Friday, March 25, 2011

Shrimp Stock

We will always buy the frozen shrimp which you have to peel yourself.  I used to be frustrated having to peel all of those shrimp constantly thinking "isn't there an industrial process to remove these shells?"  Okay, well the thought never crossed my mind, but I didn't like having to peel shrimp until I discovered fish stock.  OH BOY, that changed my mind.

Its delicious and deliciously simple.  Put the peeled shells in a colander when peeling shrimp.  Then put about 3 Tbsps of olive oil in a well headed stock pot, add the shrimp shells when the oil is very hot.  Cook the shells, stirring lightly, for about 5-7 minutes.  They should be a deep red color and look well dried.

Quickly 3-4 whole, peeled cloves of garlic, 1 thickly sliced onion, the tips of celery (especially the leaves), lots of pepper plus a generous pinch of red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant - about 2 minutes.  Then fill the stock pot with 8-10 quarts of water, add two bay leaves and plenty of salt.  Turn down the heat and let simmer for an hour.

Strain the stock and refrigerate, if using within a couple of days, or freeze, if using later.

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