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Shellfish stock


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17 replies to this topic

#1 seabream

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:37 PM

I have lots of shrimp shells that I've been collecting in my freezer, and I'm planning to make shellfish stock.

In the past, I've always added a few veggies chopped small (carrots, mushrooms, onions) and water and boiled everything for 20-30 minutes. But this time I want to try new techniques, in particular:

* I'm thinking of chopping the shrimp shells in the food processor. I am hoping to achieve a more concentrated shrimp flavor, since I won't need to add so much water to cover them. This is such an obvious idea that I'm wondering why I haven't heard of it before. Has anyone tried this?

* I'm thinking of making the stock in the pressure cooker. This is my tool of choice for chicken stock, but I never tried it for vegetable or shrimp stock. The Modernist Cuisine recommend cooking shrimp stock sous vide, but my sous vide isn't big enough (I'm using a small rice cooker). Is there any reason why I shouldn't use the pressure cooker? I was thinking of cooking it for 5 minutes with natural release.

Any advice, opinions, ideas are very appreciated. I'll be happy to report the results to this thread.

#2 ScottyBoy

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

What are you planning on making with the stock?

I make a more concentrated and reduced fish/shellfish stock when I'm going to make a sauce but if I'm going to use it for soup the amount of liquid used to get the flavor out isn't as much of an issue.
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#3 Shalmanese

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

I've found that I've never had problems getting concentrated shrimp flavor and my main challenge has always been shrimp flavor overwhelming everything else when I use my shrimp stock. Are you using just shells or shells + heads? I find the heads give a huge amount of flavor.

My general procedure is that I'll buy a pound or two of head on, shell on shrimp. Start a pretty intense court bouillon going, then poach the shrimp in the court bouillon at 60C for 15 minutes. Cool the shrimp, peel and toss the peels directly back in the stock. Then bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let steep until cool before straining.

You end up with a shrimp flavor so intense it can't be served by itself and needs to be diluted with something, just to make a sauce.
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#4 nickrey

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

I make a shrimp consomme by chopping shells, meat and all up in a food processor. This should work well for your stock.

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#5 seabream

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

Replying to some questions:

- I don't have the heads, just the body shells. Good to know the heads make such a difference - I may start buying head-on shrimp to get more flavorful stock.

- I'm planning to use the stock to make shellfish rice (similar concept to shellfish risotto, but the technique and ingredients are a bit different). So yes, I guess that for this use, I wouldn't really need a very intense stock.

Actually, if anyone has a favorite recipe or idea for using shellfish stock (other than soups and rice), I'd love to hear about it. I accumulate shrimp shells pretty quickly and I'm getting tired of my usual go-to uses.

#6 tim

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

The flavor from crustacean shells is not easily absorbed by water. This dictates a long simmering time. There are a few options.

If you make shrimp cocktail, you can freeze the flavorful simmering liquid for re-use. It picks up wonderful flavor with every use.

Oils quickly absorb flavor and color from crustacean shells. Shrimp butter is easy to make and is a wonderful finish for sauces or a sabayon.

1 Pd. butter, cut into chunks

1 Pds. cooked crustacean shells, no claws, (These may be processed or broken into pieces.)

1 1/2 Qts. hot water


Mix butter and shells in small batches in a mixer with a paddle. 5 minutes on slow to form a mass. Increase speed and work for 30 minutes for bright color.
Transfer to heavy pot and gently heat to melt.
Place pot in 250 degeree oven for one hour. Do not allow to brown or boil.
Remove from oven and add hot water to cover by 2 inches. Chill in bowl of ice.
When butter solidifies, remove to saucepan. Head gently to melt.

Strain. The butter can then be removed from the top. The bottom layer of flavored water can be used as a stock.

#7 coz

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:29 AM

Modernist Cuisine @ Home has a pressure cooked crustacean stock recipe fyi.

#8 Katie Meadow

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

Not that I routinely use fish or shellfish stocks, but I was under the impression that in general they are not long-cooking stocks. A fresh tasting shrimp broth from shells can made in 15 or 20 minutes. And somehow I have it in my head that a fish stock is more like 30 minutes when using raw heads, fins, bones etc.

I admit to having tossed out quarts of shrimp stock from the freezer for lack of ideas. I find that shrimp dishes that have a sauce component don't need much stock, and the shells from a pound or two of shrimp make a very adequate amount of stock for several servings ladled over rice or whatever. A seafood soup obviously needs more stock, but using just shrimp stock for that doesn't sound too appealing. So, same day use has been my most successful way to make use of peeled shrimp. With all the chicken, turkey and ham stock in my freezer, the shrimp don't have a fighting chance.

#9 HungryC

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

Try cooking the shrimp shells for a bit in butter before making the stock--it develops a deeper flavor when the shells get a bit toasty.

#10 pangty

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

I know that some people use this method to cook shrimp base noodle soup. They do mince the shrimp shell and cook the shrimp stock. But normally deep fry or toasted the shrimp shell before mince it. :biggrin:
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#11 ojisan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

Actually, if anyone has a favorite recipe or idea for using shellfish stock (other than soups and rice), I'd love to hear about it.

Gumbo.

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#12 CharlieHorse

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

Ojisan, that's exactly what I was going to say. Normally when I make my gumbo, I include the "Holy Trinity" in my stock for gumbo and throw in the chicken bones (I use thighs) and the ends of the okra. I know, It's not a purest stock, but it's tastey and the okra and chicken mute the shrimp a bit. As you can imagine, shimp stock as a lot of fat, so be prepared to skim that off after it cools if you're saving it.

#13 eldereno

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:21 PM

I've only ever made seafood stock for one thing....Barbecued Shrimp....from Paul Prudhomme's cookbook. No...no...no, also made it for Shrimp Etouffee (recipe from the same chef). It is needed!!!!!

Donna

#14 seabream

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:44 PM

I made shellfish stock today, and decided to follow Shalmanese's advice. The dish called for 3 cups of stock and 1/2 lb of shrimp, so I bought shrimp with heads and used the shells and heads to make the stock. I also added carrot, onion, leek, etc, according to the ratios recommended in Modernist Cuisine. The stock came out very flavorful and the dish came out perfect.

With this experiment and based on all replies above, I am now convinced it makes no sense to freeze shrimp shells. I can't think of a dish that calls for shrimp stock but not for shrimp, and the dishes mentioned above are no exception - they all need the shrimp meat. When I need shellfish stock, I can simply use the fresh shells and heads to make the stock.

Thank you everyone for chiming in!

#15 Ttogull

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

Actually, if anyone has a favorite recipe or idea for using shellfish stock (other than soups and rice), I'd love to hear about it. I accumulate shrimp shells pretty quickly and I'm getting tired of my usual go-to uses.


Ok, I've had this dish on my brain lately, and I recently found out it is made with crab stock. But I think shrimp stock would be good too. It's Heston Blumenthal's crab risotto, which apparently is topped by crab ice cream. Shrimp risotto with shrimp ice cream? I think it could work. The recipe for crab ice cream is available since he published it in a UK paper, and the only surprise ingredient is crab stock.

#16 rumball

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 07:30 AM

i usually make a shrimp stock similar to seabream's but with 3-4 times more shells, no heads. so that calls for freezing shells. then i make a kind of quick boullabaisse: layer potatoes, plum tomatoes, fennel occasionally, with garlic, pernod and some other spices (think crab boil sans mustard seeds) bring to rapid boil, simmer for 5 min, turn off let cool. then saute shrimp with garlic and some hot pepper (fresno is my favorite, emerils essence is good and quick) - serve in soup with chopped watercress, scallions and rouille. with croutons if desired. i think of it as sort of caribbean-french shrimp chowder. it could be done with sweet potato/tomatillo/red bell pepper/corn for mex version. if you make stock and rouille ahead, the soup itself is very quick to throw together and quite intense. many variations possible, like adding coconut milk/lime to stock for thai version with may be cuban pot potatoes (boniato - it's only slightly sweet). and on and on.



#17 Bojana

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:06 AM

Apologies if I missed the answers somewhere, I still have a few question regarding stock making:

-Is there a downside in using the entire shrimp, meat and shell (other than not eating the meat obviously). The benefit is not having to peel the shrimps
-What are the bits that should be removed? Eyes? Rinsing the part between the head and body? Any others?
-If you are peeling the shrimps, do they have to be cooked first? What are advantages or disadvantages of cooking first?
-If you peel them (cooked or uncooked), how long in advance can you do it, what happens to the meat, how long can be stored before it starts becoming mushy?

I have similar questions about making lobster stock, will bump up one of the lobster topics

Thanks!

#18 LaCook

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 03:47 PM

Apologies if I missed the answers somewhere, I still have a few question regarding stock making:

-Is there a downside in using the entire shrimp, meat and shell (other than not eating the meat obviously). The benefit is not having to peel the shrimps
-What are the bits that should be removed? Eyes? Rinsing the part between the head and body? Any others?
-If you are peeling the shrimps, do they have to be cooked first? What are advantages or disadvantages of cooking first?
-If you peel them (cooked or uncooked), how long in advance can you do it, what happens to the meat, how long can be stored before it starts becoming mushy?

I have similar questions about making lobster stock, will bump up one of the lobster topics

Thanks!

 

I realize this is old but didn't see any answers to it. 

 

As far as a downside to using the entire shrimp for stock, the downside is that you would miss getting to eat the sweet succulent shrimp. Even if you make a quick shrimp stock of 30 minutes, which is what I do, that is far too long to cook shrimp. The meat won't be any good to eat, and the shell will be stuck to the meal and very hard to get off. Peeling shrimp is not difficult. Remove the head; pinch the tail, and the meat will slide right out.

 

Every part of the shrimp is edible, including their little bitty eyes, and the heads are incredible in stock.  Even the vein in the tail is edible but, if large, is typically removed.

 

Shrimp are easy to peel raw, and they are easy to peel when cooked--as long as they were not cooked too long in the first place.

 

I peel fresh shrimp for use in a dish, then use the peelings and heads for a stock. Saute the heads/peelings first in a little butter to get a better flavor in the stock.

 

Fresh shrimp should be kept on ice and eaten quickly, and they can be frozen also for use in future dishes. Freeze the shrimp raw.

 

Hope this helps.