Lobster Bisque with Puff Pastry and Cotswolds Butter

 

Lobster Bisque

Lobster Bisque

This luscious lobster bisque is enhanced by using locally churned Cotswold Butter which is available at many Cotswold farmer’s markets. Below is the link to farmer’s markets in the region. This link and other useful foodie information appear in the Travel Guide of my book COTSWOLDS MEMOIR: Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. (Available on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle and Audio Book)

www.thecotswoldgateway.co.uk

Serves 4
Ingredients:

Bisque:
2 each 1¼ to 1½ lbs. live lobster
6 cups Water
2 cups Dry white wine
2 cups Fish stock
½ cup Melted butter, salted (Cotswold if possible)
1 cup Onions, finely diced
½ cup Carrots, finely diced
½ cup Celery, finely diced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
½ cup All-purpose flour
¼ cup Cognac (or Brandy)
1½ cups Tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 tsp. Paprika
½ tsp. Thyme
¼ tsp. Ground red pepper
1 cup Heavy cream

Pastry:
Ready-made puff pastry
1 Cotswold egg
1 tbls cold water

Preparation:
1.Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.
2.Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
3.Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
4.Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
5.Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.
6.Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
7.Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
8.Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.
9.Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
10.Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.
11.Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.

Lobster Bisque

To add puff pastry:
Allow bisque to cool over night
Pre-heat oven to 350F/200C/180C fan/gas 6
Fill ramekins almost to the top with the cooled bisque (if filled to the
top, the bisque will wet the pastry and prevent it from rising)
Roll out a square of puff pastry to overlap the ramekin by an inch or so
Brush pastry with a mixture of egg beaten with a tbls of water
Place ramekins in oven for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is puffed up and browned

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Secret Cottage Tour in the Cotswolds-Guest Blog

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Take the Secret Cottage tour of the Cotswolds
Where can you go to see grown men kicking each other’s shins in the name of sport?
And where might you see a stone that marks the only point in Britain where four counties once met?
And did you know there are 125,000 miles of dry stone wall in Britain?
These are some of the fascinating things you might discover on a unique day tour of the Cotswolds.
You may have heard the word ‘unique’ before and become a bit sceptical, but the Secret Cottage tour, run by Becky Simpson really IS unique.
Why?
Because not only do you get to enjoy a bespoke tour of hidden Cotswold villages, picturesque scenery and stunning views, but throughout the day, Becky takes you back to her 500 year old listed thatched cottage for morning coffee, buffet lunch and traditional cream tea.

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It’s your chance to see how a real English family live.
And come on, admit it – you’ve driven past those pretty cottages and been dying to look inside. You’re probably full of questions like “Isn’t it dark with those small windows and thatched roof?” or “Is it draughty, even when the inglenook fireplace has a roaring fire in it?”
Perhaps you’re wondering whether you need to duck your head to go through the doors or maybe you’ve never seen an AGA before.
Better than seeing the AGA, you’ll be treated to warm scones, freshly baked from the oven, served with lashings of cream and jam.
And you can find out for yourself how it feels to step back in time, sit by one of the three inglenook fireplaces, enjoy the wild English country garden and explore the winding stairs inside the cottage.

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The tour lasts six hours and Becky will pick you up and drop you off at Moreton-In-Marsh station. From there you’ll drive through unspoilt countryside, quaint villages and points of interest – many of which are inaccessible by public transport. Having lived in the area for 25 years, Becky has a wealth of knowledge at her fingertips. Interspersed through the day are the memorable trips back to her cottage where a warm welcome awaits you.
Visitors are overwhelmed by the experience of being invited into a private home and many describe it as ‘fairyland’. Already ranked by Trip Advisor as #1 of 18 ‘Best Attractions in Moreton-in-Marsh’ and #2 of 91 ‘Best Activities in the Cotswolds’, Becky delivers a bespoke, memorable tour guaranteed to please and with plenty of surprises.
People take the tour to discover hidden and secret picturesque villages, they want to be catered for and pampered and they want to take in the breath-taking English countryside without the hassle of driving.
Although Becky welcomes tourists from all over the world, even locals love to take the Secret Cottage tour.

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“They don’t have to drive down narrow, winding lanes; they can discover places they might not have known about (or can miss when driving) AND we serve delicious food throughout the day; so they can treat themselves and fully relax.” explains Becky.
Here are a few facts and figures about the Secret Cottage Tour
Pick up from Moreton-In-Marsh at 10:15
Drop off to Moreton-In-Marsh at 16:30
Cost – £85 to include all food and drinks served at Secret Cottage
Open – every day throughout the year
Further information, please call Robin on +44 (0) 1608 674700, email becky@secretcottage.co.uk or visit the following website www.secretcottage.co.uk