We realized last week that our freezer was full -- full! -- of shrimp shells and tails, fish trimmings, and the like. An hour later, and our freezer was full of seafood stock. This adds to the vegetable, chicken and game stocks already in the freezer. Winter, we are prepared for you! (Although it was quite a shock to see snow in Ottawa on Sunday.)
Seafood stock is perhaps the easiest stock to make, since it takes very little time. The trick is to put your fish and seafood tailings (bones, heads, shells, etc.) in the freezer every time you can. I use a large Ziploc bag, adding to it every time we eat seafood at home. Once you have about 6 cups, you're ready to make stock.
Hint: plan your seafood stockmaking for a time when you are not cooking anything else in the kitchen. While simmering, the stock will smell very strongly of seafood – strongly enough that you will not want to be putting cinnamon rolls in the oven at the same time.
What you need:
- ~6 cups seafood tailings (if frozen, do not defrost)
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 1-2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped (you can use the greens, too)
- 1 bay leaf
- ~6 whole peppercorns
What you do:
- Place all the ingredients in a large pot (heavy-bottomed, if you have it). For the water, use approximately 10 cups (this will of course depend on the size of your pot).
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and let simmer for half an hour.
- Strain the stock through a sieve into a second pot or container. Place a lid on the strained stock and set outside to cool. Once cooled, the stock can be used immediately or frozen for later use.