Whenever I or someone I know takes a trip to the Gulf of Mexico I have a cooler full of shrimp brought back. Not only are they fresh and far tastier than anything at a grocery store they cost around $3 a pound for 16-20 count.
The one thing that makes them a little work is they still have their heads, and cleaning more than 20 pounds of shrimp can be time consuming. Of course shrimp heads make the best flavored stock available and it freezes so well that I always have at least a quart on hand ready for that special meal in December.
To clean a shrimp just grab the head and pull it from the body under cold running water. Rinse any yellow mustard from the body and toss it into a bowl of cold water to rinse again. If freezing the shrimp, remember to add a little water to suspend them in the bags once they freeze. You can not freeze shrimp with the heads on, but they do not need to be deveined before freezing. The stock will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.
- heads from 5-20 pounds of shrimp
- 1 rib celery torn into pieces
- 1 small onion chopped large
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 to 1 bottle dry white wine
Rinse shrimp heads with water and set aside. In a stock pot large enough to hold all the heads heat two tablespoons olive oil. Add heads and cook over medium heat until fragrant stirring often. Add wine, vegetables, spices and enough water to cover the heads by three inches. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface and then simmer on medium low for 45 minutes. Strain stock into a bowl and once cooled store in containers for freezer or refrigerator.