by 1 big bite on October 13, 2011
Things I create or just throw together in my kitchen come to me in a few different steps. Sometimes I am just keen on a certain dish I hadn’t eaten in months or I grew up with. This might be called the first level of my cravings, it starts quite innocently but it’s not exactly safe if I can’t overcome my lust after a couple of days .
Next increase is (for example) I had tasted someones else’s dessert in a restaurant and I can’t stop thinking about it until I make some for my own. In this cases I am pushed by my cravings to satisfy my itch. Watch yourself and stand aside.
Now you might understand how things can get worse at the next step, typically I have an overwhelming desire for something, I would not say it is a coincidence if one of my favorite food is involved. Did you say chocolate?
Are you still with me? Or did I scare you away?
I am not going any further with my explanations but run and hide if you can, if I would say I can get grumpy I would understate big times. I just remembered as I started dating Mr F, he always had some chocolate in his pocket, seams like he knew how to handle me right from the beginning!
This is the way how I am usually stumble over recipes and blog entries. This time was different it was like a development, this was growing since weeks.
It started with the first cold days of fall and for me the beginning of the soup season. Usually I have some stock in my freezer, this time I wasn’t prepared and frozen broth wouldn’t have helped me anyway. So I skipped the soup for this lunch but couldn’t stop thinking about this problem and came up with some results:
Store brought broth in cannes or boxes cause a lot of waste and need a lot of energy and better than recycling is to prevent waste.
I checked the ingredients of bouillon cubes, I wasn’t happy with the long list, most of it was something chemical or acronym and at the end: if I can’t pronounce it, I better not eat it.
I found some recipes for homemade bouillon base but I wanted something I can have on hand whenever I am craving for a soup (see above for steps of my appetite, not nice…)
Some days later I read something about dried fruits and thought this might work for veggies as well. I did some research about drying stuff in the oven on the internet and started to experiment.
The key for a longer storage life is salt, so don’t skip or reduce that, just don’t add more salt while cooking or better taste in advance.
For measure the right ratio of dried vegetables to salt you need a scale.
300 g / 10.6 oz. leek (white and green parts)
200 g / 7.05 oz carrots
50 g / 1.76 Italian parsley
200 g / 7.05 oz. green onions
250 g / 8.8 oz. celery
100 g / 3.5 oz kosher salt
Put leek, carrots, parsley, green onions, celery and salt in your food processor and puree until there are no pieces left, this should look like baby food. Depending on the size of your food processor you need to do this in two batches.
Preheat your oven to 80 C / 175 F and line your biggest baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the vegetable mash evenly over the baking sheet, put into the oven but don’t close the door completely. The moisture from the veggies needs a way out of the oven so keep the door slightly ajar, it helps to insert a wooden spoon between the door and the oven. Keep this in you oven for about 8 to 9 hours or longer if there is still some moisture left.
Process one more time in you food processor until you got something like a coarse powder. Put in an airtight container, a ball jar works great for several months.
For 240 ml / 1 cup water you might need 1 1/4 teaspoon stock powder.
This is not a 100 % substitute for broth it’s more a seasoning for soup. I also like to use it for other dishes like my fake carbonara sauce.
Use other vegetables or herbs you like, but check ahead if they are able to dry in the oven.