Lobster Bisque from The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook
Since opening its doors in 1901, Bergdorf Goodman has been a beacon for fashion lovers from around the world. Housed in a beautiful nine-story Beaux Arts building that anchors the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifty-eighth Street in New York City, the store represents the pinnacle of style, service, and modern luxury. BG Restaurant, located on the seventh floor if this iconic department store, is a destination in its own right. With its pale blue and cool green interior designed by Kelly Wearstler and sweeping views of Central Park, a day of shopping with lunch at BG is a time-honored rite of passage, one that often becomes a much-repeated tradition for women from around the world. The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook publishes for the first time a full range of the restaurant’s renowned offerings: Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade, Lobster Bisque, Chicken Milanese, and the renowned Gotham Salad which is ordered more than 2,500 times per month. In addition to these and other house selections, The Bergdorf Goodman Cookbook also gives home cooks a glimpse into the kitchens of some of fashion’s most famous designers, stylists, executives, and editors including Diane Von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Bobbi Brown, Nina Garcia, and Patricia Field. This is a carefully curated and charmingly presented collection of recipes that will delight both discerning fashion and food lovers alike. In his foreword, fashion insider Hal Rubenstein says, “When you are in the middle of a city that rightfully boasts some of the finest and most diverse cuisine in the world, you have to be competitive. Just as there is only one Bergdorf Goodman, there is only one BG.
Bergdorf Goodman Lobster Bisque
Serves 4 to 5
Considered among the great luxuries of the seafood world, lobster gets the royal treatment in this rich soup. Using the entire lobster—including the shell—to make a stock ensures that every bit of flavor is extracted, and considerably reducing the stock further intensifies it. Save this recipe for a special occasion, or make it to transform any meal into one.
2 live or cooked lobsters (1¼ pounds each), still in their shells
¼ cup grapeseed oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup cognac
¾ cup dry white wine
¼ cup tomato paste
½ bunch of fresh thyme
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of ground white pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If using live lobsters, add them headfirst and boil for 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the cooked lobsters to a large bowl. When cool (or if using a previously
cooked lobster), twist off the tails and claws, working over a large bowl or sink. Using a hammer or heavy knife handle, crack the tail and claw shells.
Remove and dice the lobster meat; set aside. Coarsely chop the lobster shells and bodies, discarding the head sacs and any roe, and transfer to a large bowl. In a large stockpot over medium high heat, warm the oil and add the lobster shells and bodies, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomatoes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
Deglaze with the cognac and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot, mixing everything together. Cook these ingredients until almost dry. Add the wine and reduce again until almost dry. Cover the mixture with 2 quarts water. Whisk in the tomato paste and add the thyme. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 90 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Pass through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the stock.
Place the cream in a medium saucepan and simmer vigorously over medium heat to reduce by half. Stir into the strained stock and season to taste with salt and the white pepper. Garnish with
the reserved lobster meat.