Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Taking (and Making) Stock of the Situation

Remember that one day, last December, when I talked about how easy making chicken stock could be? 

If you don't, I'm not offended.  It's cool.  I forget, a lot.  Forgot a hair appointment this last Monday.  It happens.

In short, if you take your crockpot and a raw, whole chicken on a date, you're going to get some amazing chicken stock.

The same kind of awesomeness can also happen with seafood.  Except, it kind of happens in reverse.  You cook the fish/shellfish, then eat it, then use the shells to make stock.

In pictures...this:

Then, this:

Then, this:

My dad recently turned 66, and for his birthday dinner/gift, he really wanted surf and turf.  No problemo.  Lobster tails, shrimp scampi, and steak.  I implored my family to save the shells, lobster and shrimp, so that I could make stock.  Which you see in the pot above.  Some chopped mirepoix, sweated first, the shells, aromatics like thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, etc., and enough water to cover the shells.  First I brought it to the boil and skimmed off the foam that had accumulated (the impurities), then I turned down the heat and let it simmer about 45 minutes to an hour.  That is one nice thing about making fish stock, it does not take very long.

I let it set and cool for awhile before straining it into freezer-safe containers.  I heartily look forward to the next time I make a seafood bisque or chowder. 

Today's tip: If you're having seafood at home, keep the shells and the bones.  Make this stock and stock your freezer with this yummy stock.  And say the word as much as possible, in as many puns as you can.

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