8 novembre 2009

Seasoning and Flavouring with herbs to celebrate WHB # 208

Weekend Herb Blogging is more successfull than ever and celebrates 4th Years' Anniversary!
I am so glad to be part of it, and thankful to Haalo who gave me the opportunity to host WHB # 184 last May and recently WHB # 205.
This weekly event was created by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen in October 2005, you will find story here. It has become so popular in the years thanks to all bloggers participating with recipes and informative posts about new ways of cooking with herbs or unusual plant or fruit ingredients.
Since November 2008 Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once has been managing this weekly event, all recaps here, and she will be hosting this week's edition too.
If you'd like to participate please have a look at Who's hosting and WHB Rules.
A new logo in a beautiful green (one of my favorite colors) has been created and will be the official one for the future.

I'm happy to celebrate this amazing goal with "two greatest friends" I can not really do without in my kitchen: aromatic salt and homemade stock cube.

Aromatic Salt

  la ricetta in italiano qui

A very useful and easy to make aromatic salt, amazing on many dishes to add a special touch, a nice gourmet gift I give with pleasure and proud because coming from "my garden"!
Rosemary, sage, thyme and laurel are still beautiful and perfect to collect before the incoming winter, and I will have several tiny jars in my pantry ready to be dressed as Christmas presents!

sale aromatico del mio giardino

You need:

coarse salt
sage, laurel, rosemary, thyme

- Clean the spices and mix in the food processor (I use Thermomix) for a few seconds, add salt and mix finely at maximum speed for 30 seconds.
- Place aromatic salt on a tray and allow to dry in a cool place for a few hours, mixing occasionally.
- Store in an airtight glass jar.

A nice alternative: dry chilli and sweet paprika, salt will come out a little pinky.

Homemade Stock Cube
la ricetta in italiano qui

Since I bought Thermomix in 2001 I have been making homemade stock cube. I can proudly say it's the first thing I learned, and then never ever bought anything else. There is a long controversy about industrial stock cube (for glutamate and hydrogenated fats in them), but it's a great satisfaction to have your own, you decide ingredients and you really know what you eat!
Homemade stock cube is suitable for seasoning any dish as well as for the preparation of a fast broth.

dado vegetale o di carne

You need:

300 g coarse salt
600 g mixed vegetables (celery, carrots, onion or leek, zucchini, squash if you like, no potato)
1 tomato
mixed spices: rosemary, sage, basil, parsley, laurel, thyme
300 g minced meat (optional)*
3 tablespoons red wine (optional)*

* only if you want a meat stock cube

You can use frozen mixed vegetables.

In Thermomix: chop vegetables in the bowl 10 sec. at speed 4. Combine salt (meat and wine optional) and cook 30 min. Varoma at speed 1. Then speed 6 for 30 sec. and maximum speed Turbo for 2 min.

In saucepan: chop vegetables with a food processor, put all ingredients together (meat and wine optional), bring to the boil and cook for 30/40 minutes covered with a lid. Mix finely in the food processor.

In pressure cooker: chop vegetables, add salt (meat and wine optional) and simmer 20 minutes from the whistle. Mix finely in the food processor.

Pour in glass jars and close with a lid when cooled.
You can store them for a long time in the fridge or in the freezer, stock cube will never harden because of the great amount of salt.

Salt is a good preservative but if you like to give your homemade stock cube as a present (and feel sure it won't go bad absolutely, or you don't have any room left in the freezer) it's better you sterilize jars in a big pot (with water covering jars 5 cm) for 30 minutes from boiling. Then you can store it at room temperature.

Le ricette in italiano: sale aromatico e dado fatto in casa.

3 commenti:

Simo ha detto...

Sono anche i miei cavalli di battaglia....
..grande Cindy!

Kalyn Denny ha detto...

I would love to have a Thermomix. It sounds like a wonderful machine, and I'm intrigued by how you're using it here. I've made herb salt blends, but I haven't made it with fresh herbs and then let it dry. For sure I'll be trying this next summer!

Cindystar ha detto...

Simo, come si potrebbe farne senza?

Kalyn, thanks, just yesterday I saw on internet that Kenwood is selling a new similar stander, KM070, the same as traditional Chef Major but with cooking system incorporated!
I only make aromatic salt with those herbs because they are not humid (leaves are quite dry even when fresh) and in a few hours salt is ready. Let me know if you try!

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