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I’m Just Here for the Food — Coral Reef’s Lobster Bisque

–Molly Engquist, WDW Radio Team

We are about a month out from our trip to New England and I’m still thinking about all the wonderful things we saw. We visited many lighthouses in Maine, and yes I sang “Candle on the Water” every time to the enjoyment of everyone around me… (dramatic pause) 

Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick, Maine. 2023 mEngquist

We also took a little broom stop in the town of Salem to visit a few of our favorite sisters. While we couldn’t find them we did find a few other friends that tried to point us in the right direction.

Jack directing us to Town Hall in Salem, MA, where the Sanderson Sisters “Put a Spell On You.” 
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While touring Salem we never found the sisters, other than on a few hundred t-shirts, but everything we saw was frightfully fun. From the historic Old Burying Ground, to Allison’s house, and everything in between. 

Old Burying grounds and Allison’s house in Salem, MA. 2023 mEngquist

So many fun memories, and I will never watch “Hocus Pocus” the same now that I’ve seen many of the film locations. Of course thinking of all these fun memories has me missing all the good food most of all…wait…all the wonderful LOBSTAH!!! So I thought since there is a chill in the air that a good bowl of Lobster Bisque is due. One place I have enjoyed a bowl was at Coral Reef a few years back so let’s see if we can get the good memories flowing.

I found this recipe in Pam Brandon’s “The Official Disney Parks Cookbook,” which is still my favorite go to for many Disney recipes.

½ cup arborio rice

¼ cup brandy

¼ cup sherry

1 1½ tablespoons tomato paste

5 cups lobster stock, divided ¾ cup milk 1½ cups heavy cream

2 teaspoons coarse salt

½teaspoon white pepper

4 to 5 sprigs fresh chervil, minced

8 to 10 ounces fresh lobster meat, coarsely chopped

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I started out my morning by putting the rice in a collider and putting it in a bowl with cold water so it could soak for at least 4 hours.

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When I was ready to start later that afternoon, I had to make the lobster stock first. If you can find a good stock at the store that would work, too. If you’re lucky enough to get a full lobster, and want to make stock you can find many recipes out there on the webs. Being land-locked we have to take what is available, so I ended up getting a lobster tail from the store and began by boiling that for about 10-13 minutes then placed it in an ice bath to let it cool. Using that water, I added what I needed with the bullion paste in another pot to make the stock. While that was warming up, I peeled the lobster meat from the tail and cut half of it into bite sized pieces and the other half I chopped it up pretty good. Then put it in the fridge until I was ready for it.

In your main soup pot, stir together the brandy and sherry over high heat and bring to a boil. While it boils for 2 to 3 minutes, mix the tomato paste with 1 cup of the lobster stock. Add that into the pot along with the remaining stock and bring it back to a boil.

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Reduce the heat before you stir in the milk, cream, salt, and pepper. You don’t want the milk to burn. Slowly bring it back to a boil. 

Drain the rice then add it to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the grains are cooked to extreme softness. I covered it with a lid and stirred often so the rice didn’t burn.

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Remove from heat and blend it until smooth in portions in a food processor or blender (fill blender halfway and blend and repeat.)

Return the soup to the pot and warm at medium heat. Add the chopped chervil (or curly parsley like I did) and lobster meat and heat until lobster is cooked through, about  2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper and enjoy!

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I paired the bisque with a nice white from The Prisoner Wine company, Unshackled Sauvignon Blanc. Now if I want to splurge I will definitely do this again. It had the perfect consistency and flavor was spot on. Now is it the same as my memory of what I had in New England… no, but I always believe that location, people, and mood of the day on vacation can never be replicated. But if stirring up a pot of lobster bisque conjures up the slightest memory of that time…it was well worth the effort!