We enjoyed a roast chicken on Sunday. I always enjoy the various meals I can make from one organic chicken. After the roast chicken I deboned it and used the meat for tonights dinner then put all the bones in drippings into a large Dutch oven and simmered for a couple of hours. Removed the bones, strained and refrigerated it so the fat would surface, thus making it easier to skim the fat off. This made a wonderfully rich chicken stock that was so dark it looked like beef stock rather than chicken. It will make a beautiful meal down the road but for now I froze this for use later on. Tonight with the chicken that I removed I made Chicken, Cheese & Tomatillo Enchiladas. I always make a little extra tomatillo sauce for a great salsa with chips for a weekend movie. It’s a real treat and the flavor is unmatched. There’s a little zing in the tomatillos that you just don’t find in anything else. Continue reading
Today I want to show you how to make a quick yogurt and chives salad dressing that I adore as I never buy store bought dressings. The next time you’re buying groceries just read the ingredients and you’ll see why. I eat a lot of salads and our vegetable spring rolls call for a dipping sauce and this works great for that as well. Continue reading
After what seems like weeks of much needed rain, we’ve had enough dry days in a row to tackle the jungle that was formerly our yard. A few hours of mowing and weed eating got the lawn back in shape, and as a bonus we enjoyed a pretty good workout. Needing to replenish the salt and potassium we lost doing an honest day’s work, I thought that this avocado cilantro bean dip was just the thing. Continue reading
This tasty, crusty italian bread is easy to make and is soft and pillowy on the inside. The basic recipe is from King Arthur Flour, and that recipe is based on the bread recipe that launched the “no knead” craze that Sullivan Street Bakery’s Jim Lahey famously shared with Mark Bittman several years ago. Continue reading
This is a salsa made with black beans, corn, lime juice and a bunch of other southwestern delightful ingredients. Served with tortilla chips and maybe a little guacamole on the side you’ll have a hit on your hands. Oh and did I mention it’s fairly healthy as well?
I have made this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe on a number of occasions over the years and it is sublime. It’s easy and much faster than the original French recipe. However, it is still dark, rich, and wine based with a slow cook style. Slow cooking is very important, a simmer for three to four hours is key. Continue reading
We’ve got a great recipe for a spicy link sausage to share with you. A number of years ago I discovered making my own sausage– Italian, spicy pork, and a chicken sausage as well as a few others. To say I had such fun making these (as well as eating them) would be an understatement. I don’t know why but I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and it’s so simple with savory dishes. Add a touch of this, a sprinkle of that… a pinch here and there makes life more interesting, don’t you think? As your palate experiences different flavors it just gets easier to expand and perfect recipes to your own taste. Let’s face it- cooking should be a fun and creative outlet. Continue reading
Early on I made a chicken stock for you, as winter had arrived and well, lets face it, there is nothing like homemade soup- for which you need a good stock. So today we’ll make beef stock and oh I see beef stew in my future. Actually, French Onion Soup sounds really wonderful with melted cheese… and a glass of wine, too. Doesn’t it sound perfect?
There are many occasions where a recipe calls for either chicken or beef stock and what is called stock in our grocery store is so watered down it no longer resembles a stock with the appropriate adjectives such as rich, deep flavor, mouth watering, and soul satisfying. Your stock is the essence of the dish; if it’s not the very best the dish will not be your best creation. You can make a good stock and freeze it and for the occasion when you just need a few tablespoons it’s a great idea to freeze them in ice cube trays then pop out what you need. Great for soups, stews and sauces.
In classic French cuisine stocks are so important that they are known as the “fond du cuisine”
or the foundation of cooking. Stocks are not intimidating by any mean but rather easy and economical and taste wonderful. Save all your bones, freeze them and they will be there when you have time to cook them up and make your stock. Here we go.
In a large stock pot add all your bones, vegetables, spices and water. Bring it to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue simmering for 2-3 hours. Check it often and adjust the temp if necessary. I usually aim for 3 hours as it has time to render the marrow and make it richer. Remove bones and vegetables to a strainer and drain broth thru strainer right into a bowl, pressing any liquid out of vegetables with the back of a large spoon. Discard any solids and drain remaining stock if any in the same strainer catching any spices or pieces. Again, press liquid out with the back of a large spoon, and discard the solids. If you can drain everything all at once, great! I tend to do batches- it’s just easier and I don’t have a large enough strainer. Remember you want a smooth, silky broth.
Refrigerate stock so fat rises to the top, you can now skim off and discard the fat. Freeze in ice cube trays or freezer bags. Now you’re ready for the next time you prepare a soup, stew or sauce. You’ll taste the difference and never purchase at the grocery store again. I promise.
- 4 pounds meaty beef neck bones or beef soup bones
- 12 cups water
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into pieces
- 2 large celery stalks with leaves cut into pieces
- 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into pieces
- 1 heaping Tablespoon parsley
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables.
- Strain liquid into a container.
- Refrigerate until fat solidifies at top.
- Remove fat.