Introduction: Vegetable Stock/Bullion
How to make homemade stock or bullion from kitchen scraps and leftovers. A truly GREEN idea!
Step 1: Don't Buy Any Special Ingredients!
In order for this to be a green recipe, you must limit yourself to using kitchen scraps.
Start collecting the odds and ends of vegetables the next time you are preparing a meal. When you make salad, pasta sauce or any dish at all keep scraps such as the stems or ends of fresh herbs, carrots, zucchini, squash, celery, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, ANYTHING.
As you collect the veggie scraps save them in the freezer in zipped freezer bags until you have 2-4 bags totally full. Now you are ready to make the stock!
I generally don't cook meat so this is a vegetarian recipe but you could certainly include poultry, sausage, pork, beef, whatever kitchen scraps you think would make a tasty boulion. Bones from ham or roasts are commonly used to make stocks and bullion.
Step 2: Add Some Spice!
I like to use whole black pepper corns and whole cloves of garlic. Fresh or dried herbs of any kind would be nice. Make it suit your taste and your cooking style. Other than the garlic and pepper, I like my stock pretty plain so that I can use it for a large variety of recipes.
Step 3: Boil It
Add enough water to just cover the veggies. Bring the whole thing to a rolling boil then reduce heat to a nice simmer. Now you wait. Keep the heat low so that it doesn't boil over. You can stir it or just leave it alone. You know it's done when the veggies are mushy and the liquid is reduced by about half. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool enough to handle.
Step 4: Strain It
Use a colander or large strainer to separate the liquid from the mushy veggies.
Press the veggies with a cooking spoon or your hands to get all of the liquid out.
The left over veggie mush can be used for compost.
Step 5: Store It
You can store your veggie stock any way you like:
Many people like to freeze stock in ice cube trays and then transfer the stock cubes to freezer bags.
Step 6: Use It
Use your veggie stock to cook very flavorful rice, pasta, risotto, orzo, soup. I also use it for braising or fat-free "sauteing".
Use this in any recipe that calls for canned stock or bullion made from those dried cubes.