Fumet (French for fish stock) is delicate and light in color. It is ideal for making sauces for fish, or as a base for clam chowder or other fish/seafood soups. Use fish stock to moisten fish cakes, poach fish, season risottos, rices, vegetable purees, etc.
- Acquire the bones of 1 or two good-sized, high quality fish. An easy way to do this is to purchase a whole fish from the seafood/butcher department at the grocery store, ask the butcher to bone and filet it, then make sure you get those bones! My favorite fish to use is a wild-caught pacific salmon. Rinse the bones clean of any blood and scales.
- Use a 1:2 proportion of white mirepoix to bones by volume. White mirepoix means that there are no dark veggies like carrots, rather it is just celery and onions. Parsnips may be added as a stand-in for carrots. In a stockpot, sweat a mirepoix of celery and onions in a bit of butter. Keep the heat low.
- Just as the veggies take on a bit of translucency set the fish bones on top. Cover the pot with a lid for 5-10 minutes. Proceed when the fish bones have started to sweat.
- Add a few ounces of white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan as the wine boils to dissolve any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Add enough cold water to the pot to immerse the bones at least one inch below the surface. Accent it with whole herbs and spices to your liking; subtle is the key.
- Bring the pot to a boil and reduce to a moderate simmer for 45 minutes. Skim the surface a few times during cooking. Strain the stock by lining a strainer or colander with five – six layers of cheesecloth. The stock is now ready.