I have gotten several requests to begin posting some of my favorite ingredients and kitchen gadgets. During my cooking classes, I get just as many questions on what tools and ingredients I am using, as I do about the recipes. You know how everyone has some sort of mini-obsession and become the "go-to" person when you need advice? Some people are awesome at crafting, some people love make-up (that is my number two obsession!!!!) and some people have become an expert on their Green Egg (hmm...who could that be?). Clearly, food is my area of interest. I read other food blogs, watch way too many cooking shows, and get almost every culinary magazine currently published. Combined with my ridiculously large collection of cookbooks, I have developed a strong opinion on all matters related to food. I have tried almost everything out there, and I have found some amazing items to use in the kitchen.
It has been hard to figure out what to review first, but after my last cooking class I got it figured out. I am going to review a product that saves money and time, and tastes great. It is the More Than Gourmet selection of gourmet, authentic, all-natural, gourmet stocks and sauces. Now before you write this off as being a product you don't need, hear me out.
If you want to improve your cooking at home, you need to use flavorful stocks and broths. They are vital for making soups, sauces, braises and more. When I first began cooking, I used boullion cubes to add flavor to dishes. In the 90's, canned broth was readily available, so I converted to the can, which eventually lead to the cardboard 32 oz. box of broth. Sure, these all added some flavor to my recipes, but the flavor was mostly salt, nothing close to a homemade flavor.
More Than Gourmet makes their stocks and broths based on the great master French chef, Escoffier's recipes. The stocks are then reduced by anywhere from 25% - 90%, and packaged in shelf stable containers.
I have made homemade stocks and broths. They are delicious and fun to make, BUT...they take alot of time to make. My chicken broth takes two days to make in my slow cooker. Then, I either have to use it right away, or put it in containers to freeze for later use. Frozen broth takes up way too much room in my freezer. Sometimes, I only need a little bit, like a quarter of a cup, which is really inconvenient to defrost.
With these glaces, you can keep the open container in your refrigerator, and just use a spoon at a time. A small amount added to any sauce will add a complex richness and lusciousness to any dish. They can also be reconstituted in hot water to make a fabulous base for soups. These concentrations come from recipes used by the best chefs in the world.
There are many varieties. The glace varieties include: French Demi, Beef, Lamb, Roasted Chicken, Roasted Turkey, Seafood, Vegetable and Mushroom. They even sell a Classic Rendered Duck Fat. I buy them from Amazon.com, but I strongly recommend checking out More Than Gourmet's website for a full selection. In addition, there are a ton of amazing recipes, tips, directions, and nutritional information on the website. Recipe categories include "Feed My Family Well", "Cook Like A Chef", "Bring On the Crockpot", "Elegant In-Home Dining", "Impress Your Friends" , "Gluten Free", "Vegetarian/Vegan" and "Save Time, Save Money". The recipe selections include sauces, vegetables, grains, stews, pastas, soups, bisques, risottos, chilis... pretty much any recipe you could want.
Each 4 oz. container makes over 2 1/2 gallons of stock. That is equivalent to almost 20 cartons of grocery store broth. A 4 oz. container of More Than Gourmet costs about $18. The same amount of Swanson's Organic Chicken broth would cost about $60!!! You could also smaller containers of More Than Gourmet glaces. They have a 1 oz. container.
TIP: Add a spoonful or two of the beef or chicken glace to homemade marinara sauce. It will give it the flavor of a sauce that has been cooking all day, in just 10 minutes.
- This weekend, Joey is going to show me how to take video, load it to the computer and edit it, so I can finally add videos to my YouTube channel!!!!
- I recently switched my Bath and Body Works home fragrance from Sandalwood Vanilla to Marshmallow Fireside. I like to change up my home scent by season. All I can say is, "WOW"! It is not really a "foodie" scent. In other words your house won't smell like a s'more! It is a very warm and inviting scent that I would descibe as creamy, slightly sweet, and a little smokey, with a hint of vanilla. It is not a "feminine" scent or a "masculine" scent, it is just a fantastic scent for your whole house. I use a combination of the Marshmallow Fireside Wallflowers and Candles. Almost everyone who walks in my front door comments on it. I even put one in the master bedroom area.
- I have begun teaching myself to knit again. All I can make is a scarf, but it is fun to go to the knitting store and pick out cool yarn.
- Joey got his driver's license last week, and now we never see him anymore. Jamie lives in her own apartment, so Phil and I are beginning to feel like empty-nesters. I like it!