Halloween is just a week away! I love this time of year when the air is cool and the morning light is a special shade of orange that is a constant reminder of the harvest season. My family’s Halloween tradition is to have our friends over for a big, hearty meal before we head out to trick or treat with the kids. A huge pot of chili is always on the menu for all to enjoy, but this year we have several more adults than usual so I wanted to add a more sophisticated recipe to tantalize their taste buds.
Homemade Crème Fraîche
This recipe starts the day before Halloween with prepping your homemade Crème Fraîche. Be prepared for your guests to be amazed at your culinary prowess, and don’t you dare tell them how easy it actually is.
All you need is three things: heavy whipping cream, reduced fat buttermilk, and a tall glass container. The container needs to be glass in order for it to come together correctly. Place all of the ingredients together into the container and whisk until it is well combined.
Cover the top of the glass with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Leave the mixture out on the counter overnight (8 to 24 hours) and refrigerate it in the morning, until ready to use.
Stir well before serving. The consistency should be thick, creamy and consistent throughout the entire container. This Crème Fraîche is decadent with just the right amount of tanginess, which allows it to be used in so many yummy recipes. It also tastes amazing spread on scones, breads and vegetables.
For the purposes of this recipe I took half of my Crème Fraîche and mixed in a teaspoon of lemon juice and a good pinch of fresh tarragon. Cover and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
Pumpkin Lobster Curry Bisque
Pumpkin, lobster and curry is an unexpected, but delicious combination that will astound your guests. And how very easy the recipe is will astound you.
Sauté 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion with unsalted butter and a pinch of salt in a large stock pot over medium heat. When the onions begin to brown add in 2 tbsp smooth garlic paste, 2 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste), and 3 cups chicken broth. You can use vegetable broth to make the soup vegetarian friendly, if you prefer. Stir until totally combined.
Add in 1 can of pureed pumpkin to stock pot and whisk together. Bring mixture to a boil.
Drop mixture down to a simmer before slowly adding in the heavy cream, whisking continuously.
Stir in 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the soup to simmer on low for 10-20 minutes then allow to cool.
I would usually blend my bisque with an immersion blender, but mine decided to break during the filming of this recipe! If you have a similar situation you can do what I did and blend the soup 1/3 of the mixture at a time in a blender or food processor, whatever you have.
Chop your lobster into bite size pieces. Ladle the pumpkin bisque into bowls and place a good handful of the lobster on top.
Serve with a large dollop of the homemade Crème Fraîche (or use a bottle like we did) and a good grind of black pepper.
Right before you are ready to eat, cut a few pitas into quarters and toast on a well oiled grill. Your guests will love using the pitas triangles to sop up every last bit of their luscious pumpkin bisque!
This recipe can be altered to suit any palette or diet. Use vegetable stock and omit the lobsters for vegetarians or use different types of proteins if you aren’t a fan of lobster. If you’re not a fan of curry, you can just leave it out of the recipe. Whatever you do, this recipe is going to become a staple in your Autumn and Winter recipe book. The smell of the bisque cooking will make your entire home feel like Halloween night!
Happy Halloween, readers! I send you off into the spooky night with a picture of my growing puppy, Tank. We cannot wait to take him trick-or-treating with us this year!
Homemade Crème Fraîche
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp buttermilk
- 2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
- chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
In a tall glass container whisk together heavy whipping cream and buttermilk. Cover the top of the container with a paper towel and secure it with a rubber band. Leave container out on the counter overnight, for 8-24 hours. Refrigerate the mixture in the morning until you want to use it. When ready to serve, stir in lemon juice and chopped tarragon.
Spicy Curry Pumpkin and Lobster Bisque
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp cayenne paper (optional)
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
- 1/2 lbs cooked, chopped lobster
- 2 tsp chopped tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onions with butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. When the onions begin to brown add in garlic paste, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Whisk in broth and pumpkin puree until completely combined. Bring bisque to a boil then drop heat to a simmer. Slowly pour in heavy cream, whisking continuously. Stir in chopped tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow bisque to simmer on low for 10 minutes then turn the heat off and allow the soup to cool. Blend with an immersion blender until the soup has a smooth, velvety consistency. Ladle bisque into bowls and place a handful of chopped lobster on top. Serve with a dollop of Crème Fraîche, a hearty grind of fresh black pepper, and a garnish of tarragon.