ever have a huge lobster dinner party with so many leftover shells it seems silly to just throw them away? probably not…or at least not very often. i was fortunate enough to be invited to such a party at my friend’s house this past fall. her husband caught the crustaceans himself, along with more uni (sea urchin) than i’d ever seen at any sushi bar. after gorging ourselves on so many of these california spinys we were bursting at the seams, there were a few leftover, and piles of shells. they sent me home with a bag of shells and a whole lobster! i had bisque on the brain…but first, the stock:

i had never made a lobster stock before, so i started with the fish stock recipe from the weston a. price foundation article ‘broth is beautiful’ and added in a few things of my own.

ingredients-

  • 4-6 lobster shells
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 7 celery stalks
  • 1 cup fennel tops, chopped rough
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 7 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme, several sprigs
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp coarse hannapepe salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper

note: if your lobsters were grilled, clean the shells of any excessively charred parts.

melt the butter in a large stock pot with the onions, carrots, celery, and fennel. cook until softened a bit. add the tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley, thyme, bay, garlic and lobster shells. toss with softened veggies. add sherry and wine and let cook for about 5 minutes.

cover with cold filtered water, add salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. reduce heat to a simmer for 2-3 hours.

using a slotted spoon discard the largest pieces of shell.

then pour the rest through some cheese cloth lining a colander or mesh strainer. press down on the bits to exude any remaining juices.

chill overnight in the fridge. skim any fat off the top.

divide broth into different sized plastic containers in order to freeze and use in the future.

some ideas on how to use your hearty and flavorful lobster stock:

i did end up making lobster bisque, and it turned out fine…

…but since then i had the pleasure of having tom colicchio‘s version at craftsteak in las vegas, and i am now on a mission to recreate his. so, until then i’m not going to waste your time with my recipe when i know there is a better one out there…and by better, i mean absolute perfection and fantastic. i would be ashamed and embarrassed to post my meager recipe.

i did make a thai-style soup recently, inspired by my fellow food blogging friend spencer h. gray’s post on his blog omnivorous, using lobster stock, baby bok choy and shrimp, plus many of the ingredients he has listed.

considering i have never made a risotto, why not try a bivalve risotto made with lobster stock? i’m thinking mussels and clams from the oyster boys at the hollywood farmers market are in my near future.

note: since posting this i did make a wild mushroom risotto with lobster stock and it was lovely.

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