of the legs and tentacles, you are just getting the lower half of the same squid.  Understand?  Top and Bottom.  No matter what you do, Cooking Calamari like this isn’t ever going to make it any less chewy, and tenderizing them with a mallet is just ridiculous.  So you need another solution, and here it is; Calamari Steaks!IMG_0259

Thumb Smith's Food and DrugThis isn’t just a good alternative; it’s the best way to turn out Tender Calamari.  It’s not chewy this way at all.  It’s soft yet Crispy and very flavorful.  In fact I can eat an entire plate of it cooked this way, and you will to if you haven’t already.  Oh, and if you can’t find it at your local grocery or seafood market, tell them to order it for you.  How do you think I got these?  Smith’s Food and Drug just pitches me a phone call when ever anything I ask them to order arrives.  No extra cost to me, and they get exactly what I want, when I want it.  It’s sweet!

Anyway, the Salt and Pepper Calamari recipe can be found at various restaurants around the globe.  I think the most popular menus include P.F. Chang’s Salt and Pepper Calamari (my personal favorite), and Typhoon’s, which I don’t like at all.  So today I’m going to model P.F. Chang’s.  If you’ve ever had their recipe, you know it’s to die for.  So let’s dive right in to this Tender Calamari recipe and get started.

Tender Calamari Ingredients:Calamari Sauce Ingredients

2-4 Calamari Steaks Thawed and sliced
1-2 Green Onions thinly sliced
2 Pinches of Margarita Salt and Pepper

Marinade:

1 egg white
2 tbsp canola oil (any oil is fine)
1 pinch of Garlic Powder
1 pinch of Ginger Powder (Curry powder isn’t bad either)
½ tsp Soy Sauce
½ cup of Corn Starch

Calamari Dipping Sauce:

1 pt Hoisin Sauce
½ pt Black Bean Garlic Sauce (or Bean Curd)
1 pt Orange Chili Sauce
You can also add a little bit of sugar soy and vinegar if you’d like.

After ½ hour of marinating the Tender Calamari, dredge the slices through Potato starch, or corn starch until it is evenly coated, then fry at 375 degrees for 1 ½ minutes.  Be sure to separate Calamari slices with a spider or a slotted spoon while frying.  Then toss the Tender Calamari in a bowl with Slices of Green Onion and season with Salt and Pepper to your taste.


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Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The Best Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I love Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I order them every time I see them on the menu, which is rare, but I love how these things just sit in melted butter, begging to be plucked from their assortment.  I stuff them with the chopped stems, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, bacon and seasoned breadcrumbs.  I find that dressing breadcrumbs work the best and I saute everything in butter, so it’s really moist before I fill the caps.

My Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I was baffled by these years ago.  The flavors were confusing to me and I wasn’t quite sure, a) What was in them, and obviously b) How to make them because of it.  However, snooping around on Pinterest, recently, I ran into a photo that someone had posted and it hit me!  So I figure that maybe there’s a few of you out there that have felt the same way I’ve felt about this recipe and I thought I better crank out my theory about how they’re made.  Very often I challenge myself this way without sourcing any written recipe, just to see if I can do it.  Well, I can and I did.  So I reworked the recipe for everyone here to enjoy for themselves, and I’ve got to tell ya, I’m really proud of this one.  Not only because it’s a fabulous wow factor dish, but because it’s ridiculously easy.  That being said, make sure that you crank out this recipe next time you’re craving Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, it’s a Winner!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Ingredients:

6 Small or 2 Large Portobello Mushrooms
1 Piece Bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Green Onion, chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs (Dressing works GREAT)
1 cube Butter, melted
½ cup Water
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bake at 425 degrees f for 15 minutes then top with Mozzarella and Broil for 1 to 2 minutes and let them cool before serving.

Watch the short video for this Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms recipe and I’ll show you just how easy these are to make.