I am breaking ALL the rules today. Bisque in April? Yup. Cheese with seafood? Double yup.
You are probably thinking that anything to do with lobster bisque does not belong in the month of April. Or maybe you are like me and think that lobster bisque, in all its cozy, creamy glory, is totally appropriate year round. High five to that!
If you’re in my camp, you’re going to LOVE today’s recipe. Heck, even if you aren’t in my camp, I am confident we can still make this work. Because…CHEESE. Yup. Even if I am breaking the sacred “no cheese and seafood shall ever mix” rule. Sorry, folks. I just can’t get behind that one. Hello? Lobster mac and cheese? Shrimp alfredo? Yeah, I think it’s an outdated rule. Call me a rebel.
I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of fondue. I know it was a 70s trend and has lost some of its luster over the years, but guess what? I wasn’t around in the 70s, and I think fondue should still be a thing. A regular thang.
I mean, what’s not to like?! It’s a pot of melted, gooey, and sometimes boozy CHEESE (or chocolate!). It’s like my perfect meal. It’s a fun thing to do with friends, or even with just a significant other (helloooo, romantic dinner in), and definitely all by yourself. Because that means more cheese for you!
AND! You get to play with your food when fondue is involved! Just look at all those gorgeous and fun little dippers. You can do anything you like with fondue, and that’s just another reason to love it. Not a fan of shrimp? Skip it. Gluten free? Leave off the bread. Don’t like asparagus? Great, swap in something else. The options are endless. As you can probably tell from this platter of goodies, I tend to invest some time into my dippers. The fondue itself is so super easy, so why not go all out on the accompaniments? It all balances out.
Now, you might be asking yourself “how does lobster bisque tie in here?” and I wish I knew how to answer how this idea came to me. Truth is, I really don’t know! My only response is this: I adore fondue, and I adore lobster bisque. So why not combine them?! The end result turned out so deliciously yummy and fun, because really, it’s like having a big bowl of super cheesy lobster bisque and getting to dunk your whole life into it. Who wouldn’t love that?! I will count it as a win.
Even though I’m in super spring mode in every other area of my life, there’s always time for a vat of melted cheese.
Always, always, always.
I personally think the addition of seafood lightens things up (or at least it feels that way). Lobster (and the shrimp for dunking) just reminds me of warmer weather. Plus! In the spring, we have access to better veggie dunkers! See? I told you this would all make sense. I hope you’re all on board. Maybe my rebel status is diminishing?
Because this yummy pot of goodness is SO calling your name.
And if not, I’m OK with it. More for me and the other rebels.
1 lb gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup lobster or seafood stock
3 tablespoons brandy (or more to taste!)
Drizzle of half-and-half
Cooked and shelled lobster meat (I often buy it cooked at the store)
Juice of half a lemon
Cubed bread or toasted croutons
Blanched asparagus spears
Sliced roasted red peppers
Radishes, sliced or roasted
Grilled zucchini or summer squash
Roasted brussels sprouts
Roasted baby potatoes
Toss the grated cheese thoroughly with the cornstarch. Set aside.
Place the garlic clove, white wine, and stock in a fondue pot. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Discard the garlic clove.
Gradually whisk in the cheese and stir until smooth and melted.
Whisk in the brandy and half-and-half and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Whisk in the lemon juice.
Just before serving, stir in the cooked lobster meat.
Transfer your fondue pot to the warmer and serve with desired accompaniments/dippers.
This fondue is a little thinner in consistency than your traditional cheese fondue (but still plenty melty and cheesy!). I really wanted this to taste like lobster bisque, so the addition of the lobster stock definitely makes this more like a thin fondue/thick soup.
While it is best to make fondue when you are ready to eat it, I found that I was able to make this about two hours ahead in a small Dutch oven (not the fondue pot). Once it was ready, I turned off the heat and put a lid on the pot. I was able to reheat the fondue on the stove in the same pot a couple hours later with no issue. The fondue was just as creamy and silky as before. I just transferred it to my fondue pot when we were ready to eat.