Tag Archives: Broth

Bouillon de dinde…

Nearly every year after the Thanksgiving feast at my sister’s house I lug the turkey carcass home, leave it on my porch overnight (as my fridge isn’t large enough to accommodate it), and make broth with it the next day. The simmering broth makes my house smell delicious and drives my two dogs nuts (but I do put some on their food as a treat). After packaging it in increments I freeze it and use it for a few weeks–or months–thereafter for whatever recipe calls for chicken broth. It’s so easy to make and offers a really delicious flavor. The simple recipe for broth is below, but if you’d like to read an article I wrote for Artvoice sometime ago regarding other Thanksgiving leftovers, click here; and here’s a link to an article on broth itself.

Turkey Broth 

1 cooked turkey carcass, and any scraps, juices, and pan scrapings
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into thirds
4 ribs celery, cut into thirds
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns 

Combine the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stockpot and cover with enough cold water to cover them by two inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for a few hours, skimming the surface as necessary. Strain and refrigerate until needed.  

Urban Simplicity.

Vegetable Broth!

I’ve been experimenting with vegetable broth recipes for a while now, for days when I choose to not eat meat, which has been becoming more and more frequent. This is not meant to be a vegetarian substitute or imitation of a meat-based broth because nothing can substitute the richness of a well made chicken or beef broth. But it is meant to be a replacement, and a really delicious one at that. The key to it’s full flavor is using a lot of vegetables in relation to water, slow simmering, and also the cooking and browning of the onions and carrots which brings out their natural sweetness.

And when making traditional—or should I say animal based—broths, which are usually made with bones and unusable scraps, when the broth is strained the solids are most often discarded. But in the case of this vegetable broth this would seem a waste on many levels. The remaining solids can be added to a soup, pasta dish, mashed and eaten as a side dish, or mashed and mixed with a bit of flour and a few eggs for burgers or patties (or even mixed into your dog’s food). There really are plenty of options. And the finished broth can then, of course, be used in any recipe that calls for stock or broth. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this as it is simple to make and really flavorful. The recipe can be multiplied or divided, and the finished broth can be portioned and frozen as well.

Vegetable Broth 
Makes 3-4 quarts

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium onions, peeled and diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small head celery, diced
8 plum tomatoes, quartered
24 medium mushrooms, sliced
4 quarts cold water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a sauce pan, then add the onions and carrots. Saute the onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, or until the begin to brown, then add the garlic and cook them for another minute or two. Then add the celery, tomatoes, and mushrooms; stir to combine. Then stir in the cold water, along with the sea salt, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Simmer the broth—without stirring—for 1-to-2 hours. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the vegetables with a ladle or the back of a large spoon to extract as much broth as possible. Discard the solids or incorporate them into another recipe.

Urban Simplicity.

Broth, Bouillon, Brodo (y Caldo)

Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.”
LouisP. De Gouy

A couple things…

Firstly, I have relatively little trouble eating (and ultimatley sustaining on) meatless or near-meatless meals. Actually, I prefer it. But I have to admit the one thing that would keep me from being a full-blown vegetarian is meat-based stock or broth…or what a vegan friend of mine refers to as “meat juice.” Rice cooked in water is bland, but cook it in a rich broth and it is a meal unto itself. If you have a rich broth and want a soup the flavor is already accomplished…whatever else you add is simply a bonus. I add chicken stock to most things I cook aglio e olio. The famed chef, Auguste Escoffier–whom which chef De Gouy worked under–has said that (and I’m paraphrasing) with a good stock anything can be accomplished. Stock/broth, to me, is a form of alchemy. And I love how the kitchen smells with a broth slowly simmering away (home kitchen or work kitchen). Today at work was slow and I made seven pots of the golden stuff (about 40 gallons) and the kitchen smelled amazing. Anyhow, for recipes and lore about soup and stock read this article I wrote for Artvoice a couple years ago. In the meantime…simmer. 

Spiced Brown Rice and Beans with Venison and Broccoli

I remember hearing the statement–and I’m paraphrasing, I’m sure–that if you teach a person to play a song they can play that song, but teach them to play the instrument and they can play many songs. The reason I mention this is that this is just another example of an endless number of dishes that can be made by using nearly the same recipe, or at least the same method of preparation. This brown rice dish is just a variation on a theme of any stove-top brown rice pilaf. Over the past few years I’ve slowly gravitated towards cooking and eating mostly whole-grain and whole-wheat foods…I figured I eat enough bread, pasta, and rice, that I might as well eat the healthier stuff. And it’s interesting in that along the way I’ve actually begun to like the whole grain varieties much more than their refined versions…whole grains, to me, have more character; more flavor and texture.

Anyhow, to make a recipe like this you merely saute some items, season them, add rice and stock, then let it cook…simple, but there are a few things to consider (especially when it comes to flavor and texture). The first is the liquid-to-rice ration. This varies from rice-to-rice, but generally speaking with white rice the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of boiling liquid, whereas brown rice is 1 cup of rice to 2 1/2 (sometimes more) of boiling liquid. Cooking times vary as well. White rice takes 18-20 minutes to cook, whereas brown rice takes 40-50 minutes to cook. And when it comes to flavor, the liquid is makes the biggest impact…as the rice cooks it is not merely coated with the flavors of the seasonings and liquid, the grains actually absorb their flavors. Therefor, if rice is cooked in water it will have a very simple rice flavor. This, of course, is OK, and even suggested when the rice is being served as a side dish and paired with highly seasoned foods, but when it is the main course the rice should be more full flavored itself, and it’s for this reason the rice in this instance should be cooked in broth. The broth absorbs into the rice and the rice takes on the flavor of the broth (and other seasonings). While the recipe in this post contained venison and was seasoned with Near East spices, it could easily have been made with chicken and Spanish or Italian seasoning with just a few alterations…more variations on a theme. Here it is in pictures; the recipe follows.

 Spiced Brown Rice and Beans with Venison and Broccoli

Heat a heavy deep skillet with either vegetable oil or clarified butter, then add a pound or more of diced venison (or chicken, lamb, beef) and brown it lightly. Remove the meat to a plate and in the same hot pan add a diced onion and a couple cloves of minced garlic; cook for a couple minutes until the onion just begins to brown. A a teaspoon each of turmeric, curry, tandoori spice, chili powder, and kosher salt; stir for a minute over the heat to bring out their flavor. Add 1 cup of brown rice, stirring it to coat it in the oil and seasonings, then 2 1/2 cups of boiling broth. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid, and cook the rice untouched for 30 minutes. Then add 1 cup of cooked (or canned) and rinsed white beans and a head of broccoli that has been course chopped…don’t stir these in, just  allow them to rest on top of the simmering rice and steam. Cover the skillet again and cook for another 10 minutes. Check the consistency of the rice…if it is not done or too much liquid has evaporated, add another half-cup of broth and cook for another 5 minutes. If the the rice is cooked to your liking gently fold the broccoli and beans into the rice, remove the pan from the heat, cover it and allow to rest for five minutes prior to serving. Makes about 4 large servings.

Urban Simplicity.