The great chefs say that the more you delve into good cooking, the more you return to basics. Rarely found in grocery stores, Shrimp stock adds a subtle flavor to soup, stew, chowder and gumbo that store brands simply can’t match. Homemade soup stocks are easy, healthful and inexpensive to make. You control the seasonings and sodium content. They can be frozen indefinitely or refrigerated for up to 2-3 days for later use. If you’ve been using canned chicken stock in fish based recipes, try this offering.
shells from 2 or more pounds of shrimp, rinsed
2 stalks celery
1 large yellow onion
2 cups water
2 cups dry white wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 large sprig fresh parsley
1 large Bay leaf (or 2 smaller ones)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 pinch Dill weed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper (or more to taste)
Scrub the celery and carrots and slice them into 3-4 large pieces. Cutting at an angle will reveal more of the core and help the vegetables to release more of their lovely flavor. Quarter the onion. In a medium sized stock pot, add the water, wine, shrimp shells, vegetables, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until the shells have turned pink and the vegetables have softened, about 30 to 40 minutes. Skim off any foam that may form on the top with a large spoon and discard. Allow to cool in the refrigerator. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh colander into a storage container for freezing, or a stock pot for immediate use. Frozen stock will keep indefinitely. Refrigerated stock keeps for 2-3 days.
For a Manhattan style stock, add 2-3 drops hot sauce, 1 teaspoon filet gumbo and 2 cups chopped tomatoes.
For Italian style dishes, add 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 peeled, smashed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 Tablespoon basil.
Beer based: Substitute 2 cups flat beer for the wine for an alternate flavor.
Tips: Try making stock as tonight’s shrimp dinner is cooking. A convenient way to store the stock is to freeze it in ice cube trays, pint or quart sized containers. When you need something special to thin a sauce or flavor a dish, just pop one out.
To Your Health!