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wood fired seafood bisque

wood fired Seafood Bisque

 

With its French origin, bisque is known as a creamy, thick soup that originally was made with stock from various crustacean shells like lobster, crab and shrimp. Over the years, it has been simplified with many acceptable variations, one of which I will be using in my recipe.

What brings up the flavor of this seafood bisque recipe is my technique of wood-firing the seafood meats for an elevated taste. I’m going to give you a few methods of adding this flavor with some equipment choices. Then I’ll tell you how to use that great hearty seafood in an easy wood fired seafood bisque recipe that blends the creaminess with that bit of bold from the wood fire.

Wood Fired Seafood Bisque- Gas Grill Method

One of the benefits of using a gas grill is the heat level control and speed at which the grill can do what you want. For this method of grilling, I’ll use just two wood chunks from SmokinLicious® in the double filet size and place in a smoker box. Set the burners to medium on one side of the grill only and allow the wood chunks to begin to smoke (the smoker box is placed on the grill grate above the lit burners). Then place a grill-safe pan (I like to use disposable aluminum pans) containing your choice of seafood. I’m using mussels, shrimp, squid, and imitation crab or pollock. I place all these items in my pan with just a touch of oil and place the prepared pan on the unlit side of the grill. This will just take about 10 minutes to flavor the seafood. Remember, there is no need to fully cook all the items as we will finish that process in the soup pot. Once done, remove the seafood to a bowl.

Wood Fired Seafood Bisque- Stovetop Smoker Method

Stovetop smokers are perfect for the person who lives in a location that a grill isn’t possible, or who prefers to cook indoors but craves smoke flavor. I’m using a simple DIY stove top smoker you can make using a stockpot, foil, and a round roasting rack. You can find our step-by-step directive on this here.

SmokinLicious® offers a great assortment of wood chip sizing with recommendations specifically for stovetop smokers. I am using a custom blend of Grande Sapore® Wood Chips that includes Cherry, Alder, and Maple hardwoods.

Unlike the gas grill method, with this one, you will be infusing the seafood with direct heat and wood infusion by placing your cooking container directly on the roasting rack. Given the smaller size of the smoker area, you may need to wood-fire your seafood choices in batches.

Wood Fired Seafood Bisque- Chimney Starter Method

As I mentioned that this is a quick means of introducing wood flavor to seafood, you can use a chimney starter equipped with a small grill grate to do the actual smoking. This is the method I’ll be using for this recipe.

I simply fill a chimney starter with charcoal, place it on a cylinder block, and lite it. Once the coals have turned grey and no active flame is present, I place a small grill grate on the top of the chimney starter, then add my pan of seafood meat. This will take about the same time as the gas grill method – 10 minutes. Once ready, I remove the pan and set aside while I start the bisque base for the soup.

Making a Bisque

 

wood fired seafood bisque ingredientsThe ingredients you will need to make the bisque base are:

1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 226g)

1 small onion diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup of all-purpose flour (65g)

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

½ cup of white wine or sherry (59ml)

4 cups heavy cream (1 quart or 945ml)

4 cups whole milk (1 quart or 945ml)

1-1/2 pounds (680g) raw seafood of choice that has been wood-fired as noted above)

Start by melting the butter in a stockpot placed over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk together to begin the roux or thickening process. Add the onion and garlic next, whisking as you add each ingredient. Allow these to cook for about 30 seconds, then add the Cajun and Old Bay seasonings and tomato paste. Reduce the heat to medium at this point, as you continue to whisk everything together. Add the wine, whisking. Now time to add the final liquids. This will be done in small portions to keep the consistency and flavors blending. Start with 1 cup of the milk, whisking, then 1 cup of the cream. Stay vigilant with the whisking while you add the milk and cream to ensure binding. Once the bisque is made, add the bowl of previously wood fired seafood and reduce the heat to low. Heat completely through.Velvety Smooth Richness

our finished wood fired seafood bisqueFor serving this creamy soup, I prefer to sprinkle each bowl with some fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. I also slice up some crusty bread like a great French baguette. That’s it! Super easy but flavors that appear as if this bisque took days to make.

Now you can enjoy a video tutorial on this recipe as we collaborated with our friends at Passing It On. Get the visual step-by-step directive on making this fabulous, rich bisque!

Tasting Notes:

Although you can use any crustacean, fish or seafood of your choice, the best options are: lobster, crab, clam, oyster, mussel, cod. Since this has a lot of fat content already in the soup base, it is best to avoid fattier fish like salmon.

What’s your favorite way to make seafood bisque?

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For more reading related to

Wood Fired Lobster Tails Chili

Hot Seared Scallops

Charred Broccoli Soup

Smoked Squash

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Dr. Smoke-loves the smoky taste of wood fired seafood bisque

Dr. Smoke-loves the smoky taste of wood fired seafood bisque