A lot of delicious seafood recipes like shrimp risottos, bouillabaisse or soups call for a homemade seafood stock. Just a thought of making it could be intimidating and the process might seem very complicated. But in reality making seafood (shrimp in this recipe) stock from scratch is relatively easy and quick. All you need is shrimp shells, vegetables, spices and herbs and a little bit of time. In the end you will be rewarded with flavorful, healthy, delicious stock that you can use as a base for your favorite dishes without having to buy a store-made one that is loaded with preservatives and additives. And of course anything homemade tastes hundreds times better.
You will need a few pounds of wild caught headless, shells on and tails on shrimp.
The next step is the most time consuming one – removing the shells and tails and deveining the shrimp. Do not be discourages by this seemingly elaborate process, once you get a hang of it you will be doing it in no time. First peel the shells of the shrimp, removing the tail all together. Then from the tail run your knife along the top side just cutting it a little and not going the whole way through. Inside you will see a black line that is a digestive tract that needs to be removed. And your fingers are the best tools to do so. It might seem little gross that is why I make my husband do it.
Once this little painful operation is done and you have your shells and tails in one pile, and your deveined shrimp in the other, thoroughly rinse them under the water. The rest is a breeze. Sauté shells with tails together with vegetables in a pan with oil for about 10 minutes, then add water and spices with herbs and simmer for about 15 minutes. Here you have it, your homemade shrimp stock is ready.
Strain it into a bowl and after it cools off store it in an air tight containers or freeze in an ice-cube trays for a convenient portioning for later. Enjoy in seafood dishes!