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Old 10-02-2008, 05:38 PM   #41
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BTW Allen, all your pics disappeared in your 101 thread
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:56 PM   #42
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I do the same but in addition the stores here are well stocked with chicken and beef bones.......unlike in the states..........but people here eat a lot of soup as you can well imagine...and the soup is to die for it's so delish.........I've made the best stocks ever while being over here.......and it really does make a difference to roast the bones first.......I can't thank DC enough for that tip........:)
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:03 AM   #43
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I "cleaned house" in my imageshack account a week or so ago. I THOUGHT I kept those; I guess I didn't. C'est la Vie!

Remember, soup/stews always taste better the next day. This is why a couple of the folks the posted in this thread mentioned making a soup a day before it's intended to be eaten.

Yup, I know how to squeeze chicken for every cent's worth of value out of it. I had to learn, what with feeding 5 kids on a tight budget.

I normally don't make stock until I'm almost out of a batch. Of course, when I make 2 GALLONS of concentrated stock at a time, that means the scraps really add up, and quick. I may have 2 or 3 gallon ziplock baggies full of scraps, especially around the holidays. Those turkey carcasses make for great stock, but really take up room. The leg-and-thigh quarters are about the best deal I've found yet on chicken. 10 lbs for $4.79US. Can you beat 47.9 cents / lb for chicken? That, and it's all dark meat, which I absolutely love. Moist and full of flavor.

If you ever attempt to make a shellfish stock, do this: Saute the shells in a bit of butter first, then add the mirepoix. Once that's caramelized a bit, deglaze with a shot of white wine, then with water. Simmer for awhile. I've been making shrimp stock at work, as I need it for several of my sauces, and the fact that we're always peeling shrimp, so we have the shells; might as well use them. I wish my Chef would order in some lobster bodies and shells. I'd be willing to come in on my day off and make a few gallons of lobster stock. MMMMMMM

I use shellfish (usually shrimp, sometimes also with crab shells, and if I have them, fish bones) stock for gumbo, and occasionally when I make a stir-fry that has shrimp in it.

As long as you have some good chicken stock, good beef stock, and some good shrimp stock, frozen in ice cubes, then packed into freezer bags, you can't go wrong making soup. Unless, of course, the cubes get freezer burn. You'll have to play with how much is "enough" of each kind of stock to fit your cooking style and quantity. Since I have a big family, I go through these things relatively fast. At least, during the winter. Summertime I don't make soups or sauces much, so I don't usually use stock, unless I'm making pilaf. I try to run low on stock during the warm months, so they don't get freezer burnt.

Another thing to consider, when making soup, if you add the veggies with the meat all at the beginning, like in your short rib stew, the veggies will basically cook down into mush by the time the meat is tender. Start the meat, and simmer it in stock, then add the veggies in the last hour. You can add them straight to the liquid, if you want, or, skim off some the fat into a saute pan, saute the veggies, then deglaze the saute pan with the broth from the soup. Dump everything back into the soup and simmer until done.

You also stumbled onto something with the short rib stew. By adding the second batch of veggies, with the first batch being pureed, you created a second layer of flavor in the soup. Chef Prudhomme talks about doing this in his first cookbook. He often adds some Cajun Holy Trinity to a dish, cooks it some, then adds more trinity that doesn't get cooked long enough to turn into mush. This way you can feel and taste the veggies, while the others blend into the background.

You also mentioned that your stew "lacked" something in taste. Did you add any red wine to it? Lately, whenever I'm making a sauce at work that's based on beef stock, I always deglaze with a splash of red wine, then the beef stock. I may only use a couple of tablespoons of wine in a sauce that yields a few cup's worth, but that's all that's needed.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:27 AM   #44
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When planning on a long simmer for soup/stock use a heavy-bottom pot or enameled cast iron dutch oven. First time I made soup on my own I went out and got a huge stock pot, unfortunatley it was a very thin metal pot and it did not distribute the heat very well on the electric stove. I ended up with stuck bits on the bottom. If you don't have a heavy-bottom pot get a heat difuser, they work great. My Mom used one when she simmers home made tomato sauce.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:41 AM   #45
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I love it when I stumble upon something.
Thanks again for all the tips.

BTW, is there a good stand in for red wine? Andy and someone else mentioned vermouth for white because it will last forever. That's good for me because I don't drink wine, but now I will have something on hand if I run into any more recipes that call for white wine. Is there anything like that for red? Maybe some kind of brandy or congnac (sp?)

Dave, I almost grabbed my SS pasta/stock pot, but went with an old non-stick TFal instead. It held a nice simmer and nothing felt stuck to the bottom when I stirred it
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:00 AM   #46
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just buy a bottle of non sweet dry red wine and stick it in your refrigerator.......if your store has someone who works in the liquor dept ask their advice.......our Kroger does and he gives great advice.......you don't have to drink it and it will last a long time.....
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:10 AM   #47
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Really? I thought red wine went funky after it's been opened? I was hoping to find something I could use, stick back on a shelf somewhere and forget about it until the next time I used it.
You watch, if I'm still around five years from now I'll still be using that same bottle of vermouth.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:13 AM   #48
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You can buy 4 packs of small bottles (single servings) of wines. they will last longer until opened. You can also freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays for future use.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:19 AM   #49
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Yeah.... maybe I'll have to break down and pick up some of those little bottles. Maybe one of the wineries around here have airplane size sample bottles, like gift packages or something.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:03 AM   #50
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You could try Port. It's sweeter than a typical red wine, but it's fortified, so it will last.
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