Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fish Stock (Page 930)

RECIPE #1088

  • Date: Friday, January 22, 2010 -- 8pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Josh G
  • Recipe Rating: B-

I made this stock last week in California because it is the base for several other recipes from The Book. I started by buttering a heavy pot. Then I added heads, bones, and trimmings from two snapper. I added onion, fennel, parsley, lemon juice, and salt to the pot and I cooked it covered for a few minutes. I added water and white wine and simmered uncovered for 20 minutes. Then I poured my stock through a fine mesh sieve. This fish stock was ok. It had an intense fish flavor. I thought it could have used some more vegetable flavors though: for instance some celery, carrot, mushroom, etc... would have been nice. The stock tasted strongly of wine and fish, but there wasn't much depth to the flavor. My stock also came out quite cloudy. The recipe says to bring the stock to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Boiling fish stock often results in a cloudiness. It probably would have been a better idea to just bring the stock gently to a simmer. This wasn't the best fish stock I have made but I used this stock as the base for a sauce the next day and the sauce came out lovely, so this recipe is definitely usable!

The recipe is here.

This was the last recipe from the Basics section in The Book. The Basics section is the shortest of the 21 sections in The Book, with only 17 recipes. The recipes in this section were very difficult to grade, as they were mostly component for other things (e.g. how do you grade clarified butter?). Typically when I finish off a section I list my top 5 recommendations from that section. In this case the section was so short that there weren't 5 recipes that stood out as amazing. There were a couple stand-outs though:
  • Veal Stock -- This stock was just lovely. It had a wonderful mouthfeel and a rich flavor. I used this veal stock as the base for several sauces and it did not disappoint!
  • Jerk Marinade -- This recipe had a fantastic balance of flavors. A long list of ingredients (scallions, garlic, onions, Scotch bonnet chiles, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, brown sugar, thyme, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon) came together is perfect proportion to create something delicious! I used this as a marinade for chicken and it was great!
One more section down! That's 5 sections down, and only 16 sections left to finish!

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