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?