Aromatic and oceanic, homemade fish stock is essential for great seafood stew. Chef Mark Sullivan shares his master recipe and three ways to use it.
Mark Sullivan believes in the power of fish stock, the slow-simmered broth made from fish heads and bones, and aromatics like fennel, celery and garlic. That’s because he knows that great stock—complex, oceanic—is essential for great seafood stews. Sullivan, the chef at San Francisco’s Spruce, discovered an array of such stews while traveling through Mediterranean France, Italy and Spain. He shares those recipes here, all of them with the same first step: asking a fishmonger for the freshest head and bones from a white-fleshed, nonoily fish like snapper or cod. Each recipe is flexible, so swap in whatever fish is freshest at the market. It’s the Mediterranean way.
Step 1: Make the Master Fish Stock