How to- Stocks and broths.

As I sit here writing, sipping on my Baileys tainted coffee I contemplate whether or not stock and both are the same.  A stock, often used in many sauces, soups and bases for countless dishes.  A broth, used to make soups and so many timeless culinary experiments.  It also sounds well, better; On a menu you would say, poached with “spiced pork broth” not “spiced pork stock”. These words are interchangeable, making food items and menus sound more tasteful and more desirable to eye when read.
If you think about it both stocks and broths start off the same, slowly simmering on the stove for hours with a variety of items such as; bones, vegetables, meats, some herbs and peppercorns.  However there are slight differences to consider when being technical about something.
The definition of a stock is bones/seafood shells(and meat if you want), vegetables, and maybe some herbs/spices simmered on the stove for hours. The definition of a broth is meat or vegetables and maybe some herbs/spices simmered on the stove for hours.
What’s the difference?  It’s the bones, broth contains no bones at all, meaning there will be no gelatin.  This gives a lighter taste, and colour.  Now does this mean someone will be angry at you when you do say “spiced pork broth” yet you used bones to make it?  NO! I would never not use bones unless I was making a vegetable broth, to me it taste a heck of a lot better.  Also like I stated before, these words are interchangeable…and no one follows the definition strictly anyways.

SO, with the stock and broth lesson over here is how you make a delicious stock or broth.  You’ll never have to buy the salty boxed stuff ever again for all your soup and sauce needs.  Also, did I mention it’s super easy to do, takes little effort, and extremely cheap to make?
Scraps can be used to make any stock or broth, such as carrot or onion peelings.  Even though they are normally thrown in the compost they provide plenty of flavouring and can be used instead of using whole items. Saving you money and time.

In the photos I provide I am making a shrimp stock, using shells from the shrimp I peeled at work.  Which turned out to be very delicious and, made an awesome soup for my supper that night.

Equipment:
1 large pot.
Cutting board.
Knife.
Container (for storage).
Colander or strainer of sorts.
Ladle.

Ingredients: (for stocks)
Enough bones/shells to fill your pot almost 3/4 full. (you may use some scarp meat if you like)
A bunch of herbs.  Such as: thyme, parsley or rosemary. (If desired)
Onions/leeks. (peels are welcomed)
Carrots. (peels welcomed)
Celery. (washed)
Some whole peppercorns.
Tomato paste is optional if making a veal/beef stock.
Ingredients: (for broth)
Enough meat and vegetables 3/4 full. (no meat if making vegetable broth)
Herbs if desired.
Whole peppercorns.

Method:
**Because both are made the same way there will only be one method.
1. If you desire a different taste, roast bones and/or vegetables till slightly golden at 350 degrees or higher.   If you are making a veal/beef stock and are using tomato paste, roast bones and vegetables till golden.  Once golden spread paste all over and roast again for about 10 minutes.  You do not have to roast.
2. Place all items in a large pot (including drippings and small bits left on pan!!) and fill with water till just over your ingredients.  Bring up to a boil and quickly bring down to a simmer.  DO NO STIR AT ALL!! How long it simmers depends on what type of stock/broth you are making so here is a list of times.
Chicken stock/broth– No less than 1.5 hours.
Veal/beef stock/broth– No less than 8 hours.
Fish/shellfish stock– 1- 1.5 hours.  No more, no less. (less will be watery, more will be bitter and foggy)
Vegetable broth– at least 1 hour.
3. While simmering and depending on the type of stock/broth you’ll want to skim the fat off the top.  Using a ladle grab the fat the floats on top throughout the whole time it’s simmering. By doing this it will become less bitter and of course less fatty.
4. Take off heat and strain into your desired container, leaving no small bits.  Let cool.  End product should be clear and have plenty of flavour.
5. ENJOY!!

How to- Preserving, canning method.

I had bought a book in Toronto, Ontario on different preserving methods and a variety of recipes; I have been wanting to test it out for a while.  So that’s what I did, preserving of the canning variety…and when I say canning, I’m talking about mason jars.  Not actual tin cans.
Every time I think of this procedure I often remember my grandmother…whom is very much alive and hilarious.  When I was a little girl she use to pickle beets, well she probably still does; However being in a different province than her makes it hard to enjoy her delicious beets.  Anyways, she pickled beets and I would enjoy them every year, and that’s a huge memory of my childhood.  That’s why I decided to take canning and preserving up.  It’s something that has been lost over the years and I feel people really need to start getting back into it.
It is also something that is very useful in my career.  Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be taking this preserving method and creating a variety of recipes to share.  So prepare yourself for a whole lot of deliciousness…in a “can”.

Also a big shout out to my home-brah and colleague Davo Wallace for helping me preserve (and making sure I didn’t break anything). …yes I did call him home-brah.

Equipment:
A very large pot and medium or small pot.
Mason jars.
Tongs.
Bowls.
Knife.
Cutting board.
Cloth.
Spoon.
Measuring spoons/cups.

Ingredients:
A variety of ingredients, it really depends what you want in it.
People often use lots of salt, or sugar.  You can also make a brine, using salt, vinegar, sugar and a variety of spices/herbs you happen to enjoy.
The main ingredient you are preserving, such as: cucumbers, citrus fruits or even eggs.

Method:
1. Boil your large pot of water till it is simmering.
2.
Prepare your ingredients, for me that would be tons of salt, lemons cut and some juiced, and spices.  Combine all but juice and some salt.
3. Make sure to wash your jars and lids well in hot soapy water.  Once rinsed, sanitize in the simmering water for about a minute.  Be careful taking them back out.  Bring water to a complete rolling boil!!!
4. While jars are still hot place you ingredients into the jars. Including the juice and remaining salt poured on top.
5. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean damp towel.
6. Centre the middle part of the lid onto the jar and twist the other half until it is resistant.
7. Carefully place jars in boiling water, making sure water covers the jars by about 1 inch. I leave my jars in the water for about 5- 10 minutes depending on what it is containing and how much. Turn water off leaving jars inside for about 5 minutes till water is settled.
8. Carefully take jars out and leave at room temperature till cool.  To see if the seal worked properly tap or lightly push the middle of the lid, if it doesn’t move, is stiff and looks sucked inwards it worked!
9. For storage keep in a cool dark area, refrigeration is not needed till open.

How to- Papaya peppercorns.

Papaya, an exotic fruit that many often over look.  It has a sweet flavour, a soft texture and tastes great on its own.  Personally I like putting them in my salads!  However did you know that seeds were edible too?  They have a spicy, bitter like flavour which is perfect for pepper. I’ll be showing you how to make these seeds into the best pepper of your life, both flavorful and packed full of health benefits: Just like the flesh. This way you reduce your waste, and have an exotic substitute for your meals.

*Here’s a few health tips about this amazing fruit before we get started*
This fruit has is packed full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, Potassium, fibre.  It has many health benefits such as helping aid in digestion due to it having an enzyme called papain.  Papaya is high in antioxidants, helps prevent colon cancer, and heart disease, has anti-inflammatory effects and helps heal burns.
Often used as a face mask to treat acne, and to get healthy glowing skin.  Shampoos that contain papaya also help with dandruff control.

Equipment:
Knife.
Spoon.
Cutting board.
Parchment paper.
Baking sheet.
Pepper mill/coffee grinder.
Containers of sorts.

Method:
1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature possible.
2.
scoops seeds from papaya and set into a small bowl.  Prepare the rest of your papaya and refrigerate (maybe eat some).
3. Rinse seeds till slime, and left over flesh is gone.
4. Evenly spread seeds onto a baking sheet and place into oven.
5. Bake for about 60 minutes or until seeds are completely dried out and hard all of the way through.
6. Grind in a pepper mill or in a coffee grinder to get the fine pepper texture.
7. Place in an air tight container, or bag.
8. Enjoy!

How to- Garlic cloves.

How many times have you gone to use fresh garlic only to get frustrated by the sticky, paper like peeling?  How many times have you thought “why is this so difficult! why can’t there be an easier way”. How many times have you changed your mind on the fresh garlic and quickly switched to powder?
If you thought you were alone with the frustration well let me tell you…you’re not!  I’ve had this same problem till I taught myself how. Now when I see those awful infomercials for tacky kitchen equipment I laugh because it’s just SO EASY do to it yourself.
Soon you’ll be throwing away your powdered garlic, and using this super easy trick to peel and chop garlic all of the time.  Which in the long run is the better choice anyways;  Powdered garlic has none of the health benefits of fresh garlic, costs more, and takes more to get that garlic taste you really want…Which never really happens, because nothing beats freshly chopped garlic.

Equipment:
Knife.
Cutting board.
Container/bowl.

Method:
1. Gather the equipment you will need, this will include a cutting board, a knife, a damp cloth to secure the cutting board, a bowl to put the garlic in, and of course your garlic.
2. Place the cutting board on top of the damp cloth.
3. Cut the root at the end of the garlic clove off and toss away.
4. Place your knife flat on top of the clove, press down as hard as you can till it crushes.  Or you can hit the knife with your palm to crush the garlic, however be careful not to cut yourself.
5. You will easily be able to slide the garlic peeling off now! Toss the peeling away.
6. Sometimes when your garlic is older a green bitter root forms in the middle of your clove.  You can easily remove this by cutting the clove in half and picking it out.
7. Now you continue to chop the garlic as finely as you want.
8. If you would like to “puree” it, just angle your knife to almost be flat against the cutting board and over top of the garlic at the same time. Use force to drag your knife towards you, keep doing till your desired consistency.

**I’d like to give credit to two awesome guys who helped me today.  I wouldn’t of been able to do this demonstration with out them.  To my younger brother Wyatt Albert who expertly chopped the garlic while I took the photos, and to his friend Michael Rains who helped with lighting, thanks for holding that lamp up!