Tuesday, October 4, 2011
In high school, I spent a lot of time over at my best friend's house, where her mom was always cooking up some sort of stock. Usually it was a leftover chicken carcass boiling away on the stove with carrots, onion, and celery. The freezer was full of the stuff, and any time they wanted to make soup (or her mom's gravy) they'd pull out a tupperware, defrost on the stove, and it'd be ready in no time.
I loved this idea! I am always spending way too much money on stock full of totally unknown ingredients. I had only every tried making shrimp stock before, but it was so easy that I wanted to try again. I stayed in my seafood comfort zone, but I will definitely be venturing out to chicken or beef stock next time!
Now I admit, making stock is scary. Mostly because of that scary word I used a minute ago. You know, carcass. But think of it as being resourceful. Using the whole animal, not just the parts you eat directly. And better yet, think of it as the easiest step you can take for better food at a lower cost.
There's much more to tell about how I ended up with this giant fish carcass (the story is coming, I promise) but let's just say I only paid $1 for it and it made enough fish stock for cioppino, shrimp risotto, and much more - including the recipe that's coming up later this week. It's chocked full of flavor - definitely try it out. And don't be scared of the picture with the fish head floating up - I just did that for effect... it is almost Halloween after all!
20 cups water
1/4 c white wine
1 fish carcass (everything but the filets - head, bones, fins etc)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp herbes de provence
3 small carrots, cut in thirds
1 large onion, quartered
shells from 1/2 lb shrimp
2 lemons, quartered (skin on)
1. Bring all the ingredients to a boil in a large stock pot.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
3. Remove fish head, veggies, and lemons using tongs or a slotted spoon (it's nice if you use a pot with a strainer insert and then you can pull that out and dump it). Run through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining solids. Use within 3 days or freeze.