Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stocking Up

Making everything in house is one of the reasons the food here is so spectacular. They take the "farm to table" concept very seriously, using fresh produce in numerous ways. One of my tasks today was making the vegetable stock. They make it fresh every few days or until we run out. It's very simple, but creates a full flavored liquid in the end. We use the stock for everything from soups to quick sautes, it's constantly in use.

I coated a large stockpot with lots of olive oil. Then I added some roughly cut vegetable including tomatoes, eggplant, celery, zucchini, white onions, peppers and carrots. I let these get nice and golden brown and then added water until the vegetables were fully covered. We let this come to a boil and then simmer for over an hour. Sometimes they wait over 3 hours before taking it off the heat.

We strained the liquid, keeping the chopped vegetables on the side. The stock was then ready to go. With the cooked vegetables, we make a paste and then use that as the base for vegetable soup. I used the emulsifier to blend the vegetables and then strained it through the chinoise.

For the soup we will alter heat up that paste, add some stock, salt, pepper, and then add tomatoes, cream, and a sprinkle of parsley.

Later in the shift I also made shrimp stock (we always have the vegetable and some sort of fish stock out). It was made similarly to the veggie stock. I started by browning celery, carrots, onions, and garlic in olive oil in a stock pot. Then I added the shrimp heads and gave them a good crush. Once those flavors were married I added water and 2 tomatoes. We put a little port in the stock as well. Strained and it was ready to go!

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