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The Earthbound Cook
by Myra Goodman

Stock made of shrimp (or any shellfish) shells makes a flavorful base for soups, chowders, risottos, and pasta dishes. This quick version utilizes raw shrimp shells, an item that is usually discarded. Rather than waste them, simmer the shells with a few aromatic vegetables (whatever you have on hand will suffice) to make a quick stock that adds a briny depth of flavor to dishes. Shrimp shells can be saved and frozen for several months, so if you like, store them in an airtight container until you have about a pound; then, when you have time, make a larger quantity of this stock, doubling all of the ingredients for a yield of 8 cups.
Makes about 4 cups


• Reserved shrimp shells and tail pieces, or other shellfish shells (at least 2 cups)
• 1 small carrot, chopped
• 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed and chopped
• 1 small onion, quartered
• 2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
• 6 whole black peppercorns
• 1 dried bay leaf
• 12 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
• 6 cups cold water


1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to the start of a simmer over medium- high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

2. Strain the stock through a fine- mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Store, covered, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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