Soups and Stews
Chef Demetrios Haralambatos
With winter and cool weather upon us, a hardy bowl of soup and stew is the perfect way to help take the chill out of your system.
By stocking your freezer with homemade soup stocks, you will have soup stock that is lower in salt and more flavorful than the watered-down versions available in local grocery stores. The stock would be just like professional cooks and chefs make.
Stocks are simply bones and vegetables, which slowly simmer in lightly salted water. The longer they simmer, the more water evaporates, resulting in a more intense flavor. Here are some tips for creating a soup stock featuring incredible character.
By meats, we really mean bones. For example, if you have a whole chicken, simmer the chicken first for thirty minutes, then remove the chicken and debone. Refrigerate the meat for future use and then return the bones back into the stock pot, and simmer for at least 30-minutes. A turkey carcass is excellent for making turkey stock (follow the chicken stock process above). Beef bones may be purchased from your local halal butcher.
When making beef stock, always roast the bones, and place vegetables under the bones. When making poultry and vegetable stocks, roasting is not necessary; but if you do roast them, you will achieve a more complex, flavorful stock.
Simmering is must! Bring bones to a boil and immediately lower the heat to a simmer. This will allow you to skim the foam that surfaces to the top and provide a cleaner, clearer stock.
Strain the liquid through a sieve or colander lined with some cheesecloth and immediately refrigerate it to prevent bacterial growth.
Store in an airtight container, such as a Mason jar for up to a week in the refrigerator. You may also freeze it for up to six-months in an airtight container or in ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove from the ice cube trays and store in re-sealable plastic bags.
When looking for recipes in cookbooks or online, should you find one that lists ham or pork stock as an ingredient, simply substitute that with a 50/50 portion of chicken and beef stock combined.
Chef Demetrios Haralambatos has been the Corporate Executive Chef at Kontos Foods for over 23 years. He is a classically trained chef, historian, food writer, lecturer, and culinary judge. He has earned the title Archimagiros and is a member and volunteer with numerous organizations. Chef Demetrios has been a demonstrator at the I Heart Halal™ Festival the past two years.