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gourmet articleshome made stocks

April 2003
Here is a tip that I have found to be a lifesaver and it is also very easy. Drag out that crock-pot that your Uncle Henry gave you for your wedding gift years ago and dust it off, you will need it on this tip. Every wonder how some restaurant soups have such an intense flavor? It is because some restaurants make their own stocks as a base to all of their soups. Here is how you can make your own home made stocks at home with little effort and no extra cost. If fact, it will save you money because you are buying those expensive canned stocks. As you trim and peel your vegetables, don't through them away! Do you like to pull the fat off of chicken breasts before you cook them? Don't through the fat away! Trimming away some of that fat on a roast before you cook it is a great idea, but, don't through it away! Put them in freezer bags until you have enough to fill that old dusty crackpot. When you do, remove them from freezer and add them to the pot with enough water to cover them. Add some salt and pepper. Let them cook on low temperature for at least 12 hours. Overnight is better, however, you may have to add some extra water during the cooking period. After they have cooked, strain them to separate the vegetable or other scraps you used to make the stock. Next you need to go to the discount store and buy some of those cheap plastic ice cube trays and use them for processing stock only. "Do not reuse the tray for plain ice." Using them for anything other that the stock will leave an aftertaste in your plain ice cubes. Next you add the stock to the ice trays and freeze. Empty the trays and place the cubes into freezer bags and put in the freezer. When you need a stock for any kind of soup, don't buy that expensive stuff at the store; use your own homemade stock. The measuring formula is simple; three cubes as an average to equal 1/3 cup. You may need to check this formula according to the size of the ice tray. But most ice trays will result in about the 1/3-cup calculation.

Do the same with chicken bones or fish bones to make chicken or fish stock. When you are using chicken or beef scraps to make stock and you want to lower your fat intake, here is a tip for removing the excess fat. Allow the stock to cool and skim off the fat from the top before pouring it into the ice cubes. This is a far better stock than store bought and you will be using all of your throwaways. Happy Cookin'!!!

Written By: John E. Clark CEC- Chef Johnny to his friends

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