Stocks are classified under fond de cuisine, which is the French word for stock. If translated literally, it means "foundation of the kitchen”. It is the liquid that comes out of simmering bones and meat with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings forming the basis of many sauces and soups. At its most basic, it is flavored water!
Stock to a cook is voice to a singer.
Broth, stock, and fumet
There are a few terms bandied about when talking about this liquid gold:
• A broth contains meat and bones and can be served as is.
• A stock contains bones and is used as an ingredient in other recipes.
• A fumet is usually referred to as a fish stock that has wine added to it.
Watch a pro
Here is a great video in 7 parts showing how to make fish fumet.
Makes about 4 cups
1 pound fish (white, preferably)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2 leeks (white part only), chopped
1 Bouquet Garni
1½ cups dry white wine
3 cups water
You can use the heads of the fish, but clean the fish of the scales and gills. Chop into pieces.
Prepare the vegetables. Since there won't be time to extract all the flavor from big chunks of vegetables, chop them fairly small.
In a large stock pot, melt butter. Add the fish and the vegetables. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture by half. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Skim off any froth. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve lined with a cheesecloth.
Fish stock is fishy. There’s not much else to say. After simmering fish for 20 minutes, the whole house smelled fishy so I simmered some cinnamon and cloves after I finished making this stock. But, the fish stock really was easy and enhanced the flavor of the sole immensely. It’s well worth the fish house smell!
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Running total: $338.43 + $15.94 = $354.37
Butter used so far: 4 pounds, 24 tablespoons