Slice It, Dice It, Serve It: The 'Stock' Market
Start with a mirepoix: onion (or other allium), carrot and celery. Anytime you’re prepping these veggies, consider saving and freezing the scraps in a resealable bag.
Most vegetable scraps can be saved too, including stems from cremini, button, portobello, and especially shiitake mushrooms, and stems from both soft and woody herbs. Avoid brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and the like.
Basic vegetable broth:
- Fill your biggest pot halfway with frozen veggie scraps, cover with water, and simmer for about an hour. Feel free to add in flavor enhancers like bay leaves, peppercorns, and seaweed, like kombu, to amp up the umami or to tailor it to a specific cuisine or recipe.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can freeze the broth in an ice cube tray for easy weeknight cooking as well, like steaming greens or cooking grains.
If you eat animal protein, consider keeping a separate bag in the freezer to collect bones from roast chicken, whole or in parts, or from bone-in pork or beef cuts. For a meat stock, the cook time needs to increase.
Tip for the dairy friendly: Freeze the rinds from hard cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino, and Grana Padano. Add to soups or stocks for an extra boost.
Money Saver Tip: To preserve opened, unused boxed stock, freeze the unused portion in an ice cube tray.