Maine lobster, cream, dry sherry, aromatic herbs and vegetables and shaved black truffles. A classic..
2 shell-on Maine or Canadian lobster tails, as fresh as possible
1 1/2 cups court-bouillon or fish stock
4 oz fresh cream
1 oz brandy
2 oz dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 sweet bulb onion, split and thinly-sliced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon half-sharp paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8-10 smoked black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Sauté celery, onions, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and lobster shells in a tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and the shells have turned bright red in color.
Add sherry and brandy and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add court-bouillon, lemon, pepper and paprika, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.
Run a wooden skewer lengthwise through each lobster tail, then lower into the liquid and gently poach for 2 minutes. Remove lobster from pan and allow to cool enough to handle.
Pour stock through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan, pressing on and discarding the solids. Whisk in tomato paste and simmer until reduced by about 1/3 in volume.
Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat, and cook sweet onions until translucent. Add chopped parsley, lobster medallions and any remaining pieces of lobster meat and gently poach until the lobster is just done.
Whisk the cream into the bisque, then finish with 2 tablespoons of the onion, butter and parsley mixture.
To serve, ladle bisque into a shallow bowl and arrange butter-drenched lobster medallions and pieces on top. Season lightly with freshly-ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt and garnish with fresh tarragon, thinly-shaved black truffles and bits of edible flowers.