Hello everyone! I’m back!
My road trip was friggin’ awesome and I had a stellar time driving through a handful of western states. I got to sample a lot of different food, see some beautiful parks and even gambled a bit in Vegas. The buffets in the casinos? Intense! Due to the fast paced nature of the trip I wasn’t able to write in as much as I would have liked, sadly, but now that I’m slowly getting back into my normal routine I’ll be sure to pass along some of the great cuisine I sampled.
One thing I will say is that I ate pretty lousy the entire time. Vegetarian was not the theme, so now that I’m back I no longer have an excuse and am returning to less guilt-inducing food. One of the things I realized I needed for future meals was some liquid gold: vegetable stock. We’ve talked about making your own turkey stock, a guide that can pretty easily be applied to its feathery cousin the chicken, but ironically the vegetable variation has never been mentioned.
Making vegetable stock is a pretty straight forward process and actually pretty similar to how you make any other stock: you simmer your “flavoring agents” (vegetables instead of bones) with whatever herbs and maybe spices that tickles your fancy. I like to start with a base of an onion, a couple carrots and several cloves of garlic. From there I’ll usually add something “meaty” like a turnip or potato. It’s really your masterpiece to craft. Beware adding too much of one ingredient, as it may overwhelm the others. Carrots, for example are pretty sweet and too many will give you a sweeter broth.
If you’ve got a little extra time, roasting your vegetables prior can really bring out the flavor.
Treat this a guideline, not a recipe. You can craft it for a specific recipe or all-purpose.
1 medium onion; quartered
3 carrots; chopped
3 celery stalks; chopped
1 small turnip; peeled and chopped
7 garlic cloves; smashed
1 shallot; chopped
6 cups of water
Several sprigs of parsley
Several sprigs of rosemary
1 bay leaf
Preheat the oven to 400, lightly oil your vegetables and place in a roasting pan. Roast for one hour. Scrape your vegetables, getting as much of the brown bits as possible, into a large stock pot with the water and herbs. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain into a bowl, pressing out as much of the juice from the vegetables as possible (I like to use a potato ricer). Dispose of the vegetables as you are done with them let the liquid cool. Freeze into any size portions you’d like for easy use at any time! Enjoy.