Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kitchen Chores

Think Like a Cook Series

The more years I manage my home kitchen, the wiser I become about regular kitchen work.

Last night I arrived home late with several bags of groceries.  After tucking most of the perishable into the fridge I went right to bed.  This morning I was faced with a kitchen to be tidied and sorted.

I find it's really helpful to do some of the prep work for the next few days right after I shop.  So first item of business was to get some beets and bell peppers into the oven to roast.  I tossed them on a silpat covered baking sheet and stuck them in a 400 degree oven to roast for 40 minutes.  When the 40 minutes was up I simply turned the oven off.  A few hours later, when I pulled them out, the beets were tender and ready to be peeled and the skins slipped right off the bell peppers all in one piece.  Easy peasy and into the fridge.

Upon opening the door to my refrigerator I discovered a roasting pan with bits and pieces from a leftover chicken.  I pulled all the meat from the bones and put the rest on a low burner to simmer for most of the day.  Making delicious and healthy bone broth is an easy chore.  Just cover the chicken carcass with water, toss in an onion, a carrot, a celery stock, some bay leaves and pepper corns.  Today I had some fresh parsley, so I added that, too.  When the stock was done, I merely poured all the ingredients into a sieve and squeezed the onions to press out all the delicious flavoring juice into the stock.

While everything was roasting and simmering, I attended to my emails and participated in a skype call.

A few minutes work and I have:
  • roasted bell peppers ready to add to pasta, salads or sandwiches
  • roasted beets ready to be peeled and tossed into salads
  • boned roasted chicken for salads, sandwiches or tacos
  • chicken stock ready to be used for soups, sauces (or my current favorite side dish is organic short grain brown rice from the Sacramento Delta cooked in homemade stock and organic butter from grass-fed cows)  

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