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This week I have not one but two special treats for you.
The first is a simple idea. But one it’s taken me a while to cotton on to. Sometimes I’m a slow learner.
We’re talking one of my favourite vegetables, cabbage. And we’re talking one of my favourite cooking techniques, the fast roast.
To cut a long story short, we’re talking match made in heaven.
Even if you think you’re not a fan of cabbage, I really encourage you to try it. Seriously, cabbage cooked like this is the business.
The second idea probably won’t need as much convincing because, yes, there’s bacon. (Although if you’re vegetarian, like my friend Dominica, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Just skip down to the variations below).
Gremolata is usually an Italian topping of parsley, garlic and lemon zest used to add freshness to slow cooked dishes. This bacon and almond version takes the idea to a whole new level and has a million and one uses.
My favourite is to use it on simply cooked veggies like this cabbage but it’s also fab to add crunch to soups or as a salsa to serve with cooked chicken. It’s also a brilliant way to jazz up poached or fried eggs for a super tasty brunch.
It’s so, so good!
I really want to hear from you!
What do you like about Stonesoup? Do you have any ideas to make it better? What would you like to see more of?
Let me know in the comments below.
The winner for June is Ferryn from Austria.
A new winner will be chosen early July.
Inspired by the lovely Andrea Bemis from my favourite vegetable-loving blog Dishing Up the Dirt.
We’ve had this for breakfast and dinner on different days and it’s great at any time of day. I’ve also made it with white and red cabbage and have a slight preference for red because it looks prettier.
enough for: 2
takes: 40 minutes
1/2 medium red cabbage
4 slices bacon
2 handfuls roasted almonds
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
zest 1 small lemon
1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Slice cabbage into 4-5 slices each about 2cm (3/4in) thick. Place sliced on a baking tray. Drizzle generously with olive oil or duck fat.
2. Roast cabbage for about 15 minutes. Turn and keep cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is crispy around the edges and no longer crunchy in the middle.
3. While the cabbage is roasting cook bacon in a frying pan on a medium high heat until well browned and crispy. Cool for a few minutes.
4. When the bacon isn’t too hot chop coarsley. Chop almonds and parsley (stalks and all) and combine with the bacon along with the lemon zest.
5. Divide cabbage between 2 plates and top with bacon gremolata.
more substantial – serve with poached or fried eggs or as a side to roast or pan fried chicken or fish. A dollop of home made mayo is also lovely.
carb-lovers – Toss in some cooked pasta, serve with crusty bread and butter or pile everything on a slice of well buttered sourdough toast.
vegetarian – make an almond gremolata by doubling the almonds, skipping the bacon and adding a small clove of finely chopped garlic. If you have smoked almonds even better.
pescetarian – replace bacon with a drained can of tuna in chilli oil.
budget – use chunky sour dough bread crumbs instead of the almonds (or substitute some).
different veg – brussels sprouts are an obvious choice and won’t need as long in the oven. Also brilliant with regular broccoli, broccolini or cauliflower – just adjust roasting time as needed. The gremolata is also great on cooked greens like spinach, chard or kale.
Do you struggle to get organized to make broth or stock on a regular basis? Well as my friend Rico says, ‘I hear ya honey‘!
I used to be the same.
Having a good supply of home made stock seems like such a great idea because the store bought stuff is never as good. But there’s also the ‘too much effort (and waste) for not enough reward’ perception.
These days, however, I’ve been loving my stock making. Especially with my Monday Night Soup project I wrote about recently.
1. I got a good system for collecting bones.
Basically I have a large ziplock bag in the freezer labelled ‘bones’. Yes, I thought long and hard about that one ;) So now whenever I cook something with bones, they go straight into the freezer bag.
2. I developed a good workflow.
Like most of cooking (and life) having a good system and practicing makes a huge difference. Now that I have my system I look forward to my stock making days.
3. I discovered the ‘remy’.
One of my gripes about broth / stock making was disposing of all the bones afterwards. It seemed like so much waste. Then I discovered the idea of a remouillage or remy for short. Basically, it’s a weaker broth / stock you make with the bones after you’ve made the original batch of full strength broth / stock.
There are still the bones to discard at the end but it feels more worthwhile when I’ve made this extra batch.
There’s a lot of talk about bone broths these days and really the two terms can be used interchangeably. Although for me a broth is something you’re planning to be drinking on it’s own or as a simple soup. Whereas a stock is something you use as an ingredient.
When making stock / broth the bones provide the minerals and gelatine (to give the body) and meat on the bones provides the flavour. So broths tend to include more meat but I don’t get too worried about it.
Like my recent post on making muesli for my boys, this isn’t so much a recipe as a work flow. There are no right or wrong ways to go about this. Every batch I make is slightly different but that’s part of the beauty.
makes: how long is a piece of string?
takes: 1-2 days
enough bones to fill your stock pot
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
optional extras (see variations below)
1. Place bones in your pot (mine come straight from the freezer). Cover with cold water, leaving about 2 inches from the top so the broth won’t boil over.
2. Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. If you can be bothered, skim any foam from the top and discard it. I often don’t bother but removing this fat and protein makes for a clearer stock so I try and do it a couple of times.
3. While the stock is coming to the boil prep your veg and add to the pot.
4. When the stock has boiled, reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered for 4 – 12 hours. Top up with some boiling water if the level reduces too much. Remove from the heat and cover. You can refrigerate in the pot or just leave on the stove top like I do.
1. Remove bones from the pot using a strainer or skimmer and place in another large pot or a really big bowl (like I do) and save for your remy. Bring broth to a rapid boil to kill off any bacteria that have grown overnight.
2. Pour stock through a fine sieve into a heat proof jug (I do this in batches). And then transfer the strained stock into storage containers (I use glass jars about 2 cup capacity). Remember it will expand when frozen so leave some space. Seal jars / containers and pop in the fridge to cool.
3. When the fat has solidified you can remove it and save for other cooking. Or just leave it on (like I mostly do).
4. Broth will keep in the fridge for up to about 5 days (sometimes I leave it longer but I always make sure it gets a good boiling before consumption). Keeps for months in the freezer.
Day 2. The Remy
1. Place your saved bones back in the stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for as long as you’ve got (4-12 hours). Don’t top up with water because you want to concentrate the flavours.
2. Remove and discard bones. Strain remy through a fine sieve into storage containers or directly into a large saucepan to make a batch of soup (like I usually do.). If storing, refrigerate or freeze as per the full-flavoured broth.
optional extras – bunch thyme, bunch flat leaf parsley, can diced tomatoes, vegetable peelings.
more chicken flavour – include some chicken wings with your bones.
more flavour – roast bones in the oven until well browned. 200C / 400F for about 60 minutes is usually enough. I generally don’t bother but sometimes I do and it makes a richer darker stock.
more body / gelatine – add some (well scrubbed) chicken feet!
short on time – You can do everything in the one day if you like. Or skip making the remy at the end.
stronger flavoured remy – add an extra carrot, onion and stick of celery to the bones.
The best resource I’ve come across is a little book called ‘Brodo – a bone broth cookbook‘ by New York Chef Marco Cannora. It contains a whole host of broth and soup recipes (including vegetarian broths) and is well worth checking out.
And you might enjoy my 7 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Soup.
I really want to hear from you!
What’s your favourite Stonesoup recipe?
Let me know in the comments below.
The winner for June will be judged on and announced next week.