The Stock Report, Part Two
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Post By Bonnie
Mar. 11. 2011
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In my last post I offered tips on making your own vegetable stock using a slow cooker. This is a great method when you’re long on veggies and short on energy. But if you have just a little more “hands-on” time (and still all those veggies in your fridge) slow roasting your vegetables prior to simmering them is going to pay back with even deeper and richer flavor. And that depth of flavor will translate to whatever dish you use it in. You know the saying that “time is money”, well, in this case, time is flavor.

 

I needed vegetable stock a few weeks ago to make Creamy Artichoke Soup for a Soup Swap I was hosting the next day. I was going to just go buy a bunch of containers of Vegetable Broth at my neighborhood shop, but then I remembered this Minimalist article by Mark Bittman where he confidently states, “Canned vegetable stocks sold in stores, with just a couple of exceptions, are beyond disappointing. In fact, they are either insipid and overpriced or awful and overpriced. In general, they range from two to three dollars a quart and, since I'd estimate that you can make a quart . . . for about 30 cents -- perhaps twice that, if you use organic vegetables -- you might as well give it a shot. And you probably have all the ingredients you need on hand already.”

 

Well that certainly made the case for me. Thrift has been a priority for me of late and I didn’t want to have the base for my soup to be “insipid” or “awful.” So I gave it a shot. And I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, save for a couple of leeks and the fresh marjoram. I used the Roasted Vegetable Stock recipe from Martha Bayne’s Soup & Bread Cookbook, since that’s also where the Creamy Artichoke soup was coming from. The recipe is by Chuck Sudo, Food and Drink editor for chicagoist.com. I liked that my stock and soup recipes had a local “flavor” being created by fellow Chicago Soup Makers and using veggies from my Fresh Picks box. Chopping the vegetables doesn’t take very long because you’re cutting them in big hunks and you don’t even have to peel the skin of the onions and shallots.

 

I ended up having 4 quarts of soup, even though I only needed three for the swap. So that night, after a lively party and the exchange of 45 quarts of different soups, I had a small bowl of the Creamy Artichoke Soup. I don’t know how Mark Bittman would rate it, but in terms of flavor and depth and brightness, I gave it two thumbs up (soup spoon in one hand). I think the slow roasted veggie stock was the key player in it being such a palate pleaser.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 

Roasted Vegetable Stock

From The Soup and Bread Cookbook

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

2 or 3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped, including leafy ends

2 small zucchini, coarsely chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced in half keeping the root end in tact and cleaned under running cold water

1 1/2 yellow onions, quartered (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded (I forgot to get them, so I used half a jar of roasted red peppers I happened to have)

1 head of garlic

2 or 3 shallots, halved (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 cup mushroom stems (caps reserved for another use) I used a mix of crimini and baby bella

leaves from 4 sprigs fresh marjoram

leaves from 4 springs fresh thyme

extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup or so dry white wine (for this I used Pabst Blue Ribbon)

12 cups water

1/2 cup crushed, canned tomatoes

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, leeks, yellow onions, red bell peppers, garlic, shallots, and mushroom stems on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter over the marjoram and thyme and then generously drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, toss to get everything coated.

 

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables with a spatula every 15 minutes. When the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a deep pot.

 

Add in the water, tomatoes and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place the baking sheet over two burners and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the white wine and using a whisk, deglaze the

 

Add wine from pan to soup pot, cover, and return to a boil. Remove the lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock using a colander set over a large bowl, pressing down on the vegetables to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. If you like, you can strain again to make the stock very clear and remove the little bits and thyme, marjoram and any vegetable pulp, but it’s not necessary. You can also fish out the garlic head and squeeze out the soft, sweet garlic inside and stir it into the broth for extra flavor.

The Stock Report, Part Two

 

In the last post I offered tips on making your own vegetable stock using a slow cooker. This is a great method when you’re long on veggies and short on energy. But if you have just a little more “hands-on” time (and still all those veggies in your fridge) slow roasting your vegetables prior to simmering them is going to pay back with even deeper and richer flavor. And that depth of flavor will translate to whatever dish you use it in. You know the saying that “time is money”, well, in this case, time is flavor.

 

I needed vegetable stock a few weeks ago to make Creamy Artichoke soup for a Soup Swap I was hosting the next day. I was going to just go buy a bunch of containers of Vegetable Broth at my neighborhood shop, but then I remembered this Minimalist article by Mark Bittman where he confidently states, “Canned vegetable stocks sold in stores, with just a couple of exceptions, are beyond disappointing. In fact, they are either insipid and overpriced or awful and overpriced. In general, they range from two to three dollars a quart and, since I'd estimate that you can make a quart . . . for about 30 cents -- perhaps twice that, if you use organic vegetables -- you might as well give it a shot. And you probably have all the ingredients you need on hand already.”

 

Well that certainly made the case for me. Thrift has been a priority for me of late and I didn’t want to have the base for my soup to be “insipid” or “awful.” So I gave it a shot. And I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, save for a couple of leeks and the fresh marjoram. I used the Roasted Vegetable Stock recipe from Martha Bayne’s Soup & Bread Cookbook, since that’s also where the Creamy Artichoke soup was coming from. The recipe is by Chuck Sudo, Food and Drink editor for chicagoist.com. I liked that my stock and soup recipes had a local “flavor” being created by fellow Chicago Soup Makers. Chopping the vegetables doesn’t take very long because you’re cutting them in big hunks and you don’t even have to peel the skin of the onions and shallots.

 

I ended up having 4 quarts of soup, even though I only needed three for the swap. So that night, after a lively party and the exchange of 45 quarts of different soups, I had a small bowl of the Creamy Artichoke Soup. I don’t know how Mark Bittman would rate it, but in terms of flavor and depth and brightness, I gave it two thumbs up (soup spoon in one hand). I think the slow roasted veggie stock was the key player in it being such a palate pleaser.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 

Roasted Vegetable Stock

From The Soup and Bread Cookbook

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

2 or 3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped, including leafy ends

2 small zucchini, coarsely chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced in half keeping the root end in tact and cleaned under running cold water

1 1/2 yellow onions, quartered (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded (I forgot to get them, so I used half a jar of roasted red peppers I happened to have)

1 head of garlic

2 or 3 shallots, halved (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 cup mushroom stems (caps reserved for another use) I used a mix of crimini and baby bella

leaves from 4 sprigs fresh marjoram

leaves from 4 springs fresh thyme

extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup or so dry white wine (for this I used Pabst Blue Ribbon)

12 cups water

1/2 cup crushed, canned tomatoes

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, leeks, yellow onions, red bell peppers, garlic, shallots, and mushroom stems on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter over the marjoram and thyme and then generously drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, toss to get everything coated.

 

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables with a spatula every 15 minutes. When the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a deep pot.

 

Add in the water, tomatoes and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place the baking sheet over two burners and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the white wine and using a whisk, deglaze the

 

Add wine from pan to soup pot, cover, and return to a boil. Remove the lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock using a colander set over a large bowl, pressing down on the vegetables to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. If you like, you can strain again to make the stock very clear and remove the little bits and thyme, marjoram and any vegetable pulp, but it’s not necessary. You can also fish out the garlic head and squeeze out the soft, sweet garlic inside and stir it into the broth for extra flavor.

The Stock Report, Part Two

 

In the last post I offered tips on making your own vegetable stock using a slow cooker. This is a great method when you’re long on veggies and short on energy. But if you have just a little more “hands-on” time (and still all those veggies in your fridge) slow roasting your vegetables prior to simmering them is going to pay back with even deeper and richer flavor. And that depth of flavor will translate to whatever dish you use it in. You know the saying that “time is money”, well, in this case, time is flavor.

 

I needed vegetable stock a few weeks ago to make Creamy Artichoke soup for a Soup Swap I was hosting the next day. I was going to just go buy a bunch of containers of Vegetable Broth at my neighborhood shop, but then I remembered this Minimalist article by Mark Bittman where he confidently states, “Canned vegetable stocks sold in stores, with just a couple of exceptions, are beyond disappointing. In fact, they are either insipid and overpriced or awful and overpriced. In general, they range from two to three dollars a quart and, since I'd estimate that you can make a quart . . . for about 30 cents -- perhaps twice that, if you use organic vegetables -- you might as well give it a shot. And you probably have all the ingredients you need on hand already.”

 

Well that certainly made the case for me. Thrift has been a priority for me of late and I didn’t want to have the base for my soup to be “insipid” or “awful.” So I gave it a shot. And I had almost all of the ingredients on hand, save for a couple of leeks and the fresh marjoram. I used the Roasted Vegetable Stock recipe from Martha Bayne’s Soup & Bread Cookbook, since that’s also where the Creamy Artichoke soup was coming from. The recipe is by Chuck Sudo, Food and Drink editor for chicagoist.com. I liked that my stock and soup recipes had a local “flavor” being created by fellow Chicago Soup Makers. Chopping the vegetables doesn’t take very long because you’re cutting them in big hunks and you don’t even have to peel the skin of the onions and shallots.

 

I ended up having 4 quarts of soup, even though I only needed three for the swap. So that night, after a lively party and the exchange of 45 quarts of different soups, I had a small bowl of the Creamy Artichoke Soup. I don’t know how Mark Bittman would rate it, but in terms of flavor and depth and brightness, I gave it two thumbs up (soup spoon in one hand). I think the slow roasted veggie stock was the key player in it being such a palate pleaser.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 

Roasted Vegetable Stock

From The Soup and Bread Cookbook

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

2 or 3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped, including leafy ends

2 small zucchini, coarsely chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced in half keeping the root end in tact and cleaned under running cold water

1 1/2 yellow onions, quartered (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 red bell peppers, quartered and seeded (I forgot to get them, so I used half a jar of roasted red peppers I happened to have)

1 head of garlic

2 or 3 shallots, halved (don’t bother to peel the skin off)

2 cup mushroom stems (caps reserved for another use) I used a mix of crimini and baby bella

leaves from 4 sprigs fresh marjoram

leaves from 4 springs fresh thyme

extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup or so dry white wine (for this I used Pabst Blue Ribbon)

12 cups water

1/2 cup crushed, canned tomatoes

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, leeks, yellow onions, red bell peppers, garlic, shallots, and mushroom stems on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter over the marjoram and thyme and then generously drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands, toss to get everything coated.

 

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables with a spatula every 15 minutes. When the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them to a deep pot.

 

Add in the water, tomatoes and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place the baking sheet over two burners and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the white wine and using a whisk, deglaze the

 

Add wine from pan to soup pot, cover, and return to a boil. Remove the lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the stock using a colander set over a large bowl, pressing down on the vegetables to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. If you like, you can strain again to make the stock very clear and remove the little bits and thyme, marjoram and any vegetable pulp, but it’s not necessary. You can also fish out the garlic head and squeeze out the soft, sweet garlic inside and stir it into the broth for extra flavor.

The Stock Report
0

Post By Bonnie
Mar. 07. 2011
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It happens to all of us at some point. You open your fridge and see that the veggies are stockpiling up faster than you can get to them. And you know that you’ve got a certain amount of time before you must “use ‘em or lose ‘em.” Don’t fret and don’t toss those veggies! For the next few posts we’re going to cover practical and relatively easy ways to use up surplus or tired veggies. This week we’re going to Talk Stock--vegetable stock that is.

 

Homemade vegetable stock is the ultimate win-win for your fridge & your palate. All the parts that you haven’t used or maybe even don’t intend to (think celery bottoms and onion skins) can be combined with a few other key vegetables and you’ve got liquid gold. Homemade veggie stock not only tastes superior to store-bought, it’s also much more healthful. There’s significantly less sodium and no preservatives or coloring agents. And here’s the other good news – you can make this stock while you sleep!

 

This could also be nick-named the “garbage disposal method." Basically you take all of the vegetables in your fridge (even those that might be looking a little limp or tired) and cut them up into large chunks and put them in a slow cooker. Add a few sprigs of fresh parsley (a tablespoon of dried if you don’t have fresh) and two to three whole cloves of garlic. Pour in enough water to cover everything, set it on low and let it cook for 8-10 hours. Turn the cooker off and let the veggies and broth cool and then strain the liquid from the veggies. (Toss or compost the strained veggies.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.  I like to turn the slow cooker on before I go to bed and in the morning, not only do I have stock when I wake up, but my house also smells divine.

 

A few tips: try to have a variety of vegetables. If you only have onions and radishes, your stock might be a little flat or slightly bitter in flavor. Carrots, celery, onions and garlic will always elevate the flavor profile of your stock and parsely will give it brightness. But feel free to experiment. Burdock not only adds zing, it’s amazingly high in Folic Acid and other vitamins. Check out this post over at The Sassy Radish on how to start your own Stock Bag.

 

One medium-sized slow cooker will yield between two to three quarts of stock. It will keep in your fridge for a few weeks or you can freeze it where it will be good for up to six months. And remember, vegetable stock isn’t just for soup! It’s a great base for risottos, pilafs, rice and pasta dishes. This Mushroom Barley Pilaf was a big hit last month and was a great vehicle for using and re-using the vegetable stock and also keeping up with those veggies.

Green Goodness
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Post By Bonnie
Feb. 25. 2011
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Are you getting that twitchy feeling yet? You know the one, it’s where you know full well that it is still very much winter but you’re just aching for Spring. You want to see little green buds popping up through the soil. You want to see colors other than white and brown. You want to smell something sweet and new. You’re not alone in your impatience. Shops have already started stocking seeds and gardening tools and the birds are chattering about. But the reality is, it’s still winter.

 

So while you can’t make Spring come any sooner, you can bring a little green goodness to your plate and palate and that will certainly brighten things up and keep that twitchy feeling at bay. And you can do it by mixing up a deceptively simple sauce called Salsa Verde. The key word here being “verde” which means green. It is called a salsa but it’s actually more Mediterranean than Latin given that it has a base of olive oil and parsley. Just like Spring, this sauce is sunny and fresh, providing a green zing to whatever you drizzle it over or toss it with. Happily it is a cinch to make and only requires five main ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry.

 

I first came across this recipe on the always inspiring food blog, Orangette. In that recipe she tosses Salsa Verde with warm Yukon Gold potatoes. (You should have received those in your Fresh Picks delivery this week if you get the Fruit/Veg box.) After I served the garlicky, green potatoes to my husband, this sauce went into heavy rotation at our house. (I think the capers are the secret weapon here but you be the judge.) But don’t just limit this sauce to potatoes. Try it drizzled on pretty much any protein, we like it on grilled or broiled salmon. It’s divine on fluffy scrambled eggs and will brighten up any sandwich. You can toss it with penne pasta or lentils or your favorite whole grain. I have even been known to sneak a little spoonful. Just to get that quick taste of Spring.

 

Hurry Up Spring Salsa Verde

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon capers, minced

1 ½ tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon lemon juice (use the real stuff!)

salt & pepper to taste.

 

Preparation

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.

 

Note: Feel free to play with the recipe. The parsley can be replaced by other herbs like basil or watercress and you could substitute minced shallots for the garlic. This sauce keeps for weeks in the fridge.

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