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Restless by nature, on a whim I blew off city living and my career, to try my hand at a simpler-slower life in rural Tasmania. It's going to be one heck of a learning curve..join me as I find my feet, fingers crossed!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fish stock..

I never waste our precious flatheads after filleting. Our friends think I’m crazy; not only do I keep the skin on the fish fillets, but carefully wash the bones & heads, so I can make a fish stock.

With or without CFS, it’s an easily digestible protein hit that’s instantly strengthening to your system. A pick-me-up of sorts.

P2170022Steaming fresh fish stock.

Making a Basic Fish stock..Makes approx 1 litre.

Place 300-400g of clean fish bones (no blood or guts-will make it bitter & cloudy) & cover with 1.5-2lt’s (dependant on the size of your pot) of COLD water-NEVER HOT, we want to draw the flavour out, slowly!

Add 2 bay-leaves, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, 1 onion (skin on, cut in half), 1 whole tomato, 1/2 celery stick & or 1/2 carrot & my twist: 2 kaffir lime leaves, 1/2 tsp tumeric & a pinch of chilli. This gives the stock a lovely golden glow. Be sure to use a stainless steel pot so the stock doesn’t discolour.

Slowly bring to the boil, reduce to simmer & instantly skim any scum that rises to the surface (helps to make a clear delicious stock). Simmer for a maximum of 40 minutes, strain through a fine strainer & cool to tepid. Place promptly in the fridge or freezer; fish stock has a short shelf life-3 days is best. *Take care when straining, gently pour off the liquid; a cloudy stock may result by shaking up the finely cooked bones & flesh. Pop left over cooked fishy bits into your compost..

Now what to do with your yummy stock?

  • Fish mornay-Use half stock & half milk in the veloute (mornay) base. Add a dash of cream, fresh broad beans, lemon rind & fresh fish pieces for a twist on the traditional. Finish with pecorino, breadcrumbs & bake.
  • Miso-Bring the stock to the boil, turn off & whisk in organic miso paste. Garnish with fresh greens & nori. (Highly recommend for CFS)
  • Soups like Hot & sour broth; (Tom Yum style or with noodles) Saffron, tomato & fennel broth; Laksa.
  • Risotto-Use hot fish stock in your risotto. My favourite variation is white fish, pernod & fennel bulb risotto. Finish with fresh chervil.
  • Fish curries-Add stock for a rich complex flavour.

If you don’t have access to fresh fish bones..ask your local fish monger. Try not to make stocks from heavy tasting, dark, oily fish like tuna, swordfish & kingfish etc. In my humble opinion, white light fish make the best stocks-snapper, whiting & flatties etc. Atlantic salmon & ocean trout make a delicious rich, golden, slightly oily stock which may be too strong for some but I love it for Chilli infused Asian broths. Ah..fish stock, it’s liquid gold at it’s best!

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