Cayman Island-Style Fish and Seafood Soup From Chef Normand Laprise
Montreal Chef Normand Laprise's fish and seafood soup. Photo: Courtesy of Normand Laprise
The Cayman Islands. A culinary capital of the Caribbean, it’s the western-most group of islands of the Greater Antilles, tucked beneath Cuba with Central America to the west. It is also the home to the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Blue, by Eric Ripert. And, it’s the only place you can try the celeb chef’s fare outside of the U.S. (he’s usually cooking in NYC at Le Bernardin).
The Brasserie is another must-try, the place where farm- and sea-to-table took hold in Cayman. Lynn Crawford, another Canadian all-star chef, lists Agua for the fresh catch, Heritage Kitchen for local, rustic fare and Ripert’s Blue, at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, as among her favourite Cayman noshes.
Speaking of chefs, some of the best in the world flock annually to Ripert’s Cayman Cookout, including Emeril Lagasse and our very own Normand Laprise of Montreal’s Toqué!.
When we can all go again safely, the Cayman Cookout is also a public event, so you can head to the Cayman Islands and share in the nosh.
Until then, Laprise shares his recipe for fish and seafood soup.
Fish and Seafood Soup
Courtesy of Chef Normand Laprise
When we can travel again, you can also experience his fare at Toqué!, Brasserie T, Beau Mont and Signé Toqué in Montreal.
Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4
1 lobster weighing 450 g (already steamed whole, about 5 to 7 minutes)
80 g piece of bluefin tuna (cut in half)
80 g of scallops (4 units)
60 g. cooked and cleaned sea snail (4 units)
1 medium Japanese eggplant (replacement for vegetarian people or no seafood)
1 l of fish stock or water
150 g of fingerling potatoes (3 to 4 units) washed and cut into 1 cm slices.
1 small onion, chopped
1 small leek, cut the white into julienne
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 medium carrot peeled and cut into 1 cm rounds.
100 g of butter
60 ml of olive oil
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
Cayman sea salt
1. In a cocotte or heavy-bottomed casserole, sauté the onions, leek and garlic cloves in olive oil and butter for 2 to 3 minutes
2. Add potatoes, carrots as well as thyme and rosemary
3. Add fish stock to cover the vegetables (about 750 ml) or if you prefer a vegetarian option, add spring water
4. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 to 3 minutes
5. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, cook for about 15 minutes
*NOTE: the above preparation can be done a day before
6. Cut the lobster in half. Lightly break the lobster claw and add it, along with the tail to the pot. Cover everything.
7. Cover the pot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
8. Add the sliced tuna and scallops. Cover again and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
9. Add the sea snails, cover again and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
10. Serve everything in a deep dish, placing your fish and seafood first, add some of the vegetables and cover with the cooking broth. Drizzle with olive oil.
Chef’s Tip: You can add fresh herbs as available in season. Chervil, fennel or flat leaf parsley work well. You can also add garlic croutons and even a few mussels for even more flavour!