Thursday, April 8, 2010

My First Vegetable Stock

Wow! I can't believe I made my very own vegetable stock. Like my first pot of barley, it is also very easy to make except I keep thinking why bother to boil so long (an hour) when it can be ready after only a few minutes. If I cook the vege for a minute or two, at least it still retains its color and crunch. I heard a chef on "Iron Chef" say that broth is like the basics of basics. It determines the flavour of his food that he serves ultimately. The "Super Soups" book by Michael Van Straten suggested that after making the stock, to put it in ice cube trays and soon after, you will have a whole bag of stock cubes in your freezer! However, the ratio to use is 1:1 of stock to water. A plate of pasta for eg would use about 3 to 4 iced stock cubes.

Interestingly, my lunch and dinner these past few days has been exquisite and flavourful.
So far, I've had:

Welsh minestrone with rice and leeks (onion/leeks/carrot/peas/long beans/rice)
Easy Tomato and basil soup (onion/garlic/tomatoes/celery/basil)
Watercress soup (watercress/onion/bay leaf)

All the above ingredients are added to the vege stock after sweating out the onions and garlic and simmered for about 10 mins. The best part about this "Super Soups" book is that it tells you the benefits of eating a particular vege. So for eg here is part of the write up for the watercress soup:

"In addition to having a wonderful peppery flavour, watercress is one of the most important immune protectors you can eat....To protect the lungs...watercress contains antibacterial mustard oils, lots of betacarotene, and a phytochemical that protects the cells of lung tissue against the carcinogenic effects of smoking".

This book sure has made cooking fun and educational for me because I am not really not into massive reading of health stuff, cancer, nutrients etc. Pray that you too will learn a thing or two, if you were blur like me! Now finding water cress was a challenge for me in the day market. Finally I spotted some and I sort of remembered water cress looked like that and I was also very happy to see a worm sitting on it. Normally I would freak out but now I know it is pesticide free and it is better for me. I actually asked the market man what vege it was but he did not know what he was selling (slap forehead)! Hope you can find yours. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment