Monday, September 10, 2007

Stock or Broth?

Either way, I use a lot of it. I replace water, oils, and other liquids in recipes with stock or broth. I usually buy a low-salt broth, but I had been meaning for awhile to try to make my own. How hard could it be? Something about saving chicken carcasses in my freezer turned me off, so I started with a vegetable stock.

According to Cooking Light, a broth is basically made from the same ingredients as a stock. However, broth is cooked in less time, isn't as intensely flavored, and often contains more sodium. Interesting, so I guess I made a stock.

After reading a number of recipes online and saving vegetable ends and scraps for a few weeks, I decided to just go for it. How bad could it be?

I used:

Celery (w/leafy tops), carrots, baby bella mushrooms, parsley, a bunch of different onion pieces, zucchini, a can of diced tomatoes (w/juice), garlic (few cloves, crushed), dried mustard seeds, some fennel seeds, couple of bay leaves and a few other spices.

I added all those vegetables to about 16 cups of water - brought it up to a boil and then simmered it for about 4-5 hours. It came out as a rich, deep-colored broth, had a nice taste - I was happy with it for my first try. Next time, I think I will leave out the zucchini - or put a bit less, since the flavor of it was a bit too strong.

If you don't want to wing it :), here are a few recipes from around the web:

Cooking Light Vegetable Stock
Allrecipes Vegetable Stock Tutorial
Epicurious Vegetable Stock

I froze my stock in 1-2 cups increments - it was awesome to pull some of my own stock out of the freezer to use for dinner tonight!

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