Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vegetable Stock

Man, guys, how long has it been since I did a cooking post? Wow, January!

Oh, yeah, that was before the semester started and I had classes. Well, now classes are over and I get to cook again!

So, because I *haven't* been cooking, I have a lot of vegetables in my fridge that are a little past their prime... but I feel guilty tossing them out. So, while they still are in pretty good shape, I made vegetable stock.

Start by chopping up everything - scraps, ends and all - and tossing into the pot. See those bright red slices? Beets. How did I ever think I was going to eat beets when I don't have time to cook? Silly me...

Add water to cover the vegetables. Or fill the pot. Hopefully one comes before the other.

Simmer, simmer away! I added some herbs and spices, whatever felt good to me. Let that baby cook in all those fantastic juices, while the whole room smells delicious. If it doesn't smell delicious, you either a) used vegetables that were so far gone as to be MOLDY, or b) your gut feeling for spices needs some help.

But we carry on.

I have a strainer to separate the broth from the veggies, ice cube trays for freezing some of the broth, and not shown are baggies to store the rest. I like to freeze stock, because goodness knows it would spoil in the fridge if I kept it there. I don't, unlike the store varieties, have preservative #1304 on hand to mix in for that extra kick.

Strain out the vegetables. If the vegetables had been fresh, I'd eat them. But they were not. So I don't.

Do you know why that stock looks pink? Beets! Do you also know why my white cutting board looks like somebody died on it? Beets!

Proper storage - two ice cube trays, a bowl with a 1C. amount and a bowl with a 2C. amount. This is to make it easy when making soups. Unless I need a soup with 1.5C. At that point, I think I add 2C. and expect leftovers. Because life's too short to hack away at a frozen chunk of vegetable stock.

So what do I do with ice cubes? These are for thinning out of things. If I make a soup or sauce too thick, I can add a small amount of broth. More flavorful than adding water. Also good for adding to the water when making rice, for flavor.

Also, makes pink rice. :) Beets!

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