Monday, May 4, 2015

Homemade Vegetable Stock


You know when you learn something new, and you can't wait to start telling everyone? When every mildly tangential story seems like the perfect segue? That's how I feel about this trick. With the tiniest change, you can create delicious homemade stock by simply repurposing previously wasted food scraps. 

Step 1: Put a one gallon ziplock bag in your freezer.

Step 2: As you prep vegetables, throw any and all left over scraps into the freezer bag. Buttersquash peels, brussels sprout bottoms, turnip nubs, soft carrots, ends of onions, etc. 

Step 3: Once the bag is full, empty the contents into a medium stock pot.  Cover generously with water, add two bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and gently cook for 1 hour. Season with salt if using right away, or hold off if saving for future use. 

Step 4: Strain and voila! Homemade veggie stock.  Split into separate servings, freeze the whole bag or if you are feeling very ambitious, freeze in ice cube trays for single use later on. 




Friday, February 27, 2015

Shabu, Shabu: Japanese Fondue


"... and our dinner party muscles atrophied."

I read that spot-on description of life post baby the year Hudson was born, and it hilariously resonated.  Entertaining can be a sport. A sport I love, but a sport none the less. Given the 100% increase in tiny people at our house this year, our muscles need training, and in recent months I've found just the regime.

Enter Shabu Shabu, or Japanese fondue.  Our guests do the cooking, and everyone wins.

There are four steps to a Japanese fondue party. 1) Make a killer dipping sauce, 2) Flavor a broth, 3) Boil rice noodles and 4) Set out mildly styled veggies and protein on platters.

Below you will see photos of two recent Shabu, Shabu* parties at our house.  I am getting back in shape!

Shabu, Shabu

Ingredients for 4
  • Shabu dipping sauce (below)
  • Shabu broth (below) 
  • 8 oz of rice noodles, boiled per the package, rinsed in cold water and tossed with sesame oil
  • Protein, on separate plates to pass around. 10 total pieces of protein a person. A combo of:
    • 1/2 block of firm tofu cut up into squares
    • 12 cleaned shrimp
    • 8 Scallops
    • 12 oz Thinly sliced sirloin pieces
  • Vegetables
    • 1/3 cabbage, loosely chopped
    • 4 oz Mushrooms
    • 1 head of broccoli, floret-ted

Shabu Dipping Sauce

Modified courtesy of Best Fondue
Combine:
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1 glove chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp chopped green onions
  • Water to loosen

Shabu Broth

Bring the following ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes before straining and transfering to a warm fondue pot at the table:
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 diced tomato
  • A handful of cilantro
  • 2 shallots OR a white onion peeled and quartered
  • A few tablespoons of grated ginger




























Japanese Fondue



*Shabu, shabu is named after the noise that broth makes while bubbling.  Repeat the name softly and you may just hear it. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Coconut Milk French Toast

My New Year's Resolution was to start blogging again because I miss it so.  And really, when my life is this beautifully hectic, carving out a few minutes feels more critical (see Campbell here, he joined us in September and our hearts are singing!!).  

Since January, I have spent way too much time worrying about how I would explain my absence in this "I'm back" post, feeling guilty I had let so much time pass.  Then yesterday a best friend reminded me that guilt is an emotion we choose.  I can just be back. 

So I'm back, and I'm back with Coconut Milk French Toast because it has become a weekend favorite. I may not always have the time to do a full photo shoot on the SLR, but luckily for you the iPhone 6's new camera feature is pretty darn amazing. 

Coconut Milk French Toast

Coconut Milk French Toast with Apples & Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed 
  • 6 - 8 slices of good bread
  • 6 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil 
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced into 8ths
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions

  • Whisk the coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, eggs and flax seed together in a shallow pan
  • Melt two tablespoons of butter or coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and sautée the apples and almonds for 4 - 5 minutes, turning frequently so as not to burn.  Remove from the pan to cool
  • Soak both sides of as many pieces of bread that will fit in the same pan in the coconut egg mixture
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter/coconut oil per two slices of bread in the same pan, and when just bubbling, lay your french toast
  • Let cook a few minutes until the egg firms, flip and repeat
  • Keep warm in the oven until all toast is cooked up, top with the apples, nuts and a little maple syrup
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