Shrimp Bisque

You’re probably thinking, shrimp again?! But I love eating shrimp. When I was growing up for the second part of my childhood in Hong Kong, I had shrimp almost everyday.

I was planning to make lobster bisque but I can’t afford lobsters yet… why are the tails so expensive? $40! I think they are extremely overpriced. Besides, lobsters don’t even taste that great in the seafood section, in my opinion. I would eat so many other shellfish and other seafood over lobster.

I’ve been noticing that I’ve been cooking with a lot of heavy cream lately… that needs to stop because I can see where it’s going. The original recipe called for 0.75 cup of heavy cream, so I decided to use skim milk instead but then I’ll probably have to add more potatoes to make it thicker.

[100% organic & wild Gulf Atlantic shrimp]

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shell-on shrimp
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 oz. slab bacon, cut into lardons
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 large leek, white part only, sliced thinly
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • Salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp snipped chives

Instructions

For the Broth

Peel the shells off shrimp, reserving for shrimp broth. Transfer shrimp to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chowder base is completed. Place shrimp shells in a large pot and add 3 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to low and gently simmer for 5 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and set aside.

For the Bisque Base

Cook bacon in a small pot of simmering water for 1 minute and then drain.

Heat a medium pot over medium heat, add bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it releases some of its fat. Add potatoes and leeks, stir well, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the shrimp broth and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes, and add salt for taste. Remove the bisque base from the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make smooth.

Put It All Together

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Raise heat to high, add chilled shrimp and milk, stir well, and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and keep warm. Add shrimp mixture to blended bisque base, stir gently and season with cayenne pepper. Sprinkle chives on top and serve.

*Adapted from One Perfect Bite.

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