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Old 11-05-2007, 05:41 PM   #11
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I'd go the Shrimp Bisque route! I've got a gallon-ziplock baggie half-full of shrimp shells in my freezer. I might just make a batch of Shrimp Bisque, as I have over a gallon of Shrimp stock already made.

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Old 11-05-2007, 08:02 PM   #12
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When I make shrimp and okra gumbo - I always shuck the shrimp and throw the heads, legs, shells, tails into a pot and then add some COLD water ... bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover - for about an hour - then turn the heat off and let steep for about another hour - then strain. I do the same thing with crawfish, if I get them whole, for crawfish etouffee.

There's a ton of flavor in those shells (and, yes Caine - fish bones and skin, too) that can make the world of difference in a recipe that calls for "... add 4 cups water" - the difference between - eh, it's good and WOW! That's Good! with no other changes.

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Old 11-05-2007, 09:28 PM   #13
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That's exactly what I use in my seafood gumbo, Michael, ever since a Cajun told me that's what he used in his award winning gumbo. I have several bags of shrimps shells waiting in the freezer right now.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:52 PM   #14
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As a Chef in a country club u bet I saved all of my shells shrimp, lobster, I even had my fish monger save me fish heads carcasses and any thing else he thought I could use and I had award winning chowder on every Friday my membership love my friday chowder
and I would be out by 8 pm , now I am hard pressed to find Clam juice and I live in a large city
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:28 AM   #15
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We save the shells and wait until we have lobsters. Then use the shells of those beasties with the saved shrimp shells to make a bisque.

If there is anything better than a lobster bisque, I have
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:14 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by auntdot View Post
If there is anything better than a lobster bisque, I have
Yabbie bisque is pretty special!
Too many restaurants, not enough time...
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:31 AM   #17
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Pre-Katrina there was a Veitnamese Family that ran a fish market on the coast. One of the things they sold was boat run shrimp.. head on. Since many customers didn't want head on shrimp they would always have plenty of headless shrimp! One day I ask..what are you doing with the heads?? They replied, they use some, sell a few, and throw most of them away. So when I needed them, I would call ahead and they would have the iced-down heads waiting for me. One time I bought 30lbs which proved a little much. So most times it was 10-15lbs. Along with a few fresh blue crabs, they made very rich stock for all sorts of goodies.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:53 AM   #18
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Dave, I hear ya there. My old chef up in Michigan actually orders in about 20 - 30 # of lobster heads once a year, makes lobster stock, then freezes it for use throughout the year.

I've always cooked with stock. I only use water in my cooking to cook pasta, plain white rice (rarely cook that anymore), to poach chicken for soup (I will usually use that liquid, fortified with homemade stock for the soup itself), and to make stock with.

Uncle Bob, I hear ya about the shrimp heads. There's an Asian grocery store that I shop at, and it's the only place in town to get head-on shrimp, as well as live blue crabs, and even live crawfish.

Bilby, could you enlighten us Yanks on what "yabbie bisque" is?
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:23 PM   #19
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Prawn shuckings

So Dave Hutchins' Friday membership loves his Friday Chowder?
I'd love to know what goes into it and I'm glad that AllenOK has asked Bilby to enlighten some Yanks on what "Yabbie bisque" is because this Limey is wondering, too.
Meanwhile, I'm just so thankful that I bought the pint of prawns that started off this very interesting and informative thread!
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:00 PM   #20
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Ok. You lucky guys and gals that live in coastal areas know some thngs I don't know, from lack of exposure. Just what is the difference between a bisque and a chowder? I've had both and they seemed very similar to me. Is it just that a chowder is chunkier? Or maybe, the meals I had were misnamed and there is a real difference in the two. Please share the info.

Though I live in the heart of the Great Lakes, very few people around these parts eat crawfish, though we have edible species in Lakes Superior and, Huron, and Michigan, which should be free from biological contaminants, especially the Lake Superior ones. Seafood is enormously expensive and so limits how much we can purchase. The fresh-water speceis are usually battered and deep fried (a darned shame if you ask me). Of course that's not how it is in my house, but as I'm the only one that really loves fish, I don't get to play with it as much as I'd like. But my eldest daughter is comming around, especially after the swordfish and ahi-tuna we grilled last summer. I live in a culinarily bland part of the world.

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