This is the first in a series of recipes from my brother Ben, a talented up-and-coming chef in Atlanta. A graduate of Johnson and Wales in Charleston, Ben has worked in some of the coolest restaurants in Atlanta, including Pricci, Corner Cafe, and Portofino. He is now sous chef at the famous tapas bar, Eclipse di Luna. <– check it out if you’re in Atlanta!!
UPDATE: He’s now the head chef.
This recipe, Tarragon scented Oyster, Aparagus Bisque, sounds to me to be inspired from an old family favorite and the oyster bisque from his days as a cook at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear yet kicked up and refined with some surprising subtle flavors.
2 (10 ounce) containers oysters, freshly shucked
1 quart oyster liquid
1 bunch Asparagus (rough chop)
1 cup butter
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1/4 cup garlic, diced
1 cup flour
1-1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup green onions, sliced
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbl Tarragon, fresh, chopped
salt and white pepper to taste
- In a two-gallon stock pot, melt butter over medium-high heat using a wire whisk, sprinkle in flour, stirring constantly until white roux is achieved, usually about 5 minutes.
- Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Saute five to ten minutes or until vegetables are wilted and tender.
- Add chicken stock and oyster liquid, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all is incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook thirty minutes.
- Add oysters and asparagus and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, until the Asparagus are very tender.
- Place soup in a blender and puree till smooth. Return to pot and add heavy whipping cream, green onions, tarragon, and parsley.
- Return to a boil, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste using salt and white pepper.
HINT: It is imperative that oyster liquid be used in this recipe if it is to be successful. Give your seafood supplier ample time to reserve this amount.