Friday, July 4, 2008

Veggie Soup Stock

This is so tasty! It's something I've wanted to try for a while and was finally able to cus we got some fresh corn with ALL the husk on. Now I know many of you are going to say to make tamales with the husks, and others of you are going to say to grill them with the husks on (I love em that way) but no one else in the household down here will touch them that way. To them, the corn cob has to be boiled... for a long time... sigh; heathens they are!

So I always end up with a huge pile of corn husks and nothing to do with them (yes, I'll make tamales for myself and grill mine in the husk but there's still a lot left over).

So how's about making soup stock with them!? Why the heck not? Here we go with

Dave's Veggie Stock

What you need:

a big pile of fresh corn husks
lots of water
lots of sea salt
ground black pepper
dried onion flakes (I make my own)
dried red bell pepper (I make my own of them too)
dried basil

What you do:

Fill your largest stock pot with water, toss in all the corn husks. Sprinkle with sea salt, cover, and crank some heat under that sucker. Turn the heat way down once it's boiling, push down any floating corn husks (use something besides your bare hand), and then go away for an hour.

When you come back in an hour, top the water up, sprinkle in some more sea salt, add some ground black pepper, onion flakes, dried red bell pepper strips and some dried basil. Put the lid back on and go away for another hour.

Ok, you've now come back; it's been a total of two hours since you started the whole process. The stock in your stock pot should be tasting pretty darned tasty right about now. Now's the time to adjust the seasonings. Add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it (hey, they are your taste buds, not mine). If it's too salty you have two options. One is to add more water without adding more salt (I don't favor this as it dilutes the overall flavor of the stock), the other is to add a chunk or two of raw potato and simmer for another 15 to 20 mins. Take the chunks of potato out (they will be darned salty after having absorbed a lot of the salt in the stock) and do what you'd like with them (I usually chuck them in the freezer and use them to add to mashed spuds when I need to). And now your stock has been desalted without the rest of the flavor being diluted. Presto!

Well now, you should have about a gallon of good veggie stock. It should only have cost you 50 cents, maybe a dollar. You had the corn husks anyways cus of the corn cobs, a small handfull of onion flakes and a few strips of dried bell peppers are pretty cheap especially if you dry your own, and who doesn't keep salt, pepper and basil in their kitchen? Go run to a store RIGHT NOW and price how much a PINT of veggie stock is, and then look at all the crap that's been added to it! Are you back? Yeah, see: it's much better to make your own!

What to do with the stock? Well, you can use it as soup broth right now, no worries. You can toss it in the freezer for future use. Use it the next time you are making a risotto! Makes a great cream soup too! Use your imagination and your kitchen ingenuity and you'll be amazed.

Yeah, a gallon of veggie soup stock for 50 cents... pretty darned good the way food prices are, eh?

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