Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stocking Up

Who said it could be September already? I mean seriously, I have not had enough time getting sun burnt or sweating at night or getting bitten by mosquitos. All of the things I normally gripe about have been very infrequent this summer, or at least it seems that way to me now.
I told Joe this morning that I was not ready for spiced apple desserts or soups or roasts or any other fall type food. I want my tomatoes and eggplants and green beans darnit! I’m holding on to summer recipes and summer foods for as long as I can. I’ll be out grilling in the first snowfall I imagine.
Normally, I kind of like the release of summer into early fall. You can smell it. Maybe that’s why, it’s been raining for the past few days and I haven’t smelled autumn yet. I keep asking myself (well my tummy really) ‘do we want apple cider? How does butternut squash sound to you?’ and in response I get nothing, no gurgle of appreciation or rumble of desire. Nothing. This means I will continue to disregard the calendar and outside temperatures and keep cooking summer favorites.
You may be wondering, what does she have for me today. The answer is nothing. I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy with guests and hurricanes and work that I have not got something to share with you. I have been cooking up a storm, but they have all been trusty favorites, or brand new recipes I don’t feel comfortable sharing just yet. Well, that’s not entirely true. I made some lobster stock that I plan on using this weekend. I’ll share that with you. Since this is basically how I make chicken stock, I know it well enough to share.
Remember how I told you last week that we tend to eat lobsters when we have guests? My parents came this past weekend, and to make eating lobsters not as terrifying to my mother, Joe and I dispatched and dismembered them prior to dinner. But I had lots of lobster shells available for making stock – which is perfect because I will need lobster stock for next week’s recipe. I don’t want to give it away, but I will give you the lobster stock. It was really very simple and smells wonderful while cooking.

Quick Lobster Stock
I did not add any salt to this as we cooked the lobsters in VERY salted water, but taste and adjust as needed.

4 empty lobster shells – meat removed (we saved all the little bits as well as the heads, this turned into quite a bit of shell)
1 medium onion, cut into a large dice
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
3 sprigs of thyme
3-4 large prigs of parsley (stem and leaves)
1 bay leaf
12 peppercorns
Water to cover

Combine lobster shells vegetables and spices in a large pot over medium heat. Begin cooking to soften the vegetables, then add water to just barely cover everything. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

Skim off any foam that accumulates on the surface and discard. Simmer for about one hour, until the stock is fragrant and yellowish/green in color.

Place cheese cloth into a colander and the colander into a large bowl (or other pot). Strain the stock through the cloth and colander. Discard the shells and veggies. Stir the strained stock to cool it quickly. Once it has stopped steaming, pour into re-sealable bags or plastic containers and freeze until ready to use. Make about 12 cups.

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