A small bunch of basil, leaves removed and roughly chopped Heat the fish stock in a medium saucepan and add the peppers and pasta. As soon as the stock boils, remove from the heat and set aside until you need it. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat until it’s shimmering. Season the prawns with half the parsley, the lemon, paprika, garlic and salt. Fry over quite a fierce heat, constantly tossing for three to four minutes. Stir the remaining parsley and the basil into the broth and pour into two bowls. Top with the cooked prawns. When you ask your butcher for bones, buy a small cut of meat and, as the transaction concludes, casually ask if he has anything spare for the stockpot. Some vegetables, such as leeks and brassicas, can skew the flavour balance of a good stock.
Herbs, especially bay, sage and rosemary, are overpowering if you’re heavyhanded with them. So base your stocks around tried and tested recipes. If you’re concerned about leaving the stock simmering away as you run a few errands, you can always turn the heat off and switch it back on when you return. Chefs order us to skim the fat off our stocks, but I never do this. I let the fat rest on the surface as it slowly simmers away. It’s a fallacy that doing so leads to a fattier stock, as long as you simmer, not boil. 01 simmer my stocks in stainless steel saucepans and usually make large batches, especially of beef stock as it takes so long to make. Ten-litre saucepans are perfect. Long-handled lifters and skimmers are useful for attending to your stocks.
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