I want to share my adventure of making homemade vegetable bouillon with you. I guess I think of it as an adventure because I find it so exciting to make such a practical and tasty pantry staple so easily. If you have a food processor, it's a snap. If you have a stick blender, it's still snappy. If you don't have a machine to do the quick and easy chopping for you, it's time to invest (or add it to your Christmas wish list).
Key ingredient in both recipes and with all bouillon: salt. When the large quantity of salt is added, it naturally preserves the vegetables and allows the mixture to be kept in the fridge for weeks. You can put the extra in the freezer, although it won't actually freeze solid because of all the salt.
I used garlic, onions, carrots, celery, shallots, fennel, sun dried tomatoes, parsley and cilantro. Mushrooms, turnips or leeks would also be lovely, but this recipe is very flexible.
And of course, a lot of salt. I used about 7 ounces, but better to start on the lower end than to make it too salty.
I added these beautiful whole peppercorns but found they didn't quite grind properly when mixed with all the other vegetables. Perhaps start with the peppercorns and carrots so they'll grind down nicely.
Once jammed in the food processor, your ingredients will be look something like this. You might find it easier to make two batches, since there are so many veggies involved.
Start by pulsing the veggies about 20 times or more if needed; this will quickly break them down and allow them to mix properly. Add the salt last, then let it mix with full power until you get a nice swirl going inside the bowl.
Once pureed, it will turn out looking something like this, depending on how many green herbs you use or if you choose to mix up the vegetables and add mushrooms or turnips.
Add about a teaspoon of bouillon to each cup of water. Adjust depending on how salty you like your broth.
With four carrots, one fennel bulb, one onion, four garlic cloves, two shallots, four celery ribs, half bunch parsley, half bunch cilantro, three tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, one tablespoon peppercorns and seven ounces of salt, I ended up with almost 3 pints of bouillon.
Use as stock for any broth-based soup, add to risottos, sauces, chili or anything that needs a little extra flavor. Enjoy!
This weekend I want to make these yummy, "best-ever" choco-chip cookies (they really are amazing) and attack that bouillon project I've been eying all week long. Anyone else doing some home-cookin' over the weekend?
In calendar related news: less than two weeks until Thanksgiving (and my golden birthday)!
Not sure if you knew this, but it's true. Life-long, true-blue, never-ever liked the texture, taste, or even the look of meat. Especially red meat. The smell, on the other hand, has never bothered me.
Being someone who loves food and appreciates a well-rounded pallet, I know that not eating meat makes me kind of a foodie wimp, or at least causes me to lose some street cred. Ohh well. I'll eat just about any dessert or pastry, so at least I've got that going for me.
Recently, I've found two recipes for traditional meat dishes that substitute the meat, for, well,...not meat. And not fake meat (which really, is just so grossss), but rather, tasty, hearty ingredients like lentils and mushrooms.
Last night I made cream of spinach soup from scratch, thanks to a recipe by my foodie-crush, Mark Bittman, who writes for the NY Times.
I loved the intensity of all the deep, green spinach leaves, but I'd recommend using more broth and less cream in the base. An addition of some white wine might also be a great idea.
Tonight, I'm shooting for this white lasagna. The word béchamelis so lovely, is it not?
This weekend? Something squash. We have a bunch of little acorn and butternuts on the kitchen table that are dying to be roasted.
This chili-lime vinaigrette with roasted acorn squash has really caught my eye. Zesty and cozy.
Images and recipes at the incredible, practical and simply delicious smitten kitchen.