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The Brown Hotel is celebrating its 90th birthday. There will be a Roaring '20s dinner dance with period costumes and 1920s-themed meal and a vintage lunch buffet with old favorites from 90 years of menus. Chef Laurent Géroli share's his recipe for a Maine Lobster Bisque, which was served during the Brown Hotel's "Famous Shore Dinners" in the 1930s. The luxurious 4-course seafood dinners cost from $1.25 to $2.50.
Maine Lobster Bisque
Start to finish: 40 minutes
Servings: About 15 cups
3 Maine lobsters, 1 to 1 ½ pounds each
4 leeks, white parts only, roughly chopped
12 shiitake mushrooms
10 shallots, sliced
15 red peppers, divided
8 cloves garlic, chopped
9 juniper berries
10 ounces coconut milk
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 ½ cups bourbon
3 cups chicken stock
1 ½ quart cream
1 bunch tarragon
1 bunch thyme
salt and pepper
1. Cut tail and claws off lobsters and set aside. Remove grain sack from body of lobster by slicing open head and scooping it out from behind the eyes. Chop lobster body roughly.
2. In a wide-bottomed pot or rondeau, sweat lobster parts until lobster turns bright red, about 10 minutes. Add leeks, mushrooms, shallots, 1 chopped red pepper, garlic and juniper berries. Sweat an additional 2 minutes until tender. Add coconut milk, sherry vinegar, bourbon and chicken stock and reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Blanch 14 red peppers and puree.
3. Add cream, red pepper puree and herbs to soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain and serve with chopped lobster meat from tails and claws.
(Recipe from Laurent Géroli, executive chef at the Brown Hotel.)