Red Lobster is an American casual dining restaurant chain that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc., headquartered in Orlando, Florida. The company also has operations in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan. As of May 29, 2011, there are 698 Red Lobster locations worldwide.
Red Lobster was founded in 1968 by entrepreneurs Bill Darden and Charley Woodsby. Originally billed as a "Harbor for Seafood Lovers", the first restaurant in Lakeland, Florida, was followed by several others throughout the southeast. In 1970, General Mills acquired Red Lobster as a five-unit company. With new backing, the chain expanded rapidly in the 1980s.
Red Lobster Lobster Bisque
6 cups water
2 cups dry white wine
2 cups fish stock
2 (1 1/4-1 1/2 lb) live lobsters
1/2 cup melted butter, salted
1 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cognac or 1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Place the water, the white wine and the fish stock into a wide, deep pot (or a Dutch oven), and bring to a boil on high heat.Place lobsters, topside down, in the broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered for approximately 6 minutes. With a pair of tongs, turn lobsters and cook covered for another 6 minutes.
Remove lobsters from broth and put them to the side. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, begin removing the meat from the shell, dicing the pieces into ½-inch cubes. Store the lobster meat in the refrigerator until later. Place the lobster shells back into the broth, reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.Strain the broth through a sieve into a container and store in the refrigerator until later. Discard the lobster shells.
Put your pot (or Dutch oven) back on the stove under medium heat. Pour in the melted butter.Once the butter is heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.Add the cognac (or brandy) and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.
Mix in the flour, stirring with a heavy gauge spatula or spoon until the mixture is blond in color and has a buttery aroma.Mix the diced tomatoes, paprika, thyme and ground pepper with the cold broth from the refrigerator. Then, pour the broth slowly into the butter and vegetable mixture. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes under medium low heat, stirring frequently so not to burn.
Remove bisque from heat. Blend small amounts of bisque in blender and then puree. Puree all of the bisque and pour pureed bisque back into pot with remaining amount.Add chopped lobster meat and heavy cream, heat and serve. If the soup is too thick, thin it by adding milk or water prior to serving.
Adding a touch of brandy or sherry to the stock can bring a wonderful touch to this classic preparation.