Stock Up Kids

It seems impossible at times to keep up with the latest trends in anything. With such a large variety of health and wellness cultures it comes as no surprise that health and wellness are no exception for constantly changing information, sources or trends.

Making it equally as challenging to keep oneself well-informed as it is to invest the time needed for due diligence and success in even one discipline.


I am reminded of my college days in Chicago at CHIC, (acronym for the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago). Just starting out with my 100's and introductory classes, thinking about the second semester. Which direction is best? What discipline of culinary school, (Baking, Culinary, Chocolates, sculpting, management, design) will be the most beneficial to me in the long run and why?



Sometimes we just don't know. I sure the hell didn't. Which is when I tend to refer back to the data. Yielding basically what I think now and a conclusion I am very happy with, "do whatever makes you happy and feel good".


Simple, "just do it", "cook it 'til it's done", "you got this" and all the rest. Simplicity can be a bit less stressful, less time consuming, even liberating.




Something as simple as Boulanger's 18th century restoratives, soups or (restaurers) were made with a base simple in ratio: 2 to 1 onion to celery and carrot. Considered by many to be the inspiration if not origin of the restaurant. Soup.


Not modern, but absolutely beneficial and a delicious way to fortify healthy meals regardless of which discipline or team we choose.


Zero fat, zero cholesterol (slurry thickened), low carb, vegetable protein, vitamins A, C, calcium, iron and if lightly seasoned with natural salts (such as Follow Your Bliss 'Himalayan Pink', 'Florida Sail' and 'Sex on the Beach') additionally contain 80 plus trace elements, essential for healthy development.


The answer? Maybe, maybe not but absolutely a fantastic tool and skill I will always use and benefit from.

Enjoy this vegetable stock recipe as a great go-to for a vegan sauce in a pinch (if thickened with slurry) or to substitute water in rice, braising, poaching, gravy, sauces, soups and more for something both flavorful and beneficial.



Basic Vegetable Stock Recipe

8 quarts (2 gallons water)

6 cooking onions (medium dice)

3 large carrots peeled (medium dice)

3 stalks celery trimmed (medium dice)

2 oz. utra-premium or high quality olive oil


Enhancing

option 1.) satchet- 1 bay leaf, pinch thyme, peppercorn, 1/4 cup parsley or cilantro stems in cheesecloth.


option 2.) bouqet garni- 1 bay leaf, pinch thyme, peppercorn, 1/4 cup parsley or cilantro stems tied with butcher twine in celery or leek leaves.


option 3.) Simplified- 1 bay leaf *after bringing to simmer*, small pinch of salt and white pepper on sweating vegetables.

Add water then 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper and pinch of nutmeg.


Optional- Starch stabilizers

Roux

1 stick butter

1/4 cup flour


Slurry

4 oz. water

4 Tablespoons corn starch


Start up your pot! Let's go medium heat, add your olive oil. Let it get warm enough to see some action in the pan, small bubble shaped ripples should be forming in the oil when ready.


Add ALL of your onions. This is the process called "sweating", introducing heat to begin extracting moisture, nutrients and essence from our aromatic vegetables or aromats. I like to hit this layer with a conservative pinch of your favorite salt here. Keep this going, stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent and start smelling incredible.



Next add your celery repeating the process. Occasional stirring until you see it sweat, literally. Moisture will begin beading on the surface of the vegetables. This indicates you are ready for your carrots. Repeating the process once again, do not over season.

Sweat until moisture beads from the carrots.





At this point the pan will be audibly sizzling and vegetables ready to add garlic or deglaze with a shot of wine if desired. (not in this recipe, just knowing someone who loves garlic is always watching)

Let's carefully add our water. Then bring our burner to high, we're going to bring it to a boil. This can take a while so get comfortable but stay close. Stirring every now and then with a heat-resistant spatula. Making contact with the pan's surface and scraping that caramelized vegetable remnants or "good stuff" off and into your stock.



Once you get to a boil (rapid, large bubbles), we will reduce heat to a simmer (shown above,small bubbles, slightly slower seen on the perimeter of the pot.) which varies by stove. Low to medium-low usually hits the mark.


Add your bay leaf, as well as the last dash of salt and pepper here for the simplified version.

Otherwise add your Sachet or bouqet garni here. Simmer on low stirring occasionally for up to 24 hours. When desired color is reached, strain, cool and store. Ice cube trays are perfect, yielding 1 oz cubes.


8 cubes= 1 cup


Enjoy your favorite way and PLEASE share your food photos with us by email at followyourbliss2014@yahoo or foodswithbenefitsbook@yahoo.


Thank you so much for reading.


"Give your taste buds a kiss, just Follow Your Bliss!"


-Chef Roberto




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