Seafood Stock: the way I do it

Courtesy of Ed Hoffmann

A few pounds of the head, bones, and trimmings of a firm white-fleshed fish like sea bass, snapper, pollock, cod, etc. (Salmon or trout are too strong – unless you want salmon gumbo) The rest of the fish goes in the gumbo.
Peels of 2 lb. raw shrimp (If you can get shrimp with heads – by all means use them. It’ll make a much better stock (increase to 3 lb.))
1 lg. Dungeness crab – Pick meat and reserve for gumbo. Save ALL shells and innards (except feathery gills) for stock.
1 large onion – coarsely chopped
2 or 3 stalks celery – coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
Several sprigs parsley
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp thyme leaves
About 3 quarts water

Combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.

Strain stock and return to stockpot – reduce to about 2 1/2 quarts. It will smell fishy but that’s what you want! Set aside for gumbo or chill and refrigerate (3 days) or freeze.

Note: If you can’t get the fish parts, all is not lost – just go ahead and make the stock without them. You’ll still make a good gumbo; it just won’t be as complex. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Throw in some more crab shells or shrimp peels.