Most people know that it’s a good idea to save your turkey and chicken carcasses and ham bones for use in stocks and soups, but did you know that saving your shrimp or lobster shells is also a good idea for the same reason? Regular readers know that we like lots of shrimp dishes, so we always have a ready supply of shrimp shells (and the occasional set of lobster shells) to use for this simple seafood stock you can use with chowders, seafood bisques, shrimp creole, or an etouffee. To preserve the shells, I generally just take the shells from a pound’s worth of shrimp from a recipe I’m already doing, put it in a sandwich size ziplock bag, squeeze the air out of it, and put it in the freezer!
I based this on a recipe I originally found connected to a recipe for Shrimp Etouffee years ago, long before I was a blogger who cared about attribution, so I recently had to re-find it online to give credit where credit is due. Turns out the website I got it from is NOLA Cuisine, which has all sorts of good recipes and tips, and I encourage you to check it out.
- Shells and Tails from 2 lbs of shrimp, or 1 lb of shrimp plus a lobster tail
- ½ Sweet or brown onion, quartered, ends and skin removed (original called for ¼ cup chopped onion)
- 2 Celery stalks, chopped (original called for ¼ cup chopped)
- 1 Lemon, sliced
- 3 Bay leaves (original called for 2 fresh leaves, I used 3 dry)
- 3 Sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 Tsp peppercorns
- Add all ingredients to a pot or large (original recipe said 2 qt) saucepan
- Cover with cold water (I used 10 cups, original recipe used 6-8)
- Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer
- Simmer for an hour
- Strain stock into another container
- My version made 6 cups of stock