August 2, 2015
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):
This is what the stock looks like when it's cooking:
And here is how you make it:
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.