Home-made sauces and stocks, your pathway to convenience!
|Vegetable Stock Bouillon|
Homemade stock bouillon. I had never considered making this myself until I came across it at 101 Cookbooks and had to do it! I usually make my vegetable stocks on the stove, but for those times that you don’t have 5 hours to slowly draw the flavour and nutrients out of your ingredients, this is a fab ‘cheats’ method.
Stock bouillon is a wonderful thing to make because you know that you are not eating any of the added extras that are often found in stock cubes or powdered stocks such as preservatives, yeast extract, MSG, and sugar. You can use this stock in soups, stews, risottos, or anywhere you need a vegetable broth. The flavour is so fresh and clean, and you can adjust it by adding whatever vegetables and spices you like to make it your own. I’m thinking about a capsicum and chilli version next time. Here’s what to do.
You will need:
75g leeks, chopped
100g fennel bulb, chopped
100g carrot, chopped
100g celery, chopped
20g sundried tomatoes, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
100g fine celtic sea salt
50g fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I used parsley and coriander)
Add the leek, fennel, carrot and celery to a food processor and process until chunky. Add tomatoes and garlic and process some more. Add the salt, process until incorporated. Finally add the fresh herbs and process until smooth-ish. I left mine quite chunky as I like to see the little pieces of loveliness floating around.
Keep in mind that this is quite a salty stock, and you can play around with the amounts according to your taste. This version uses around 3/4 tsp to 1 cup of liquid when making recipes. You can keep the stock in the fridge for a week or so, or in the freezer for at least a month. The salt content will stop it from freezing, so you can use it straight from the freezer, awesome! Just like the fudge from last week! Don’t mix them up though!… You can also make a version that is salt free, but keep in mind that this will freeze solid, so you will need to divide it into individual portions, perhaps in lined ice cube trays, before freezing.
Chimichurri is a South American herb sauce, similar to a pesto but without the nuts and the cheese. It’s traditionally used to decorate grilled anything, but it is great on legumes, rice dishes, as a dip, or on breakfast as I have done here today!
Not only are you adding a flavour explosion to your meals, but also added nutrients (calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins and antioxidants) all wrapped up in a neat little condiment!
This week for the Food Matters Project, Lexi chose Mark Bittman’s Mixed Grill with Chimichurri and opened up the floor to an array of different versions.
I had my chimichurri over poached eggs, avocado, hummus and toast, simple and delish!
Here’s how to make Chimichurri:
2 cups of fresh herbs, roughly chopped (I used half parsley and half coriander)
3-4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil
4 pinches sea salt (or to taste)
Ground black pepper to taste
Add the fresh herbs and garlic to a mortar and pestle, and pound away. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. That’s it!
I am a big fan of making up sauces, pestos, chutneys, dips and the like. It may require a little work in the beginning, but if you do it at the start of the week, you will then have a delicious collection of ‘yummies’ (as my 2 year old would say) to have on hand throughout the week to call on. It will save you from reaching for the pre-packaged bag of whatever when you know you have some kale pesto, beet hummus or avocado salsa waiting for you in the fridge.