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echt Profile
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Recipes


Anyone that cooks from scratch knows the importance of a good stock or broth. I spent years perfecting clear, clean stock that is packed with vitamins and flavor. The problem is it takes hours or days to make a good stock from scratch.

beef stock takes me at least 24 hours
chicken stock takes about 12 hours
vegetable broth almost 6 hours
fish stock takes 3 hours

I realize this sounds ridiculous to the fast food world but good flavor and nutrition takes time to develop. Even raw food needs a sauce that takes hours to make to tie everything together. In 1991 I was introduced to dashi; a light, clean, clear broth that can be made in one hour, so I shifted my focus to eastern cooking. Tones of kelp is deposited on the shore every day, so I started going for early morning walks on the beach to pick up and dry my own kelp. Dried kelp also makes a wonderful gift to friends that enjoy cooking. It's free.

Japan has a vegan dashi made from dried shiitake mushrooms but this is nonsense to me because the combination of kelp and shiitake mushrooms is impeccable to the most refined palate. The third ingredient in dashi is dried bonito. You can leave this out if you are a vegan but I urge you to try it. Any cheap dried seafood brings a lot of flavor to dashi. I sometimes use dried shrimp or smoked mackerel, anything inexpensive with a bold flavor. A little goes a long way.

You can buy a good dashi powder if you must but for experienced cooks I recommend ordering the whole dried ingredients of kelp, shiitake mushrooms, and bonito on the net, or look for them at any big city Asian market. I only use the mushroom stems because I like to keep the stock as frugal as possible. To me drying my own kelp and fish adds to the fun. Dashi is the most important base ingredient for those with a refined palate.
Apr/6/2013, 12:25 Link to this post Send PM to echt
 
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Re: Recipes


I don't eat anything with a face so I don't do meat stock.

I also don't make stock, or store it because of what I know happens to food once it's been cooked and stored, with bacteria happily multiplying in the fridge just waiting to start a nice dose of tummy upset in the people eating it.

I cook everything with fresh ingredients and if there's anything left, I might freeze some of it, but mostly I freeze it and give it to the gardener to take home. I don't like reheated food, even if it is my own.
Apr/6/2013, 13:13 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
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Re: Recipes


Mo, make 2 liters of kelp and shiitake mushroom dashi. It's quick and easy and I guarantee you will love it.
Apr/6/2013, 13:22 Link to this post Send PM to echt
 
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Doesn't appeal to me I'm afraid echt.

Like Mo, I make everything fresh, from scratch. The only frozen food I buy is frozen green peas.
Don't do junk food, and not all that keen on dried stuff like that that you mention.

We don't get bonito here .. coincidentally, I watched a cookery show on TV yesterday called Chopped, where contestants are given a basket of four mismatched ingredients and expected to make something tasty out of things that don't remotely go together, in about twenty minutes or something ridiculous. One of the ingredients they were given was bonito and it was the first time I'd ever heard of it! One woman cooked it with the skin on, and the judges of the show had hissy fits about that - and it looked revolting tbh. They then had to make a dessert out of - wait for it - creme fraiche, panetonne, and - of all things - pancetta. Ever had ham in a pud before? I certainly haven't and don't fancy it at all! The object of the show is to be creative I guess, but some of the things they get to work with are just stupid.

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Apr/6/2013, 13:37 Link to this post Send PM to Petal Alderin
 
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Re: Recipes


Petal, go to a Japanese restaurant and order your choice of soup made with a dashi broth and you will be hooked on the clean yet deep flavor. The first time I tried dashi I thought it was something that took hours to make. Now I use kelp in almost everything. My favorite cold soup for summer is Japanese buckwheat noodles in dashi broth with radishes, green onions, and black fungus. It's light and refreshing and makes it easy to go back to work without feeling like you need a nap.
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Re:


Thanks echt, but there are very few Japanese restaurants here and those that are around, are way too expensive for me to spend money on food that I don't really like much at all. I don't eat sushi, am allergic to shellfish, and so there isn't very much that I fancy in a Japanese restaurant - I don't like dried fungus etc as I said, and buckwheat - eek! No thank you!

I thoroughly enjoy Chnese and Thai food but that's about it for me when it comes to Oriental.

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Apr/6/2013, 14:25 Link to this post Send PM to Petal Alderin
 
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I make a chicken stock from scratch just about every weekend in the winter, then make chicken soup with it. I've never tried to make a beef stock.. I think I will one of these days. I love to cook when I have the time. Hubby and I don't eat out, don't do fast food and don't do frozen food. So I'm always on the search for interesting recipes.

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Apr/6/2013, 14:48 Link to this post Send PM to Justbec
 
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Well, I do make stock, but in the pressure cooker. Not one much for planning meals I get up and decide and the pressure cooker saves me hours and hours. But I must say dashi doesn't much appeal to me either. Closest Japanese restaurant is 60 miles away so not something I'd really go looking for. Nothing fancy in our household, just plain food.
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I won't eat anything unless I know where it comes from and what's in it. Just about the only fast food I eat these days is potato chips (french fries) and the very occasional pizza. Otherwise when we eat out, I eat either salad or a vegetable platter with fresh vegetables. We're lucky that we don't have to stockpile food against the winter. We can get fresh produce throughout the year.
Apr/6/2013, 19:45 Link to this post Send PM to Morwen Oronor
 
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Re: Recipes


About 10 years ago there was a study showing that Japanese women have the lowest rate of breast cancer. They eat a lot of vegetables but they also eat a lot of fish and starch. I've been working on a brown rice sushi roll but it can't compete with a sticky sweet rice. We should at least be willing to try foods that expand on what we are used to.
Apr/7/2013, 10:34 Link to this post Send PM to echt
 


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