Last week was a pretty good one in the kitchen. I used a few new ingredients in the new dishes I made.

  • Shrimp salad with wasabi and pickled ginger. In my previous update, I’d made a shrimp salad variation with radishes, orange, and avocado. Jazzed by how good it was, I tried another variation this week. The “Asian” section of Whole Foods hooked me up with wasabi powder and pickled ginger, and I was all set. This was another winner for sure.
  • Vegetable stock. This is a great example of something I probably wouldn’t bother with if I was employed. I spent a while one afternoon making homemade vegetable stock in preparation for stew the next day. In graduate school, my roommates and I made what we called vegetable stock, but if I’m honest, it was made from garbage. We basically cooked vegetable scraps and peelings in water. This time out, I used a real recipe which called for basically one of everything from the produce aisle and cooked it in stages, including collard greens near the end of the process. I’ve only recently ever used a dark leafy green for anything (chard, about a month ago), so it still counts as a new ingredient I think. I have to admit this blew the pants off the garbage broth we used to make in grad school… The yield was about 6 cups, and I used my dad’s old china cap for the first time to strain it:

vegetable_stock 001

  • Spring vegetable stew with Fennel and Asparagus. I used about 1/3 of the vegetable stock in this stew, which again seemed to call for at least one of everything from the produce aisle. It built from a minced mirepoix base, adding leeks and fennel, then potato and carrot chunks, then asparagus pieces and peas, and finishing with -yikes- 4 Tablespoons of butter mixed with lemon juice & zest. Delicious.

This coming week I hope to use some more of the vegetable stock in another soup. I would definitely make the stew again but I figure I should take full advantage of having vegetable stock on hand, and make as many different things as I can before it runs out.