Friday, January 1, 2010

Kick Your Cuisine Up A Notch With Easy, Vegetarian Stock





Monday Morning Post for 1-04-10


Good Morning and Happy New Year!


Having watched Julie & Julia for the umpteen-th time (is that a word?) this past week (and loving every minute of it!), I've begun wondering, like Julie, if anyone is actually reading my blog. I'm hoping you are!

In this past week between Christmas and New Years, I've been in the kitchen cooking up old recipes I once thought too complicated to make. To my surprise, my taste buds exploded with the results. I was in heaven!

Spending a whole day making a French Apple Tart (heavy with cream and butter) is not a recipe I'll make very often but for that brief moment between Christmas and New Years, it was like being a child again in the kitchen with grandma - all warm and snuggly and safe from the world.

On the lighter side, one of the things I discovered is a very delicious, very easy and relatively quick, vegetarian stock.

So, if you've been using vegetable bouillon cubes and water when ever a recipe calls for broth or stock, kick your cuisine up a notch with home made.

It's easier (and cheaper) than you think. Just 3 vegetables and some salt yield great flavor.

12 cups tap water
2 cups peeled, diced fresh parsnips (white carrots)
2 cups peeled, diced yellow onion (regular cooking onion)
2 cups peeled, diced potato (any type)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (don't skimp on the salt or use a substitute)

Put all the ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to a boil on high. Remove cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes. Remove from heat and cool with the veggies still in the broth.

Remove veggies from cooled broth and save for another use or discard.

Refrigerate stock until needed for a recipe - up to 3 days.

For longer storage, freeze in recipe size portions - generally 1 to 2 cups or whatever size you use most often. Stock keeps frozen up to 6 months.

Use this wonderful vegetable stock whenever stock or broth is called for in a recipe - even if they call for meat, chicken or fish stock.

Makes a great base for soup, too.

PS. This stock does not gel when refrigerated like animal or fish stocks do. If you need a stock that gels (like if you're making aspic), add vegetarian gelatin to it according to package directions.

PPS. Don't delete or use less salt. The salt draws the flavor out of the vegetables and, besides, this is way less salt than you're getting from veggie cubes or commercially prepared broth or stock. And be sure to use Kosher salt. It is pure salt and has no additives so the broth with have a fresh, true taste and a clear, lovely color.

PPSS. What's the difference between stock & broth?
Broth is lighter in taste. Stock is heavier and richer. But for all practical purposes, they are basically the same and are used interchangeably.

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