If you are going to make fish stock...by george lets make fish stock!
Let me begin by saying I didn't intend to have quite this much fish stock. It has been 3 months and for heavens sake...there are still 4 qts of fish stock in the freezer! But it all began innocently enough.
I had just returned from Maman's lesson on how to make a Bouillabaisse. And for something to sink in correctly I need to replicate fairly quickly. So that week I started to think about how I could put my hands on some fish bones to make a stock. I called my local grocery store, nope they get all their fish in already cleaned. The nearest fish store that I know of is a good hour away. Hmmm what is a girl to do.
Oh! Wait! I run a hotel. We have a fish guy. Hmmmm. I asked my cook who was doing the ordering to see if Paganos had any fish bones. I was looking for heads and bones. I was looking for about 5 lbs. I was looking for Grouper or Snapper or Sea Bass or Blue fish...or...or...or. I was NOT looking for Salmon or Tuna or Mahi, too oily. Let me repeat: I asked my guy to SEE if Paganos had any fish bones.
The next thing I know, "Yolande, your fish bones will be here today."
Wait! Are they on a separate invoice? What kind of bones? I am not ready to make fish stock tonight. I can't even leave here till late tonight. Can you put them on hold? Will he take a check? Do I have cash on me?
They arrived 30 minutes later. They were on the same invoice. I was going to have to reimburse the hotel. I was going to have to find a way to get out of work at least a little bit early. There was WAY MORE than 5 lbs.
There were 3 fish heads with spine and tails attached. The fish tags that were also still attached read 23.75 lbs, 28 lbs, and 26.5 lbs. These had been some big fish, with teeth! I borrowed a bus tub and put my fish bones in the back of the car...smelly. I made sure there were witnesses when I paid the hotel what I owed for my fish bones...two quarters. And I returned the bus tub full of smelly cooked fish bones the next day. I wasn't going to put those bones in my trash to sit for 5 days till the next trash day!
So here is the first recipe for that famous Bouillabaisse.