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Old 03-23-2007, 11:50 AM   #1
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Shellfish stock

I'm planning on making my very first fish stock this sunday, and just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

For my base I've got about 1 lb. of shrimp shells and dungeness shells.

For aromatics I've got your basic mirepoix. I'm also planning on adding thyme, and a couple of bay leaves. I was also thinking of a little bit of lemon zest, is that ok to add in?

Now for the questions: I've done some reading and it seem pretty common to use tomato paste with shrimp stock, but I have about 4 times more crab than shrimp, and should I still add this? Also, I was wondering if anyone ever adds whole peppercorns to shellfish stock? I don't know if it would work well with the aromatics or be overpowering.

Finally, the procedure. Do you prefer to saute your vegetables, and then add the shells? Or do you prefer to add the shells first?

Thanks!

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Old 03-23-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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I saute veggies, then add shells.

I wouldn't add peppercorns to the stock, because that will start you out with a pretty peppery base. I'd add them when I USE the stock.

Re the tomato paste... it's gonna make your stock taste tomato-ey, so if you don't necessarily want that flavor, I'd omit it.
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Old 03-23-2007, 12:48 PM   #3
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Label me strange I suppose. I do not put anything in my shellfish stocks normally. Unless I know in advance what I am going to use it for. Sometimes I may have 5 ot 10 lbs of shrimp heads etc to make shrimp stock. Or the same or lesser amounts of crawfish, blue crabs etc. I may put some salt, pepper, maybe a bay leaf or two. I just want to end up with a basic stock that I can go in diferent directions with. I use vegetables, spices and herbs later depending on what I am doing. The classic mirepoix would not normally fall into the style of cooking that I do which calls for the "trinty" So I certainly would not use it in my shellfish/seafood stocks. So depending on what dish you want to prepare would determine what goes in the stock. Thats my opinion and I am sitckin to it!!

Hope this helps

Enjoy!
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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I was going to make a suggestion but Uncle Bob pretty well covered it for me.
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