What cant go in vegetable stock?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kevin20422, May 16, 2011.

  1. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    I have a ziplock in the freezer saving leftover scraps of vegetable matter for stock, now I ask you fine members.

    What cant go in stock, thats easier to ask than what can.

    I assume no fruit obviously but what about a little cabbage yes/no?  No tomatoes I assume. 

    Trying to think of others I have wondered about and coming up blank so lets change channels.

    What about shrimp tails.  For a seafood stock,  What about cooked salmon or Mahi skin.  Did I gross you out, sorry.

    Leftover squash? 

    Here in the midwest Indian spirits are in the airwaves so I think that is why I like to be so frugal.  The Indians wasted nothing.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    It's a stock not a garbage can. If you put shrimp shells in it , it isn't a vege stock. Try celery, onion, carrot, garlic, parsnips ;fresh herbs. a small amount of cabbage would be ok, but keep in mind cabbage is very strong and overpowering.
     
  3. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    Thank Ed, the shrimp shells would be for a seafood stock but that was just stinkin thinkin.

    I appreciate your feedback and will take to heart the garbage can analogy.
     
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Don't put potato peels in it, it will make it murky.  Tomatoes are great in stock.
     
  5. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    So we have established that potatoes are okay, how about sweet potatoes?

    Thanks
     
  6. benway

    benway

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    Sweet potatoes won't do much for you.  Avoid carrot tops unless you're into bitter stock.
     
  7. kevin20422

    kevin20422

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    Thanks Benway good tip.  Bit by bit I am getting the picture. 
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Kevin, I must be operating a garbage pan rather than a stockpot, cuz that's exactly how I make vegetable stock---by saving peels and scraps in the freezer until there's enough to work with.

    I also segregate them for different purposes. For instance, all the mushroom scraps are kept together to make mushroom stock. Broccoli (and asparagus) segregated to serve as a soup base. Etc.

    With "cabbage" think all the cole crops. That includes all the cabbages, Brussels sprouts, collards, etc. They tend to overpower, and often turn bitter as well. Likewise avoid bitter greens.

    Basically, anything that has a strong, distinctive flavor should be looked on with suspicion. Asparagus, for instance, makes a great soup. But I wouldn't put it in a mix destined for general stock making.

    Carrots and parsnips are ok, but watch their proportionate quantity because too much of them can make the stock overly sweet.

    BTW, after straining the stock, the solids can still go in the compost pile.
     
  9. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Not a garbage can....but what must go goes into my stock...

    Some thing sjust make perfume, and not stock though. For that reason, out of personal preference, I never add rosemary or fennel to any of my stocks.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Leftover squash peels, mahi skins, potato shins, etc this is what I define as garbage can items, It has nothing to do with freezing other good things because I do that also. Reminds me one time I took a class into a NYC hotel we visited every station. Finally to the Potage Chefs area where there were 4 steam kettles going with different stocks. His helper proceeded to mix the stocks with a  S/S paddle  to show the students, and low and behold up came a sneaker on the end of the paddle. Talk about being embarrased !!
     
  11. mikez

    mikez

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    I try not to throw almost antyhing out, ends from onions and bell peppers, mushrooms leftover herbs always any leftover meat bones even after cooked. I always use potato, mirepoix, parsley peppercorns bay leaf and garlic cloves
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Each to their own.
     
  13. bodhran1965

    bodhran1965

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    Do not turn your stock pot into a garbage can. I've worked in hotels where cooks found adding 'garbage' to stocks were forced to take 5 days off without pay.

    If it's a veg stock you need then stick to aromatics and herbs. Potatoes are a no as is anything else starchy. As in any stock you need to seek out balance and flavour. Depending on what you need the stock for you can flavour it with whatever you see fit to: if it's going to be used for a Thai soup then use ginger, lemongrass, orange peel, etc. Otherwise keep the stock neutral so that nothing overpowers or is too assertive.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  14. mikez

    mikez

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    Why would you want to avoid potatoes or something starchy?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2015
  15. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Theoretically, Mike, potatoes et als will make the stock cloudy.
     
  16. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I put a peeled waxy potato in my chicken stock.  It does not make a cloudy stock for me but then again I never boil my stock nor do I stir it.  An old wives tale tells me that a potato in chicken stock helps soak up some of that off smell that chicken sometimes gives off.  But in practical terms my husband loves that potato as his treat.
     
  17. planethoff

    planethoff

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    I agree with Chef EdB but can understand the desire to be eco-conscious.  Leave potato skins/ carrot tops/ onion ends/ in the compost.  You want to use the best ingredients you can through the entire cooking process.  An inferior stock will make an inferior meal.
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    CHEF HOFF

       You said it all     Plus    Onion skins will make it yellowish brown, celery tops bitter , potato peels muddled unclear color and dirt.  Again folks this is not a garbage can.  There is a point where economics must be overruled for the sake of quality.
     
  19. french fries

    french fries

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    I don't know Kouk.. if your chicken gives any kind of "off smell" then it's not good fresh chicken, I wouldn't eat it or use it for stock. And if a potato was really absorbing an "off smell" then who'd want to eat that potato anyway?

    If the chicken is fresh it should not have any off smell. Then I would be concerned that the potato will absorb a lot of the flavor in your stock, which as a result will not be as flavorful as if you'd cooked it without potato in the first place. Same if you'd cook pasta or rice in your stock, they would absorb the stock's flavor.
     
  20. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Oh chicken has a smell.  I've grown up slaughtering fresh chickens and cooking them fresh, they have a smell.  It's a trademark of chicken.  Just like lamb has a smell regardless of freshness, it has a gameyness.  I'm not such a fan of the chicken smell.  You can't convince me that chicken does not have a certain smell. 

    As for the potato absorbing that smell, I already said it was an old wive's tale, not that I buy into it.  I only said that my husband likes to eat potato boiled in the stock.  Pasta or rice is a common ingredient in soup so I don't know what you're getting at.