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Bisque


DanCole42
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So I made a red pepper and corn bisque, and only after pureeing it and straining it through a chinois did I realize that it wasn't thick enough. What is the best way to remedy this? Just make a quick roux and add the bisque to it?

Adding flour & butter is going to mute the flavors. I would try reducing it gently.

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Adding flour & butter is going to mute the flavors. I would try reducing it gently.

The reason it's not thick enough is that I didn't use enough roux to begin with... Will adding roux this late in the game mute the flavors MORE than if I'd added it at the proper time?

I feel like cooking it for longer would mute the flavors, too. I want fresh and punchy.

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The reason it's not thick enough is that I didn't use enough roux to begin with... Will adding roux this late in the game mute the flavors MORE than if I'd added it at the proper time?

I feel like cooking it for longer would mute the flavors, too. I want fresh and punchy.

If you're going to add flour, do a buerre manie vs. a roux at this point. Or, add cream/evaporated milk and reduce.

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The reason it's not thick enough is that I didn't use enough roux to begin with... Will adding roux this late in the game mute the flavors MORE than if I'd added it at the proper time?

I feel like cooking it for longer would mute the flavors, too. I want fresh and punchy.

Well, WTF do I know. I've only been cooking for 35 years. :):D

If you're going to add flour, do a buerre manie vs. a roux at this point. Or, add cream/evaporated milk and reduce.

cornstarch slurry--it's corn soup to start with.

Whether you make a roux, use a buerre manie, or add corn starch, you will still be heating the soup to simmering for a while in order to integrate the starch properly with the body of the soup. A simple, reduction should concentrate the flavors. If you want to add a thickener, the buerre manie would be my choice as I don't care for the texture of corn starch-thickened soup. YMMV.

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Older unrefrigerated corn should thicken better as the sugars will turn to starch. But it does not necessarily constitute a bisque.

Thickening with any type of roux makes a suprême, béchamel, velouté, etc… sauce/soup, rather than a bisque. Since the 19th century, bisque has been a resourceful soup of puréed crayfish bodies (presumably due to the shell to meat ratio), and eventually lobster or other crustaceans (velvet, devil, marsh or green crabs), often thickened with rice, barley, corn/maize, starchy vegetables or ultimately the meatless, boiled bread variety which would fall into the bouillie (porridge) class and is generally reserved for impoverished orphans. Any other imposter soup is no more of a bisque than clear fruit or vegetable water is a consommé or a "garlicky" mayonnaise a proper aïoli. The origins of the word are disputed; possibly from the Spanish province of Biscaye or Dara Ó Briain's Old-Irish parody film “Bisquey Ruisness”.

Prior to the 19th century, bisques were made from pigeon, quail and other poultry. Such soups were not purées but generally boiled game birds with offal garnish and whatnot. Vincent La Chapelle’s “Le Cuisinier Moderne, 1742” offers a recipe for a crayfish soup served with boiled crusty bread and crayfish tails which was specifically not called a bisque.

However, François Marin’s “Les Dons de Comus ou les Délices de la table, 1739” has a recipe for a quail bisque made from quails and topped with crayfish purée. Another bisque recipe made from pigeons and crayfish reminds that “all that is bisque must settle on the bottom of the plate and form a little gratin (crust).”

We therefore come to the conclusion that that originally bisque meant a soup, with some sort of meat, as was already the fashion, and breadcrumbs. What could have given the crayfish purée (bound in some kind of liaison) the name bisque soup, was the addition of crayfish meat to various soups, which were then called bisques.

A game bird bisque was served in the 1st service during one of Louis XIV’s grand dinners (ca. 1655).

To begin with, 30 bowls are served, containing nothing by soup dishes with minced meat on slices of bread. 15 of these bowls are to be filled with meat, and in the other 15 the minced meat is to be placed on bread. These bowls are to be placed on the table alternately, with a good healthy soup (potage de santé), then a leaden, hearty soup (potage à la Reine) made from minced partridges and pheasants, further down a healthy soup with mushrooms and artichokes. This, however, is to be followed by a bisque, then a garnished soup with all the manner of poultry offal. Beneath the bisque, a Jacobine (a variety of pigeon, as well as a medieval sop –food soaked in liquid before eaten). The alternation continues down the table with a milder dish always next to a stronger one.

But if your Polex keeps just as good time as a Rolex, then authenticity is a back burner issue and shouldn't affect taste.

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Good old Cajun/Creole crawfish bisque is made with a roux. A well made roux enhances the flavor of the food. Cook the flour in butter or olive oil until it is golden brown and has a toasty aroma for a nice light roux. On the other hand, corn, to me, is for chowder, not bisque. But I am and forever will be a Louisiana gal.

I see, upon googling, that the traditional thickener for a French bisque is rice, either strained out leaving the starch, or pureed. Never did that but it makes sense. You could even make a little roux with rice flour. If I wanted to thicken something that really was too thin, I'd make a roux of one type or another, and use the thin stuff as a liquid. Buerre manie just tastes raw, to me. Raw flour isn't tasty.

But now, after the fact, I wonder -- I would have thought that the soup/bisque would continue to thicken all by itself, as starch enhanced liquids tend to do. I would have kept it over low flame and let the starch granules do what they will. Just give it time. You can't push these things.

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