Preparing your own fish stock for dinner entrees is optional, but it makes Salmon Chowder and other dishes extra-delicious. This recipe is from Lucinda Scala Quinn, and it appears on the Martha Stewart Living digital magazine for iPad.
Heat oil in a large stockpot over low heat. Cook leeks, celery, and shallot until soft, about 15 minutes. Add peppercorns, bay leaf, fish bones, and head. Cover with water by 1 inch. Gently simmer (do not boil) for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Add herbs, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve; discard solids.
Fish stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months. Thaw before using.