Lobster and Sweet Pea Bruschetta

Put a fresh twist on your standard lobster dinner with this “luxurious comfort food” courtesy of chef and cookbook author Craig Flinn.

Lobster and Sweet Pea Bruschetta
Lenny Mullins

Chef's note: The very best way to enjoy this dish is to use lobster stock or lobster bisque as the base for the cream sauce (recipe provided below). If you do not have access to any a rich chicken stock is a good substitute.

1 shallot minced
1 tbsp butter
1 cup shelled sweet peas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tbsp dry sherry or brandy
1 cup lobster bisque
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup finely diced tomato (outer flesh only, seeds removed)
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
2 tbsp chopped chives
¼ cup grated aged local gouda
2 cups chopped cooked lobster meat (reserved from bisque recipe, below)
1 excellent quality baguette
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic

Lobster bisque
2 x 1 ½ lb lobsters cooked (meat removed and shells reserved)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 medium or 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium sized carrots, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 cup diced tomato (or 1 small can)
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tbsp flour
1 cup sherry
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup or 1 small tin tomato paste
1 cup whipping cream

In a saucepan, saute shallots, peas, salt and pepper in the butter and cook for three minutes. Add sherry or brandy and flambe, reducing the liquid until the pan is almost dry. Add the bisque, cream and diced tomato and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce by about a third or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Add the lobster meat, fresh herbs and aged gouda cheese and just warm the lobster meat through.

Preheat your barbecue grill to high. Slice the baguette into one-inch slices on a bias, creating a large surface area for the grill. Brush evenly with extra virgin olive oil and toast on both sides until slightly charred and crispy. Gently rub one side of the crostini with the raw garlic clove and remove from the heat.

Spoon lobster and cream mixture over grilled garlic crostini to complete the bruschetta and serve immediately.

For the lobster bisque
Cook lobsters in boiling water, just enough to cover, for eight to 10 minutes. Chill lobsters, then remove meat from shell. Roughly chop lobster shells into manageable pieces and refrigerate the meat in a sealed container for later.

Heat a stock pot and saute the lobster shells in olive oil for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown slightly. Add the butter, onions, celery, carrot, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme and cook for 10 more minutes on medium heat. Add the flour to make a roux and deglaze with the sherry. Add the chicken broth and three cups of the reserved lobster cooking liquid along with the tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour, reducing overall volume by half. Strain bisque through a china cap pressing firmly on shells and vegetables to extract all the liquid. Place strained soup back on the heat and add the cream. Bring back to a boil and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Any left over bisque can be frozen and served alone as a soup later.

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