Things I Love: Head on Shrimp

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Finding head-on shrimp is increasingly difficult - and that's a shame. 

Why do you want the heads on?  Because they make this gorgeous red stock (the color comes from the fat in their heads):

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This is what the stock looks like when it's cooking:

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And here is how you make it:

Stock

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

heads and shells of ¾ pound medium shrimp

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

¾ cup wine

4 cups water

 

Remove the heads and shells from the shrimp and put them in separate bowls. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the shrimp heads, onion, carrot, and parsley, and cook over medium heat, covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp shells, ¾ cup of white wine, and 4 cups of water and simmer very gently, uncovered for about an hour and a half to make an intense stock (it will turn bright orange from the fat in the shrimp heads). Strain the liquid into a bowl and set aside. There will be about 1 ½ cups stock. 

What do you do with it?  It will improve almost anything you're making with fish.  As part of the liquid in paella, it's superb.  If you're making a seafood pasta, cook the pasta just al dente and finish it, briefly, in the stock.  It's the start of a lovely bisque....

Where did I find these wonderful, sustainable (and expensive)  sun shrimp?  You can order them by mail - or if you're lucky enough to live in the Berkshires, you can order them from Rubiner's every week. 

 

 

 

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