We’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.