I don’t do a lot of hot-pot or fondue meals and when I use stocks or broths in cookery I mostly make it myself from scratch. That being said, though, I do like to keep a bit of commercially made stock on hand for emergencies and, generally, Campbell’s Chicken Broth is my ‘go-to’ product of choice as it is good tasting without a lot of herbal of other flavorings that might limit its use.
Recently, I came across the three products you see pictured above. They are manufactured by Canton, a Canadian company, and although I did not immediately recognize the name I saw, from their website, that they also do a line of prepared fondue and dipping sauces. I haven’t actually tried any of these but I have at least seen them in grocery stores.
In any event, the broth products are manufactured primarily for making fondues and hot-pots and, while I was not interested in buying them for this purpose, I thought I might give them a try to see how they might fare as an ‘emergency’ broth to have on hand… Continue reading “Foodstuff- Canton™ Brand Fondue Broths”
A good Basic Chicken Stock is essential in the Chinese kitchen but for very special soups and other banquet-quality dishes (Shark’s –fin soup, for instance), a very rich broth known as ‘Superior Stock’, or 上湯 (shàng tāng), is required. Basically, a Superior Stock is prepared using chicken, pork and ham, very often the prized Chinese ham known as ‘Jinhua ham’. A select few other ingredients are used, ginger and scallion usually, but not much else in the way of other vegetables are added. It is a very rich and complex preparation and a good stock can make all the difference between a mediocre dish and one that is truly special… Continue reading “Chinese Superior Stock”
Kakejiru is commonly referred to as ‘noodle broth’ since it is commonly served as a ‘soup’ for many types of Japanese noodle including Udon, Soba, and Somen. In particular, Udon served in this broth, often with various toppings, is called Kake-Udon and is a very popular dish both at home and as a restaurant offering or street-food snack. In practice, however, the preparation, whose name essentially translates as ‘gravy’ or ‘dressing’, has much wider application. Just as Kakejiru is based on the foundation Japanese stock Dashi, so too can Kakejiru be regarded as the base for many other Japanese broths, sauces and simmering liquids… Continue reading “Kakejiru: Japanese Noodle Broth”
My Chinese Master Stock and Sunday Gravy projects both exemplify a culinary process whereby a cooking medium is slowly developed over a long period by successively cooking various ingredients so that they derive flavor from the medium and, in turn, add their flavor to it in successive layers of taste. The Chinese and Italian recipes I played around with are both useful and fairly versatile, but they are also somewhat limited in application given their color and basic flavorings, and I have long wanted to create a more generic medium that can easily be adapted to a much wider range of uses.
The idea of a perpetual stockpot continually simmering away on the back of the stove or fire is as old as kitchens themselves and, in times past, a cauldron could be kept simmering as an ever-changing, pot-luck sort of stew whose ingredients would be replenished with whatever was on hand at any given time. Indeed, the French Pot-au-Feu, although now made as a specific meal, has its roots in the medieval tradition of a perpetual stew.
For this project, I am going to use a more scientific and less haphazard approach than the typical ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ affair. The plan is to build a very basic, but rich stock using various cuts of pork and chicken, along with select vegetables, and then later build upon it by using the medium to cook further dishes. I would have liked to have called this a ‘master stock’, but since the Chinese have already taken the name, I am going to give a tip of hat to the pot-au-feu and call this a ‘Fire-pot Stock’… Continue reading “Fire-pot Stock Part 1: The Base”