Monday, July 11, 2011

QUICK TIP: Stop cooking with water

       Yes it may be hard to believe that you could stop cooking with water, but allow me to show you how to do it. When you cook items with water, what are you adding to the final dish? Nothing. Water helps to cook the food and to hydrate it but it lacks any flavor. This idea will save you you lots of money and it may make people tell you how great a cook you are.
       Whenever I do anything with vegetables, I will save any of the trimmings and scraps from most of what I cooking with. Usually I will only get a small amount at any time so I will put all of my scraps into a gallon zipper bag. When the bag gets filled to capacity, the contents go into a stockpot. Fill the pot with water, add salt and peppercorns and simmer for 1-2 hours. When done, strain and use this vegetable stock for all of your cooking in place of plain water. The depth of the flavor depends on what veggies you use in the stock. Your rice will become amazing. Sauces will have a more complex flavor. Otherwise simple dishes will become much better.
         So what veggies can go into your stock? It would actually be easier to tell you what not to use. Do not use any cruciferous veggie (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc.), potatoes or radishes. That's pretty much it. No other kind comes to mind, but remember, whatever you add will become the flavor. Onions, celery, carrots (these three veggies are called mire poix when used together), mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, bell peppers, scallions, parsnips, celery root (celeriac), etc. are all good to use. Remember, these trimmings and scraps would otherwise be thrown away to tossed into the compost pile. I usually toss what's left after squeezing out the broth from the stock into the compost pile and my chickens are quick to eat it up. So I guess I'm getting my investment multiple times over. Now THAT'S how you save money.

1 comment:

  1. i used to work at a restaurant and the chief cook never used plain water. He had a big pot of water and threw in all the chicken bones, meat scraps, vegetable peelings etc. and let the pot simmer the whole day and used the liquid for stock.


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