Market Report: Stock Options

Img_6465We’ve settled into the seaonal standards (brussels sprouts, black kale, squash, apples, pears) and are also faced with the standard challenge of needing to clean out the vegetable drawers each week to make room for the latest purchases from the market. We’ve decided to start making stock every weekend: if we have a chicken carcass or some other meat bones around, we’ll throw them in, but vegetables alone will do just fine.

With all the talk of carbon footprints and the folly of bottled water, I’ve been thinking canned or boxed chicken stock is one of those things that doesn’t quite justify itself: the flavor is fine, but even the low sodium versions can add salt where and when you don’t need it (i’ve found that a couple tablespoons soy sauce in a few cups of water adds a lovely background flavor to any dish; no cans required).

This sunday we had a few carrots, an old onion, some wilty celery, fennel tops, old parsley, tired thyme. We put all that in a stockpot, covered it with water, and simmered those with pepper corns and a bay leaf for about an hour. I had enough to freeze a few quarts and we put the rest of it in a pitcher that we’ll keep in the refrigerator to use throughout the week. I’m thinking an easy ravioli in broth will be good on a chilly day. We also might make some risotto or couscous with it. Or thin out a sauce or use to brasie some fennel or fish. Just having it around should inspire some new dishes.
—Hugh

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3 Responses to Market Report: Stock Options

  1. Rebecca says:

    What a great use for the weeks old veggies….thanks for reminding me to do this more! Also, you can make it in the pressure cooker in about 20 minutes. One of my favorite things to make with vegetable stock is this very quick & delicious lentil dish:
    Saute some onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chopped crimini mushrooms (or whatever you want) in olive oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker until tender. Add one cup of beluga (black) lentils (they don’t seem to fall apart like other varieties) and two cups of homemade stock. Close lid and bring up to high pressure. Cook for about 12 minutes. Release pressure and season with salt & pepper and stir in a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I usually serve this with a simple romaine garden salad with balsamic & olive oil and grilled cheese sandwiches. I make this from start to finish in 30 minutes and both of my children (age 5 and 2.5) LOVE it….

  2. Beth Hayden says:

    Okay, I have to admit my ignorance, here – someone gave me a ham bone a few weeks back, and it’s been sitting in the freezer giving me the evil eye every time I open the freezer door. It wants me to DO something with it, but I have no idea how to turn a ham bone (or a bone of any kind, to be honest) into stock – any suggestions out there?

  3. Rebecca says:

    What a great use for the weeks veggies…thanks for reminding me to do this more! Also, you can make it in the pressure cooker in about 20 minutes. Here is one of my favorite things to make with fresh stock:
    In a pressure cooker, saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chopped crimini mushrooms (or whatever you want) in olive oil until tender. Stir in 1 cup of beluga (black) lentils (these don’t seem to fall apart like other varieties) and two cups of homemade stock. Lock lid in place and bring to high pressure. Cook for 12 minutes. Release pressure and season with salt & pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. I usually just serve this with a simple romaine garden salad with balsamic and olive oil and grilled cheese sandwiches. This can be made start to finish in 30 minutes and both of my girls (age 5 and 2.5) love it…….

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