The Sauce: Seafood Stock – A potent stock used to make seafood soups, chowders and sauces. It’s made by simmering seafood shells and vegetables for a complex base for dishes from the sea.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Gold from the sea
Shrimp shells are pure gold. When you buy fresh raw shrimp save every curly, hingy shell with all ten little legs. Unlike pliable shrimp, crab and lobster shells are thick and sturdy but also rich in flavor. Simmering them infuses stock with copious amounts of robust seafood flavor. Use onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste and thyme for depth of flavor.
For this seafood stock, your freezer is your best friend. Anytime you peel shrimp or shell crab or lobster, stow the shells in the freezer. Once you accumulate enough to make a pot, turn those shells into a rich stock. Store in freezer containers or zipper bags, date and label. When you get a hankering for seafood you’ll be ready to enjoy the comfort of a soup or chowder.
Beans and Spinach
Beans and Spinach
Recipe: Seafood Stock
Active Time: 15 Minutes | Total Time: 75 Minutes | Yield: 6 Cups
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb seafood shells, shrimp, crab, lobster
2 medium onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts water
1/3 cup tomato paste
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Special Equipment – large pot
2 Stir in water and tomato paste. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
3 Strain through a mesh sieve pressing to release the juices. Discard the shells. The stock can be used immediately, chilled for 3 days or frozen for 6 months.
One pound of shells is about 6 cups depending on the type of shells and how tight they are packed.
The solids are laden with flavor even after resting in a sieve. If you want more yield place them back in the pot and add 2-3 cups of water. Heat through to release the seafood flavors. This is called re-washing. Strain the solids one more time to release the seafood stock.
Label and freeze in containers or ziplock bags.
Use this stock as the base for seafood soups and chowders.
Use this stock as a base for sauces for shellfish.
- Use all shrimp shells.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: January 11, 2014