Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Creamy Prawn Bisque served with Tempura Queensland banana prawn & asparagus spear, Dill and olive oil herb.

                  Inspired by an overload of collected frozen prawn heads and shells in our downstairs freezer and urgent need to free up some space, I decided to put together this full flavoured bisque. A creamy soup from french origin originally, the bisque was said to be a perfect way to use up imperfect crustaceans of which can not be sold at the markets. Traditionally a bisque was made by grinding the crustaceans to form a paste which was then used to thicken a soup stock. Usually served with crusty bread, I decided on swapping the bread for some more decadent offerings to be used for dipping into the bisque, tempura battered Queensland banana prawns and asparagus spears on skewers.
                  To make the bisque, I began by roasting the prawn heads and shells in a roasting dish for about 30 minutes until the shells were rich in orange colour and robust in flavour. In a heavy based saucepan I sauteed shallots, carrot, celery, fennel, garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds and salt in a little oil. To this I added crushed tomatoes, cayenne pepper, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and the prawn shells. This was cooked down a little before adding some brandy to deglaze the pot. Simmering gently this was reduced before adding some verjus and reducing some more. Once reduced I added some fish stock and simmered for 30 minutes. I then removed the pot from the stove and blended the stock to a puree of which I then strained and returned to the stove. I then simmered the pureed soup for a further 15 minutes until the bisque become rich in copper colour, to this I added some cream to round the flavours out and finish the mouthfeel. To make tempura I simply mixed together some flour and ice cold apple cider to form a batter in which I coated the prawns and asparagus spears lightly before deep frying in 170C oil until light golden colour.


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