Squat Lobster and Crab Bisque

squate lobster and crab bisque
squate lobster and crab bisque
Squat lobster and crab bisque made with the fantastic local seafood.

So, after roughly 5 years, we have finally got around to posting the recipe for the squat lobster and crab bisque.  Tony’s first on-line recipe!

This is one of the most popular dishes on our menu and is often served as an accompaniment to a scallop mousse. We will be adding the recipe for the mousse to the blog at some point very soon.

This recipe makes approximately 2 litres of bisque.

ingredients for making bisque
Ingredients for making bisque

Ingredients

  • 750g whole squats cooked and peeled (keep shells)
  • 250g cooked brown crab meat
  • 150g diced onion
  • 150g diced carrot
  • 150g diced parsnip
  • 100g diced celery
  • 150g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 50g tomato puree
  • 1.25l fresh fish or chicken stock

    bouquet garni ingredients
    Ingredients for a bouquet garni. Put all the herbs in between the celery sticks and tie with string.
  • 250ml white wine
  • 75ml brandy
  • 150ml double cream
  • One large red chilli (whole)
  • 1 dessert spoon paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A fresh bouquet garni (celery, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and parsley )
  • Lettuce for garnishing

    bouquet garni
    Completed bouquet garni

Method

1.  Spread squat lobster shells, including heads & claws, on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a medium hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes turning occasionally until golden.

2.  Heat butter in large heavy bottomed pan add roasted shells and garlic cook for 3 to 4 minutes stirring constantly to avoid burning butter.

3.  Add onions, carrots, parsnip, celery and tomato purée and sweat for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add flour and paprika continue to cook further 3 to 4 minutes stirring constantly to cook out flour without burning.

4.  Add brandy and ignite.  Cook out till flame dies and alcohol has evaporated.

5.  Pour in white wine and half the stock , stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the rest of stock,  stir and bring to the simmer for 5 minutes.

add bouquet garni and chilli
Add the bouquet garni and the whole chilli.

6.  Add the bouquet garni and secure to pan with string.  Drop in the whole chilli (do not chop as you only want to impart flavour not heat), and continue cooking for 25 minutes.  Stir occasionally taking care not to crush the chilli.

7.  Using a slotted spoon remove chilli and bouquet garni.

8.  Using a stick or hand blender blitz the bisque until all vegetables are puréed.

pass the bisque
Pass the bisque mixture through a very fine sieve twice.

9.  Pass the bisque through a very fine sieve twice.  Rinse out the cooking pan and return bisque to the pan.

10.  Bring the bisque back to the simmer and turn down heat.  Add crab meat and blitz again stir in cream, saving just a little for garnish.

11.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

12.  Divide the squat lobster tails between serving bowls, pour in the hot bisque and garnish with finely shredded lettuce, a thin drizzle of cream and just a splash of brandy!

13.  The squat lobsters in this recipe may be substituted for other crustaceans such as langoustines, brown shrimps, Mediterranean crevettes or tiger prawns.

squate lobster and crab bisque
Squat lobster and crab bisque made with the fantastic local seafood.

So all that is left to do  is to open a bottle of nice wine (life is to short to drink the cheap stuff) and get cooking!!

To see other dishes you are likely to find on the menu at Grants, see our website.

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Out and About – Walking in Sleat on the Isle of Skye

What a fantastic day!  We used the excellent WalkHighlands website to find a low level, short walk and went to Kinloch Forest in Sleat on the Isle of Skye, which is about 40 minutes from Grants, and went to enjoy some lovely winter sunshine.

The views were spectacular looking out over the Sound of Sleat to Sandaig near Glenelg (made famous by Gavin Maxwell author of The Ring of Bright Water), Knoydart and Ben Sgritheall, a Munro above the village of Arnisdale.

Sandaig and Ben Sgritheall
Looking over the Sound of Sleat from the Isle of Skye towards Sandaig, Ben Sgritheall and Knoydart.

There were also some magnificent views down the Sound towards Mallaig, looking past Isleornsay.

Isleornsay on the Isle of Skye
Isleornsay on the Isle of Skye, taken in the winter sun from Kinloch Forest near the old township of Leitir Fura.

When we had finished we drove just down the road to the lovely Kinloch Lodge and treated ourselves to a really tasty afternoon tea.  Tony thought he should also take the opportunity to sample some of their range of Scottish beers, of course.  Delicious!  The day makes a perfect day out from Grants during your stay with us.

And I think the weather is always like this, isn’t it??

Wildlife Sightings – Crossbills, Otters and Sea Eagles

Scottish Crossbill in Ratagan
A Scottish crossbill that Tony managed to snap on the track through the woods behind Grants.

In the last couple of weeks, Tony spotted a Scottish Crossbill, which is a very rare sighting for this part of the world.  Easy to spot though, they are a fantastic bright orange.

I thought this would also be a great opportunity to post some of our favourite sightings from last year.  We managed to catch a baby otter early in the year while we were out walking along the shore of Loch Duich.

baby otter
Baby otter alongside Loch Duich
baby otter on Loch Duich
A baby otter playing in the surf on Loch Duich at Ratagan.

Towards the end of the year Tony caught one of the Glenelg white tailed sea eagles on camera.

White tailed sea eagle
A white tailed sea eagle taking off from the shores of Loch Duich. it was nesting not far away at Glenelg.

At Last, the New Website!

At last our new website is finished.  As some of you will know, it has been several years in the making!  By popular demand, we have added a page that tells you a little bit about the history of Grants and where it got it’s name from, and we are also lucky enough to have a piece from John Murray whose family lived in the house from 1929 – 1949.  See our about Grants page for a link to the pdf document.

We will be adding wildlife sightings, useful hints and tips, and lots of photos to our blog, and you can follow our blog to keep up to date with all our news.

We are currently getting ready for the season and will be opening on 20 March 2015.  We look forward to seeing you soon!