Friday, December 10, 2010

Hi, I'm Mr. Stocker

A few weeks ago I started a list on the whiteboard in my kitchen keeping track of the different stocks that I have stored in leftover hummus and yogurt containers in my freezer. I started this when I realized that corn stock looks a lot like chicken stock and bean stock looks a lot like vegetable stock, and every stock pretty much tastes the same when it is unsalted and frozen--bad. Right now I have strong and weak chicken stock, turkey stock, vegetable stock, mushroom stock, and corn stock. This is in addition to frozen vegetable scraps to turn into vegetable stock, frozen corn cobs to turn into corn stock, two frozen loaves of bread, four containers of black mole, all my bulk grains, a tray of leftover hazelnut ice cream... point is, it's a good thing that John doesn't eat more frozen foods.

So today I finally decided that I would take the beef bones (from this) out of the trash bag in my freezer and make some beef stock out of them. I even semi-followed Ad Hoc At Home's recipe and charred an onion to toss in with the bones, which brought up some repressed mole memories. Because I can see into the future I think I am going to use the stock to braise the shortribs for Catalan Beef Stew, which I have been meaning to serve at my birthday party since last year. This means it will be hanging out in my freezer for at least another month. Good job me.

I decided to follow the Law of Conservation of Stocks and use a quart of stock tonight to free up freezer space for the quart I'm going to make tonight (okay, actually I'm out of stock containers, so I was kind of forced to do this). I decided to make a corn risotto and wow, if the taste of fresh corn isn't tremendously welcome in a warm hearty risotto on a fall night. I thought about adding some tarragon but decided that it'd cover up the sweetness of the corn too much. Ultimately it worked pretty well with some more brussels sprouts cooked in leftover brown butter with green beans, shallots and lemon.

But, still, I think I do need to start getting rid of some of these stocks pretty soon. The problem is that I haven't really figured out a reliable way of getting these my yogurt containers back once I give them away filled with stock, and if there's one thing in the world that I truly covet, it's makeshift Tupperware. So I've come up with this awesome idea for a party--people can bring me different foods or handmade crafts stored in empty yogurt containers, and in return I'll give them a quart of fresh stock. This way I can keep making stock without having the means for making 200 quarts of soup stored in my freezer at all times. This will be a great party. It can be called a stock exchange.

Just don't invite Martha Stewart!

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