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Monthly Archives: December 2011

How to make the best cooking stock from your leftovers

Nutritious and Flavorful

In this blog post, I will give you another weapon for your arsenal used to combat those pesky leftovers. One thing that people always thrown away is the carcass of a chicken, or turkey. This makes sense to most people. The meat is gone, so there is no nutritional value left, right? Wrong, there is amazing flavor and nutrients such as protein, iron and calcium left in the bones of a fowl’s carcass. Why throw those nutrients in the landfill when you can make a beautiful stock to use for soups, risottos and gravies. The possibilities are endless for a nutritious stock. Note: this step-by-step instruction allows for substitution of any animal sourced bones i.e. pork, beef, fish, fowl

Go Organic

One last thing before we get started. I want to talk about organic and why I always prefer organic food items over non-organic. Using organic ingredients will ensure that you get the most natural flavor from your cooking.

Conventionally-grown crops are sprayed with significant         amounts of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides and chemical fertilizers. I strongly encourage you to do some of your own research on organic foods! There is just to much information for me to cover in a singular blog post and what is important to me might not be important to you. I do not want to push anything on you. Do your research and draw your own conclusions.

Let’s Get Cooking

Building flavor: A great way to produce a richly flavored stock is to roast the bones of your animal before you boil them (see step 1). Note: do not roast fish bones. It will screw up the delicate flavor you’re trying to achieve with a fish stock. Trust me!

Roasting the bones adds depth of flavor, creates a beautiful rich color and will impart great flavor!

I would like to offer one piece of advice before we proceed, you know chef-to-chef.  For your safety, it is important to use a sharp knife when cooking! Could Picasso paint with a run-of-the-mill brush? Well probably, but that isn’t the point.

 

Lets start cutting the animal carcass, bless its heart, into 3-5 pieces depending on the dimensions of the stock pot you plan on using.

Then chop the bones lengthwise to expose the bone marrow. This is where the flavor and nutrition are hiding (do not skip this step!). Note: do not expose the bone marrow until you are done roasting the bones. The marrow is delicate so you want to be careful to preserve as much its nutrition as possible (after roasting skip to step 2).

Step 1) coat the bottom of a roasting pan with extra virgin olive oil. Place the bone pieces in the pan and roast at 375 degrees until the bones turn a light carmel color. Remove bones from roasting pan and place in stock pot.

Step 2) Add veggies (chopped into 1-2 inch pieces) If using organic veggies, leave skins on as they too have nutritional value, but be sure to wash them throughly. If using non-organic, my recommendation would be to remove the skins. This will ensure the heaviest concentration of synthetic chemicals will not end up in your finished product.

Ingredients:

1 carcass cut into 3-5 pieces

4 carrots

2 celery sticks

1 large white onion

6 cloves garlic (smash with the side of your knife)

Step 3) Add herbs/salt & pepper

4 large bay leaves

6 sprigs of thyme

7 whole black pepper corns

Step 4) Pour enough cold filtered water into stock pot to cover veggies. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on medium low heat for 3 hours skimming impurities (foam) off the top every half hour

Step 5) Take off heat, let cool, and strain through a fine mesh strainer

Stock will keep in fridge for 4 days and in the freezer up to 3 months

Step 6) Finish with salt and pepper. As much or as little as you need to meet the seasoning you prefer

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What to do with Your Leftovers

Easy steps to make use of your leftovers

You have clicked on this page because you cannot stand looking at the same leftovers anymore. Or, perhaps you hate throwing good food away, but just can’t eat the same thing over and over again. Here you will learn how to turn everyday leftovers into a healthy meal that will help your body and mind to perform at the highest level.

This site will be dedicated to a multitude of healthy, eco-friendly, money-saving options for the average person. These recipes will guide you in taking steps to healthy living; choices that are conscious of  your belt, budget, and garbage bin. The recipes presented on this blog will have ingredients that are easy to find, filled with health benefits and will give you great ideas that will put those leftovers to good use.

And remember, you can compost all of your non-dairy/non-meat leftovers instead of throwing them in the trash.

Cheap and really good for you

The first recipe’s main ingredients are: pinto beans, left over dark meat turkey, and brown rice. Pinto Beans have incredible health benefits and taste great! Brown rice is a gluten-free whole grain and easy on your wallet at less than a $1 per pound.

Ingredients:         Taste: caramel, nutty, ripe plums, some grapefruit citrus tones, and nice floral bitterness creates a nice malty but hoppy red ale.

1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 bay leaves

1 Tbs. chili powder

1/2 large white onion

1 jalapeño (take out seeds to reduce heat)

2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained

9 ounces beer of your choice. ( I used Lakefront Fixed Gear, because it has nice floral and citrus notes)

1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 cups cooked pinto beans

1/2 to 1 pound turkey (preferably dark meat, because fat= flavor)

Steps

1. Heat oil in a 2-4 quart pot. Add onion and salt/pepper, sauté for a few minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño sauté for a few seconds. Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Cook for a couple minutes to caramelize some of the sugar in the tomato paste. This is an important step to start building layers of flavor. Next turn the burner to high heat and deglaze the pan with the beer. When beer has reduced by half add brown rice and chicken stock and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until almost all of the water is absorbed (about 40min). Leave a little liquid, because the rice as its cooling will soak up the remaining moisture. Take off heat add left over turkey and pinto beans, return to heat for a couple minutes or until the beans and turkey have heated through. Spoon into dish garnish with lime wedge, cilantro, and sour cream.

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