Category Archives: general

beautiful, beautiful stock

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omg. i just made the BEST stock. in fact, this is one of the better things that i’ve made lately and it didn’t even have bacon in it. every cook needs some basic stock skills in his or her repertoire. i have experience making beef, shrimp, turkey, and have even perfected my own chicken stock. but never, ever (and i don’t know why) have i even attempted to make a vegetable stock. maybe i just always fell back on the chicken stock, believing that it would just impart so much more flavor than any anemic vegetable could give up. boy, was i wrong.

 

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 i can’t even begin to tell you the dreamy aromas going on in my house while this was simmering. it starts with some basic veggies, then you add a few that you may or may not have on hand. amazingly, i had most of what i needed (including the coriander seed because i’m married to some who uses them for a very special version of hot wings, which i will try to post before the big game), but did have to go to the market for the fennel bulb. despite the long list of ingredients, the whole process takes about 30-40 minutes and it is sooo worth it. i will never go back to canned or boxed again.

i used some of the stock right away for some  homemade soup, which i will tell you about very soon. the rest is in my fridge–i will wait to strain it until the morning, then use up right away for another purpose or freeze. really you can and should give this a whirl. even if you think this is too involved, cut yourself up an onion, carrot, and a few peppercorns, simmer it in some water for 20 minutes and never go back!

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Homemade Vegetable Stock (adapted from la tartine gourmande)

 

(For 1.5 quarts stock) 

You need:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into large wedges*
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 5 to 6 coriander seeds
  • 5 to 6 fennel seeds**
  • 2 to 3 thyme twigs
  • A few peppercorns
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut in big pieces
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery branches
  • Salt
  • 6 cups water

Steps:

  • Peel the vegetables and cut them in big pieces.
  • In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic and spices. Cook for a few min, without browning.
  • Add the vegetables and cook on medium to low heat for 10 min, until soft.
  • Add the water and season with salt. Cover and bring to a simmer, and cook for 20 min. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few hours (or even overnight in the fridge) for the flavors to develop even more. Strain the broth and use when needed. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

 *i left the onion peel on intentionally to add flavor AND beautiful color to the stock

**i didn’t have any fennel seed, nor did i miss it

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howdy!

 

howdy–and welcome to my blog!  the cosmic cowgirl is a name that’s been floating around my head and has been used for naming various objects in my life–mostly food related. there’s the yet to exist catering business, the purchased and held website, and a cookie (sort of a feminine version of a cowboy cookie, if you are at all familiar with those fantastically loaded beauties) all bearing the name in some form or another. why cosmic? i was born and raised in cal-i-for-ni-yea! and yes, in a ‘pass the granola’ type of way. the beach we went to as kids was home to the invention of the smoothie, for cryin’ out loud. and why cowgirl? there is a saying in texas, where i have resided since the late 80’s, that goes something like “i wasn’t born in texas, but i got here as fast as i could!”–that’s me. i have been assured by texas natives that i have now earned the right to be called a texan due to my lengthy stay, but i’ll still remain saddled-up in case they change their minds.

i can’t think of  a better way to end the year than with a new beginning. my last writing stint was in college and i believe it was an essay about the lack of potable water in honduras. this was almost 10 years ago when i was in nursing school, so forgive me if i’m a little rusty. this goes especially for my good friends and family that actually know how to write! the purpose of this blog is to share food ideas and to keep me, and other cookbook readers like me, inspired about all things food.

i love this time of year–i always seem to have a little extra time to spend with the dogs and have my afternoon coffee and a litttle something sweet. i love pulling a steaming americano out of my illy espresso machine and dunking some italian morsel into it. i used to be anti-dunking until i had my first biscotti–then i got it. the stuff at the bottom of the cup still kind of gives me the willies tho’.

have a wonderful holiday and come back and see me in the new year, y’all!

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