Posts Tagged ‘stock’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Save Those Scraps

July 26, 2016

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When peeling and trimming vegetables, a lot of waste is created. Carrot tops and peels, and ends of onions; the list goes on and on. Rather than throw them away, why not start a scrap bin in the freezer and use it later to make stock? This concept also applies to chicken bones, or shells and skin from seafood as well. Just be sure to store them separately. When it’s time to make stock, toss in your scrap bag of vegetables and either the chicken, meat or seafood bones, and you’re good to go!

You will not only help save the planet, but you and your stock will be just a little richer in the process!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Mushroom Soup

November 9, 2015

Even though the weather in New York has been balmy, I have been craving soup. It might be about seeking comfort more than warmth, but soup has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now. My mother sent me a recipe for mushroom soup that she had recently made, and I thought I would give it a try. That is, until I read it. The original recipe called for adding 10 tablespoons of flour and a whole stick of butter to the pot, to get a creamy texture without the cream. Thinking there was no way I was going to add a stick of butter to my soup, let alone all that flour, I set out to adapt the recipe to make it a bit cleaner. While I don’t know if it resembled the original, it definately tasted good enough to share.

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Pureed Mushroom Soup:

Dice one onion, a couple of ribs of celery and a carrot or two. Clean and slice about 1 1/2 pounds of mushrooms. I used all conventional mushrooms, but next time I will try to mix in some shiitake and crimini mushrooms for a deeper flavor profile. Saute all of this in a little olive oil until slightly browned and the mushrooms have released all of their liquid, about 5-8 minutes.

Add about 10 cups of chicken or vegetable stock to the pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer, with the lid partially on for about 45 minutes. Add a few sage leaves and puree the mixture until smooth. Return the soup to the stove. Make a paste using a little of the hot soup and a couple of tablespoons of flour adding more liquid until it is smooth. Stir this into the pot of hot soup, and gently boil until it starts to thicken. I added just enough to get a silky consistency, but you can add more if you prefer an even thicker soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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All The Rest is Gravy

November 26, 2014

A good gravy goes hand in hand with a beautiful roasted turkey. We get rave reviews for this one, made with the pan juices, and a little help from some pantry items.

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Mushroom Gravy:

Pour the pan juices from the turkey in a bowl, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain them into a glass measuring cup, and add 1/2 cup of white wine, and enough stock to measure 6 cups in total.

Sauté 2 pounds of sliced mushrooms until they are golden brown and the juice has evaporated. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Mix in reserved garlic herb paste, and sprinkle with about 1/3 cup of flour. Toss to incorporate the flour, so lumps will not form when the liquid is added. Whisk in the broth/pan juices and bring to a boil. Continue whisking as it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Soup Chickens

October 21, 2014

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It’s flu season, and it’s arrived with a vengeance! Nothing is more soothing than a bowl of savory chicken soup.

The secret to a great stock, is the type of chicken used. Free range chickens tend to be leaner and better cared for than others, but often yield a a bland stock. Ask your butcher to give you a “soup chicken.”

A soup chicken is a nice way of describing a older hen, who is past her egg laying prime. Although farmers no longer find her useful, this old bird makes a wonderful soup. (Is anyone else getting a little sad here?) While the meat can be a bit tough when roasted, it tends be sturdy enough to stay on the bones during hours of simmering on the stove.

Rich and Savory Chicken Stock:

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and place in a large stockpot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, and skim off the brownish foam that collects around the surface of the pot. Add several peeled carrots and stalks of celery cut into 2 or 3″ chunks, a big handful of parsley, 1 or 2 peeled and quartered onions and 1 or 2 peeled and chunked parsnips.
Allow it to simmer on the stove, covered for several hours,until the stock is golden, and richly flavored. Strain out all of the chicken and vegetables and return the stock to the pot. Cool, and refrigerate overnight to allow the excess fat to rise to the top and solidify. Skim off the fat. A very rich stock will be slightly congealed. If you feel the stock is not flavorful enough, reduce it on the stove to allow it to enrich. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like, dice the soup carrots and some of the chicken meat and toss it back into the broth before eating.

Chicken broth freezes well. Check out our posts on skimming the fat, and freezing in mason jars.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Waste Case Project: Day 4

March 29, 2012

Tonight was the big test…a whole roasted chicken! Every week, I buy a whole chicken, and of course we never finish it. I’m told that it is going to get eaten for lunch, but every Saturday, I throw away what is left. Today, I decided to take the “chicken challenge” and make sure it gets eaten. I personally packed up the leftovers, so that I could assess the remnants. There is a huge amount left, and easily enough for dinner tomorrow night. I bought 2 organic carrots and an onion, thinking I would make a small pot of chicken stock with the leftovers,and use up some herbs festering in the produce drawer. Will there be enough chicken left to bother, or will we actually eat it all? If I don’t make the stock, what becomes of the onion and carrots? A new dilemma!

I cleaned and chopped all the lettuce I bought, including the arugula that is miraculously still hanging in there after a few days, and put what I didn’t think we needed in a plastic bag with a paper towel in it to absorb the moisture. There is plenty for another meal,and the work is already done for me!

I even used a rubber spatula to get ALL the yogurt out of the container, instead of tossing those last few spoonfuls.

Awareness of the problem is proving to be half the battle for me. Planning for waste is helping me eliminate waste.

Stay tuned to find out what REALLY happens to that roasted chicken!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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