To say that making fish stocks was my favorite stock yet would probably be fibbing just a bit. Nothing makes you feel like Swedish chef more than hacking up a big fish with a giant cleaver. Nemo jokes were made, but more importantly a classic stock was learned that day.
Fish stock was similar to vegetable stocks in the sense that you need mirepoix, your sachet, but there was a few new things about stocks we covered. For one this stock had more fats in it that required skimming. That and you can definitely smell the progress. It’s like cooking on the docks of New England.
Another thing I learned this week was utilizing my recipe conversions on the fly. The recipe called for ten pounds of fish bones and we ended up only having 6, so my math kicked in and we shaved down the recipe without too much of a time hog. Thank goodness for culinary math!
Once our new fish stock recipe amounts were scaled (pun intended), we sweat and simmered, then we did the same to our stocks. While our fish stocks were simmering we watched “food inc.” which yes it’s a very persuasive documentary but it really makes you think about where that fish came from, who grew these carrots? How did these onions come about?
I realize that in a professional kitchen overhead and food costs won’t always allow us to be on highest of food ethical high horses, but we have to at least try. As the big corporate food machine swallows up small farmers, we lose our touch with what America was built on. Freedom. Freedom to build your dream and produce fresh chemical free food. We as future chefs are the next generation of vessels on which these farmers labor will be delivered to the American public, and we should hold it in high regard.
So as were making our stocks this week or as I cook at home, I try and think about where our food comes from and how to get the most quality product not only for the amazing fresh taste, but the footprint I as a chef will leave on the culinary and food world.
Food for thought.