Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kitchen Tip: Shrimp Stock

~One of the basic differences between a professional kitchen and a home kitchen, is the vast amount of odds and ends that they must reuse. Obviously it is also a great way to keep food costs low and add fantastic flavor and depth to dishes. After gleaning this bit of kitchen wisdom years ago, I began to keep a gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bag in the refrigerator to store the leftover raw shrimp shells. Once the bag becomes full, it’s time to make a supply of shrimp stock. I love this idea because shrimp is not cheap, so you might as well get the most bang for your buck. I should caution you that it will make your home smell exceptionally fragrant. My husband was excited as the aroma of roasted shrimp wafted through, then extremely disappointed to learn the smell was not coming from an actual meal.

2- 8 qt stockpots or bigger
chinoise (or large colander AND cheese cloth)
ladle or large spoon to use for mashing/pushing (you’ll see why)
6- 1 qt plastic containers with lids

1 gallon sized Ziploc bag full of frozen shrimp/prawn shells
3-4 celery stalks
2 medium onions
1 garlic bulb
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oil

  1. Wash all vegetables, cut off ends, and peel.
  2. Flatten garlic cloves. Cut onions into quarters. Cut celery into 3-4 sections. This is just to make the vegetables easy to handle in the pot.
  3. Set stock pot on medium high heat. Lightly cover surface with oil.
  4. Add garlic, 1 onion, and half portion of shrimp shells. Sear and stir lightly to get as many of shells seared as well.
  5. After most of shells in pot have turned orange, add rest of onions and remaining frozen shells to stock pot to sear.
  6. Add celery and bay leaves. Fill most of pot with water. Cover for about 20min or until boiling.
  7. Reduce heat to low setting and let it simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hr.
  8. Set chinoise (or colander lined with cheese cloth) over second stockpot. Carefully pour contents of first stockpot through chinoise into second pot.
  9. Using a ladle, push the contents to squeeze out excess liquid. If using a colander and cheese cloth, gather corners of cloth to wrap up together and squeeze like laundry.
  10. Pour strained stock into 1 quart containers. If not using immediately, store in freezer. Should keep well for up to 6 months.

Suggested uses:  It is important to note that this is stock and while it will be incredibly fragrant, it has no basic taste at this point and should not, so don’t be tempted to add any salt or pepper.  However, it will help impart a world depth in flavor to seafood dishes.  I typically use shrimp stock for seafood soups, pastas, and paella and/or risotto. 

1 comment:

  1. As someone who has tasted this shrimp stock, it is amazing! thanks for posting, I've been wondering about the recipe