Scale up the recipe according to how many lobster shells you have; sauté them in batches if necessary.
This rich broth made from lobster shells is a great, easy way to make pricey lobsters go twice as far. It's so useful I make up batches and freeze it to make luxurious soups, seafood stews and paellas - among other improvisations - at a moment's notice.
Like bones for a stock, the shells can also be stockpiled in the freezer until you are ready make Lobster Essence. (If you have a lobster dinner in a restaurant, take the shells home in a doggy bag.)
2. Stir in the wine, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, fennel seed, pepper flakes and saffron threads. Squash the tomatoes in your hands and add to the pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer 1 hour, adding water as necessary to keep the shells covered with liquid.
3. Pour the broth through a fine strainer, pressing to extract all liquid from the solids. Pour into plastic containers and let cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.
Note: The broth will keep 3 days in the refrigerator, and several months in the freezer.
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A former chef, Sally Schneider has won numerous awards—including four James Beard awards—for her books and magazine writing. She is creator of the lifestyle blog Improvised Life, a featured blogger on The Atlantic Monthly's Food Blog, and author of The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook. She has served as a contributing editor to both Saveur and Food & Wine, and her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Saveur, Food & Wine, SELF and Connoisseur.