First off, let me start by apologizing for not posting as much recently. I promise - I spend a ton of time in the kitchen, and not only for the Daring Kitchen challenges. I even take lots of pictures, too! I have just been bad about sharing what we've been doing. But I promise I'll do better.
That being said, it is time for another Daring Cooks' Challenge!
Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consommé”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consommé if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!
I love soup. Especially a good, hearty, wholesome soup chock-full of yumminess. I've actually shared several different soups right on this very blog (here, here and here). And nothing makes soup taste better than homemade stock.
In preparation for my stock, I saved all of the chicken bones from our roasted chicken dinners. Two roasted chicken dinners, to be precise - I wanted lots of good flavor in there, and I wanted all that natural goodness that comes to stock from having all those bones in there.
I covered all that chicken (well, okay, two carcasses, one with half the meat still on it) with water and brought the heat up.
Then I set to chopping. Onions, carrots, leeks, celery - all right into the pot.
Then I let the pot do its thing. As soon as it came to a boil, I lowered the heat to a simmer, and just let all of those delicious flavors do their thing.
After a couple of hours, it was time to see what we had. I fished out all of the bones, then ran everything else through a strainer into containers.
Now, I wasn't sure, going into this, what kind of soup I wanted to make. But after smelling the amazing aroma of chicken stock all day, my creativity was strongly overwhelmed by my desire for some comfort food. So I made chicken soup.
Now, Peta did challenge us all to make something to serve with our soups. And what goes better with chicken soup than, well, bread? There is nothing like a yummy piece of toasty bread, all covered in butter, to dip into soup and to clean the bowl, mopping up every drop of goodness.
So I made some yummy long rolls. When the cooled, I sliced them most of the way through, then popped them back into the oven for a few minutes to toast up.
Then we each got a few rounds, nicely buttered, next to our soup.
Now, In addition to making soup, Peta challenged us to try our hands at the very difficult process of turning our stock into consomme. Consomme is basically a clarified stock, in which the flavors are concentrated but the clarity is, well, pretty stunning. I saved a quart of my stock in order to try this process.
Then I forgot what it was saved for and used it to make quinoa pilaf.
Nope, that's not a pot of soup, that's my delicious, flavorful stock ready to be absorbed by a pot full of quinoa.
The good news is that the delicious, full bodied stock added an amazing richness to the quinoa.
Again - YUM.
The bad news is that this past month has been the hottest in this region in decades, and by this point, my family did not want more soup. So I didn't go for a second pass at this challenge.
The upside of this, though, is that it has given me a personal goal of attempting to clarify stock into consomme. And it gives me a reason to look forward to the cooler weather in the months ahead - lots more stock, lots more soup, and the continuation of this challenge.
Peta, you are a lovely, gracious and super sweet hostess, and I thank you for this delicious challenge. I hope to try all of the recipes that you provided us for inspiration this month!!
To see the yummy goodness simmered up in the Daring Kitchens this month, check it out here.
1 month ago