Classic Fish Stock

In this video, we go over how to make a classic version of fish stock. While the process is pretty straight forward, here are some main points to keep in mind:

  • The classic ratio of fish bones to mirepoix is 10:1. So for every ten pounds of fish bones, you'll need one pound of mirepoix (which is a 2:1:1 ratio of onions, celery and carrots, by weight). But like most recipes, feel free to adjust ratios to fit your own personal taste preferences.

  • The mirepoix is steamed with butter and white wine at the bottom of the stock pot to help release their aromas but it will also help prevent the delicate flesh and bones from sticking to the bottom of the pot and scorching.

  • The white wine used for fish stock shouldn't be overly acidic, tannic or oaky. The overall amount of wine used is a matter of taste, but a one cup per every 10 cups of water is a good starting point. However, the white wine isn't critical and can be omitted if desired.

  • Fish stock should only be simmered for 45-60 minutes max to help preserve its delicate flavor.

Futher Resources

This post is part of our ongoing Sauces & Soups Video Series. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How to Pickle Watermelon Rind


In a previous video, I demonstrated how to peel and slice watermelon for use on a fruit platter or salad. In this video we’ll take the left-over rind and turn into a versatile condiment by using a fairly straight forward pickling process.

First, remove any remaining red portions of watermelon that are still attached to the rind and then fillet the rind away from the outer skin, which itself isn’t edible.

Once you’ve removed the outer skin, slice the rind into thin strips and pack into clean mason jars. You’ll usually need about 3 12oz mason jars to pickle the rind of one watermelon.

Form here, simply use equal parts vinegar and water (a 1:1 ratio), combine in a mixing bowl, add a little salt for seasoning and enough sugar to subdue the harsh bite of the vinegar.

Fill mason jars with pickling liquid and refrigerate for 24-48 hours before serving. This pickled watermelon rind can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a month.

Now the actual flavors that you use to pickle your watermelon rind can be simple like the above example, or a little more complex. If you want to play around with some more unique flavorings, here are some suggestions:

  • Replace some or all of the water with fruit juice or other flavored liquids including watermelon, cucumber, sake, mirin, wine, tequila or a combination thereof. Sodas such as Sprite or Ginger Ale could also work.

  • Replace some or all of the vinegar with acidic juices like lemon, lime or yuzu.

  • Instead of using granulated sugar as a sweetener, try using honey, brown sugar or palm sugar.

  • Add spices for added depth and flavor including cayenne, togarashi, black and white pepper, cinnamon, anise, cloves, nutmeg, etc.

  • Add complimentary flavors directly to the pickling jar including blackberries, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, fennel, jicama, kaffir lime, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and orange peel.

Once finished, use pickled watermelon rind as condiment, serving it alongside barbecued or roasted meats, use it as a topping for tacos and hot dogs, or to garnish any dish that will benefit from a crunchy texture and sweet/sour flavor.
How to Pickle Watermelon Rind

Basic Pickled Watermelon

  • 2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar

  • 2 cups Water

  • Salt to Taste

  • Sugar to Taste

  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste

  • Cayenne or Red Chili Flakes (Optional)

Sherry Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 2 cups Watermelon Juice

  • 2 cups Sherry Vinegar

  • Honey To Taste

  • Salt to Taste

  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves per 12oz Jar of Watermelon Rind


Asian Style Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 1 12oz Jar of Watermelon Rind

  • Sesame Seeds To Taste

  • Togarashi To Taste
Sliced Green Onions To Taste

  • 2oz Mirin

  • 2oz Sake

  • 1 1/2 Cup Water

  • 2 Cups Rice Wine Vinegar

  • Sugar To Taste

  • Salt To Taste

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together watermelon rind, sesame seeds, togarashi and sliced green onions. Pack mixture into a clean, 12 oz mason jar.

  2. Combine mirin, sake, vinegar in a mixing bowl and season to taste with sugar and salt.

  3. Pour over watermelon rind and refrigerate for 24-48 hours before serving.

*Note: Each pickling liquid recipe is will yield enough for approximately 3 jars of pickled watermelon rind.

For more posts just like this, check out our ongoing Kitchen Prep Video Series. You can also view our complete How To Cook Video Index.



Sous Vide (Crispy Skin) Chicken Breast with Spring Vegetables

This video demonstrates how we prepare and cook our sous vide chicken breast that we're currently serving with sauted spring vegetables and a reduced shallot jus.

The chicken breast is first brined for 24 hours in a 5% brine and then rinsed. Next, the chicken breast is vacuum packed individually and cooked sous vide in 60ºC/140ºF water bath for 4 hours. On "the pickup," the chicken breast is cut out of the sous vide package and the skin is pressed into rice flour and then pan fried in chicken fat.

What makes this sous vide chicken breast great, is normally, chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF, which makes it safe to eat but will also dry out the meat. But salmonella and other food born illness can also be killed at 140ºF if held at that temperature for the proper amount of time.

To pasteurize the chicken breast at this temperature, you'll need to wait until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF and then hold it there for 20 minutes. The breast can also be pasteurize at a "medium rare" internal temp of 136ºF if held there for 30 minutes. Although with an internal temp of 136ºF, the breast meat is still slightly pink which will most likely get the chicken sent back in a restaurant. At an internal temp of 140ºF, the breast is white all the way through but still extremely moist and tender.

The 4 hour cooking time in the circulating bath will ensure that the breast has spent a prolonged period of time at pasteurization temperature, making the breast safe to consume.

Related Techniques


This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.



How to Pan Roast a Chicken Breast

Here's a quick video on how to pan roast a chicken breast. In this technique we use an airline chicken breast that is first brined, seared skin side down and finished in a hot oven without ever flipping.

Brine Recipe

  • 1000g Water (100%)

  • 50g Salt, Kosher (5%)

  • 30g Sugar (3%)

  • 1/2 Lemon, Juice Only

  1. Combine all ingredients with a whisk and brine chicken for 12-24 hours.

  2. Rinse chicken under cold, running water and allow to air dry in a refrigerator for another 12-24 hours for best results.

Related Content


For more posts just like this, check out our ongoing Cooking Techniques Video Series. You can also view our complete How To Cook Video Index.



How to Caramelize Onions in 10 Minutes or Less - A Rebuttal


This post was inspired by Tom Scocca who last Wednesday released an article on alleging a vast conspiracy among recipe writers. He claims that the "Recipe Writing Guild" is intentionally deceitful about how long it takes to caramelize onions and it wasn't long until the "Food-Arazzi" jumped on the link bait bandwagon.

I disagreed, and this is my rebuttal.

Sources Cited in this Video

Oh snap hommey, you just got kitten memed!

"Oh Snap Hommey! You Just Got Kitten Memed!"


Sous Vide Lamb Rack with Pan Sauce and Sauted Vegetables

This video will take you through the process that we use to sous vide a rack of lamb at Stella. The nice thing about this process is we cook the lamb rack a second time in a reduced pan sauce which infuses both the lamb and the sauce with an amazing flavor.

Supporting Video Techniques

Sous vide rack of lamb how to plus time and temperature

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.



Braised Chicken Thighs - Video Recipe

In this video we make a version of Stella Culinary's  most popular recipe, our "World Famous Braised Chicken Thighs." Since a lot of the SC community has already made the original braised chicken thigh recipe, we change it up slightly by using sherry wine instead of balsamic vinegar and fry whole cloves of garlic to make an infused oil instead of using blanched garlic.

If you want to hone your culinary skills over the course of a couple days, buy a few whole chickens and break the chicken down into its separate parts. Use the bones to make a roasted chicken stock which you can then use to braise the thighs. The following day, use the breasts to make a poached chicken roulade. Practice your sauteing technique by serving the roulade with sauted vegetables such as english peas, pearl onions, and/or fava beans. Sauce with a a reinforced chicken stock that's been turned into a pan reduction sauce to round out an epic training session.

Further Information


Simple and Classic Steak Tartare - Video Recipe

In this video I'll demonstrate how to make a simple steak tartare using the head and tail trimmings of a fabricated beef tenderloin.

What is Steak Tartare

For those who aren't familiar with this classic bistro dish, steak tartare is lean beef that is finely minced (sometimes ground), seasoned and served along side toast points. Classic flavorings and garnishes include minced onions, mustard, capers, worcestershire sauce and a raw egg yolk, usually served right on top. It's common to see steak tartare accompanied with toasted rye bread, such as our European Style Brown Bread, but is also great with brioche, crostinis or crackers.

Steak tartare is sometimes also refered to as "beef tartare," "tartare steak" and is sometimes spelled without the 'e' (tartar).

Health and Safety Concerns

Since steak tartare is prepared raw, it's important to buy high grade, lean beef from a trusted source and use within a day or two. Because bacteria is only on the surface of the meat, some prefer to salt the exterior for an hour and rinse thoroughly before dicing.

One must also consider that once the beef is either diced or ground, it will have more surface area upon which bacteria can grow. I don't say this to scare you, but just to stress the importance of paying extra close attention to your sanitary practices while preparing this recipe. Steak tartare is one of my favorite "power meals," and I happily eat it without a second thought of food poisoning (which has never happened). This is because I trust the source of my beef, make sure that it's fresh, and follow a few simple guidelines.
  1. Make sure that your cutting surface has been properly cleaned and sanitized before and after dicing the steak tartare. Same thing goes with the blade of your knife.

  2. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling the raw beef, using hot, soapy water and scrubbing constantly for 20 seconds.

  3. Work quickly and efficiently, exposing the beef to room temperatures as briefly as possible.

  4. It's never a good idea to serve raw or undercooked meat products to young children or the elderly who tend to have weaker immune systems.

That's it! Other then that, give it a shot and enjoy!

Related Content

The list can go on, but instead, what are your ideas? How can you take fresh pasta and turn it into your own unique dish? Let me know in the comments!

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.



Pancetta-Parsley Sourdough Boule - Recipe

Pancetta and parsley are a great, classic flavor pairing, and when combined with our standard sourdough boule recipe, yields a special, delicious bread. Use this bread to accompany soup, make a grilled cheese or just eat as is.


How to Roast and Peel Bell Peppers

A quick video that will demonstrate how to roast and peel a bell pepper.

Technique at a Glance

  1. Roast bell peppers over an open flame or hot grill until the skin is charred black. Do not rush this process; the biggest mistake that most people make when roasting bell peppers before peeling is under roasting. A propane or MAP gas torch will also work.

  2. Remove charred peppers from flame, place in an appropriate sized container, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

  3. After steaming period, remove charred skin by rubbing the exterior of the bell pepper with a lint free towel.

  4. Seed and julienne.

Roasted and peeled bell peppers are great on pizza, sandwiches, hamburgers, mixed into pasta dishes and served on antipasto platters.

Related Links

For more posts just like this, check out our ongoing Kitchen Prep Video Series. You can also view our complete How To Cook Video Index.
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