3 (1 1/4-pound) lobsters
2 ears yellow corn
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 ribs celery, quartered
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small bulb fennel, cut in 1/2
1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. In batches, plunge the lobsters headfirst into the boiling water and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer the lobsters with tongs to a large bowl filled with ice water to cool. When the lobsters are cool enough to handle, crack the shells, remove the tail and claw meat, and coarsely chop. Reserve the shells for the stock, cover and refrigerate the meat.
Cut the kernels from the corn and reserve for the chowder. Reserve the corn cobs.
To make the stock, in a very large clean pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shells and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the corn cobs and remaining stock ingredients and stir well. Cover with water by 2 inches (about 1 gallon) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
In a very large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, bell peppers, and 1/4 cup green onions, and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the corn kernels, tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, Essence, and red pepper, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour smells slightly toasted, but does not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the lobster stock and cayenne, and stir well to incorporate. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir well, and simmer until tender, about 16 minutes. Add the cream, lobster, remaining 1/4 cup green onions, and assorted herbs, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the bacon. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.