Nope, Nope, Nope: Don't Throw Away Those Shrimp Shells.
Make Homemade Shrimp Stock with Them Instead
Shrimp stock might seem like a "restaurant-only" sort of thing, but it's actually incredibly easy to make at home.
It starts with buying your shrimp unpeeled, getting those peels off, and then saving them in a 1 gallon zip-loc bag in your freezer. Every time you use shrimp, add the shells, until the bag is full. Then it's time to make some stock.
What's So Good About Shrimp Stock?
- It's tasty. Yes, it's a specific taste, not just a sub for chicken stock, but try it in risotto, chowders, or a pan sauce and you'll be convinced.
- It's quick. Just 60 minutes, start to finish. No roasting bones followed by simmering on a stove top for hours on end. It's done in one evening.
- It's adaptable. Shrimp stock pairs well with fresh and dried herbs, like tarragon, thyme, and fennel, and it stands up bold spices like cayenne pepper, cajun seasoning, and even hot sauce (like Tabasco).
- 1 gallon bag of frozen shrimp shells
- 2 tablespoons oil (or butter)
- 1/4 cup each diced onion, carrot, and celery
- Seasonings (fresh or dried herbs, peppercorns, hot chile powder, or anything you want)
- 6 Cups Water
- Saute (or "sweat") the onion, carrot, and celery in the oil until softened and translucent.
- Add the shrimp shells and cook about 2 minutes, until they turn pink and fragrant.
- If you want additional seasonings, add them now.
- Add water, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.
- Strain the liquid through a colander, pressing on the shells with a wooden spoon to make sure all the flavor is released.