Until recently, we were the very first in line to get the boxed (always organic and always low-sodium) stocks from the store. The thought of making stock was too much, we didn’t care and frankly were more interested in the rest of the recipe to think about it. We knew deep down, we were very wrong, but just never really felt like thinking about it. That is, until last week when we finally decided on a whim to give it a try – since that day, we have made 2 different stocks in our kitchen and have plans for more, so you could say we are converts.
Inspiration came from watching Anne Burrell on Food Network make her Pacific Cod and Clam Cacciucco Recipe, she made the concept of stock so easy and our favorite, cheap! While her recipe really looks divine, we, as usual went our own way and came up with a variation by replacing the tomato broth with a cream based broth and we added a favorite, mussels alongside littleneck clams (you know how much we love those mussels, see Mussels in White Wine Broth).
We started with making our own fish stock. The base consisted of smokey thick cut bacon, the same thick cut bacon that changed my dislike of bacon forever (see: Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Crostini). Then we added in onions, sweet carrots, celery, lots of thyme, bay leaves and the cutest little bundle of peppercorns you have ever seen. Fish bones and skeleton were then added along with shrimp shells to get that light fishy flavor into the stock (side note: those fish bones cost us a mere $1.00 per pound, not bad for the incredible flavor you get out of them).