The carcasses (head and bones) of any white-fleshed fish may be used to make a flavorful fish stock - monkfish, snapper, cod, haddock, weakfish, whatever is available at your fishmonger's. Do not use oily fish such as bluefish, mackerel, or salmon, however, because the flavor is too strong.
head and bones of one 4- to 6-lb fish, preferably haddock, cod, or snapper
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 medium onion, halved
1 t whole black peppercorns
about 15 springs flat-leaf parsley
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups water
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Combine the ingredients in a heavy soup kettle or stockpot and bring slowly to a boil over medium-low heat.
Cover, turn the heat down to a bare simmer, and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
Strain the broth through a double layer of cheesecloth in a colander and discard the solids.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, keeping in mind that the salt will be concentrated if the stock must later be reduced.