Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure: Part II

   I have been finding all these recipes lately that I really want to try that ask for Shrimp Stock. So what was I to do, but of course make some of my own. Recently, every time I would purchase shrimp, I would ensure that they had the shells and tails still attached. When the time came to cook some or all of the shrimp, instead of tossing the shells away, I saved them in a resealable plastic bag. Also, I had been saving my vegetable clippings as usual. Instead of waiting to make my next batch of chicken stock, I used them up making Shrimp Stock.
    I should start by saying, that frozen/uncooked shrimp, with the shells and tails attached are considerably cheaper than those that have the shells/tails removed. Now I understand that this is because of the extra labor involved to remove them. But wouldn't you agree it to be silly to pay more for less of a product. Especially when the part that has been removed, can be easily utilized to enhance the flavor of your food. Had I not saved the shells/tails, I would have been forced to spend X amount of dollars on an item I already had the ability to make myself for free. And I say free, because the items from which it's made, are items that would otherwise be tossed in the trash.
    While making this Shrimp Stock, I could have easily tossed everything in the slow cooker, as I do with my Chicken Stock. But today I had some free time and decided to use the stove top.   

"Free" Shrimp Stock:

Ready for the freezer. I use these convenient freezer
jars for easy storage. Each container holds
2 cups of stock.

shells/tails from about 2 lbs worth of shrimp (enough to fill a medium sized freezer bag)
clippings from carrots, celery, and onion (enough to fill a medium sized freezer bag)
2-3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
2-3 tsp. salt
16 cups water


(1) Add the frozen shrimp shells to a very large pot. Cook until they become pink.

(2) Add all the other ingredients, and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for no less than 3 hours.

(3) Once the time has passed, strain the liquid and discard the rest.

(4) From here you can freeze the stock, or process it using Mason Jars and a water bath.

You may also like:
"Free" Chicken Stock

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