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Old 09-02-2007, 05:57 PM   #21
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Some veggies, a little past their edible-in-raw-state prime are perfect for stocks such as tomatoes. A soft spot or 4 isn't going to hurt a stock at all. I think the correct term we are missing is "scraps". Vegetable scraps are perfect for stocks.

And QTU - Most of us have to buy fresh veggies for stocks. I don't usually have enough scraps around to make a flavorful stock so I just buy fresh. And I'm not inclined to freeze my scraps either, maybe I'll try that over the next few weeks with the end of summer vegetable scraps. I'll start with the asparagus ends I'm using today I'll start a "stock scrap bowl" in the freezer and just keep adding to it.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:11 PM   #22
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Just a couple of things regarding vegetables because there's obviously going to be different viewpoints on what to, and what not to put into a stock.

Any scraps from prepping we put into a "community" bin in the kitchen and when we make stocks (usually about twice a week, depending on business), that all gets used up. Of course the scaps are washed. Carrot with skin on is ok. Onion skin is not used because it makes the stock a darker color. Most restaurants don't want this darker color because it will change the color of any sauces or soups that it is used with. If you want that color, then use it.

Vegetables that are still usuable (i.e. not rotten) are used for stocks. The best and most freshest vegetables are for the dishes that will utilize them in plating. We're not going to use old (but not rotten) mushrooms for a saute, but they're still good enough to make a stock with.

Regarding celery leaves, it's hard to say how bitter they actually were because different people have different tolerances and different perceptions as to what is bitter, and what is not. Some people think bitter greens like mizuna and rocket are too bitter. I love them all and to me, celery leaves are mild. But, if you like bitter greens, another use for celery leaves is to use them as a salad, toss them with EVOO, lemon juice, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper, and use them as a garnish with seafood. They go well with certain preparations of fish, scallops, crabcakes, etc.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:17 PM   #23
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I guess it depends on exactly "how" past their prime the veggies are. For instance, if I have mushrooms that are drying out - yes, I'll use them. If they're slimy - they're trash. A rubbery carrot? Sure. Soft & mushy? No. Same goes for celery. Any vegetable types that normally start softening when they turn (tomatoes, eggplant, squash) - garbage.

Trimmings from anything fresh & wholesome? Right into the pot. : )

Oh, & asparagus trimmings are FABULOUS!!! I usually cook them in some chicken broth, puree them along with broth, strain out the fiber, & reheat with some salt, pepper, & sour cream. A terrific Cream of Asparagus soup for a fraction of $$$. And you can do the cooking/straining/pureeing ahead of time & freeze it, reheating & adding the seasoning & cream when you decide to actually make the soup. Terrific time saver.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:43 PM   #24
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Sometimes it harder to make a good vegetable stock at home since you need a fair amount of vegetables but you can take advantage of the days you do have a lot of trimmings especially around the holidays in restaurants its easy they almost have an unlimited amount of trimmings.But you can use almost any vegetable like the end of Tomatoes and yes Lettuce .I sometimes make a stock with Onion skins and the ends but I only use it for French Onion Soup although I think onion skins and ends would go great in a beef stock.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:38 PM   #25
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what about tomato seeds (an the rest of the tomato juice that goes with it)? do they have any use in stocks or for anything else?
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:10 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by college_cook View Post
Reading through the other posts, it seems like a lot of people use their stock pot almost like their garbage pot. I always peel my carrots, always use fresh, skinned onions, and always scrub my celery before it goes it. Potato/mushroom/carrot peels? No thanks! Somebody said once about putting peels in your stock "Would you eat it on a salad? If no , then why put it in your stock?"

That said, I do think the leaves add a good amount of flavor, and once cleaned, I always toss them in.
Whoever made that ridiculous remark is dead wrong! If the potatoes, onions and carrots you are peeling to use in a tonight's dinner are fresh, why wouldn't the peeling be just as fresh? They are a part of the vegetable and as such shouldn't be tossed. Their flavor is what enhances the broth and it is considered edible food. Would you toss chicken bones instead of using them to make stock? Then why toss perfectly good, fresh peelings?
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:30 AM   #27
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I definitely use celery leaves in stock. I once grew celery, and the leaves were so strong in flavor that I had to use less than I normally would. They are especially good, though, in stock that you're using to make stuffing/dressing around the holidays.
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Old 01-01-2008, 03:15 PM   #28
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Maybe I am confused here, but I have never used celery leaves in stock, since they would lose their flavor almost right away. Someone suggested using them for garnish or flavor enhancer at the end of the cooking process. But I have never tried it, so perhaps I am wrong on this point.

And I hardly ever make veggie stock, so maybe the simmering is not done for as long as with meat stocks. In that case, toss the leaves in!
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Old 01-01-2008, 04:03 PM   #29
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I make dried celery leaves.tear them off celery..wash and pat dry..spread on a baking sheet and put in oven at lowest temp until dried. Store them in a jar. I have also dried them just laying on a paper towel on counter top.
I use fresh celery leaves in many things..stuffing, etc.
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