Fish stock is the foundation for seafood soups and stews. My basic method is from the 1990 Fannie Farmer Cookbook (By the terrific Marion Cunningham), although I have tinkered with it. After the fish has been cleaned (all organs removed), everything else can be used for stock. How many recipes do you know that call for a fish skeleton?
Prep time: 20 minutes (not including filleting the fish, which I assume you did for a previous meal)
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 cups stock
One white fish skeleton (This recipes assumes a skeleton about 2 lbs – scale other ingredients if you have more or less)
1 large carrot, scrubbed, then peeled again with the shavings going into the stockpot
1 bunch parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
1 medium-size onion (pool ball size), coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1 bay leaf
9-10 cups water (enough to cover the ingredients in the pot)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Wash the fish skeleton and place in a stock pot, along with the carrot peelings, parsley, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, bay leaf, and cloves. Add the water, and cook over medium heat to a simmer, then turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour through a sieve or colander with narrow slots into another container, and season with salt. Cool, and then refrigerate or freeze.
Tasty Variation: Add 1 or 2 cups dry white wine in place of the equivalent amount of water in the stock.
Tip: Save your plastic 16 oz. butter/margarine/cottage cheese tubs. Each holds 2 cups and is a perfect container for freezing stock.
Tip: White fish makes the best stock.
Served up by fish fanatic (and cookbook author) Tod Dimmick