Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rosie Makes Shrimp Stock So Mr. Hawthorne Can Make Shrimp Chowder.

Mr. Hawthorne and I ate in Manteo the other week at La Cabana. Mr. Hawthorne raved about their shrimp chowder, and wanted to make his own. This would involve my making a shrimp stock. Not a problem, especially since I have four pounds of heads-on shrimp.
We bought heads-on shrimp for $5.99/pound at the Teeter.
After Glowria and Dixie had their pool time this afternoon, Glowria came in and helped me de-head, peel, and de-vein 4 pounds of shrimp. Yes, there is a price to pay for swimming in the Hawthorne pool.
Remember, Mr. Hawthorne wants to make shrimp chowder for supper tonight.
Mr. Hawthorne is still at work.
However, he's got some kick-ass sous chefs.
First, I gathered a few aromatics - onion, carrot, celery.
I coarse-chopped the onion, carrot, and celery and sauteed them in a few tablespoons of butter. Generally, cooking your ingredients before adding water deepens the flavor of your stock, making it more complex.
After sauteeing the aromatics, I added in the shrimp heads and shells. It always helps when you're pouring the shells and heads of four pounds of shrimp into a pot, that the pot is actually big enough to contain said shells and heads.
I switched pots, added in some olive oil, and cooked the heads and shells, and aromatics, stirring, for about 3-4 minutes.
Next, I added water to cover and some peppercorns.
A little freshly ground salt.
Bay leaves and thyme. The basics for stock are few and easy- fresh ingredients and LOW heat. You do NOT want any type of stock you're making to boil. You do NOT want it even to simmer. Agitation from boiling water can compromise your stock by roiling up impurities which cloud the liquid and detrimentally affect the flavor of your finished product. A temperature between 170 degrees and 180 degrees is enough to extract the essence of an ingredient.
My digital thermometer Mr. Hawthorne gave me comes in quite handy. Mixture has hot spots. I stir every now and then, but very slowly. You don't want to stir up any particulate matter that may have settled on the bottom. Seafood stock is ready in less than an hour. Vegetable stock takes an hour. Chicken stock 2-4 hours. Beef stock 4-6 hours. And veal stock 8-12 hours.
Next I strained the stock through cheesecloth and a chinois.
I washed out the cheesecloth and gave the stock another straining. This time into three quart-sized containers.
Dixie is napping in the background. She worked hard with Glowria earlier.
My shrimp stock is ready. And one quart of it will be used immediately. For the other two quarts, they need to be cooled rapidly. I put mine in an ice bath, cooled them down, then labeled, dated, and froze them. They'll be good for several months in the freezer. Next up, Mr. Hawthorne makes Shrimp Chowder, using my shrimp stock. Trust me, you won't want to miss this one.


zzzadig said...


Waiting for the chowder now

zzzadig said...

I have no idea how the verification word got attached to perfectamundo.

Dogmama13 said...

Thanks Rosie, I learned something new: Don't boil stock!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

You're quite welcome, Dogmama.

Zzzadig, where ya been? I figgered in jail since I haven't heard from you.

You'll have to wait until morn for the chowder.

Hah! Perfectamundo!!!