Bulk cooking. I talk about it often. Here’s how it went down Saturday morning.
These days, it all starts with the stock. Early in the morning I pulled the gallon bag of vegetable scraps out of the freezer and let it thaw on the counter. Last week the bag included: radicchio and romaine lettuce, onion and garlic scraps and skins, half a tomato, and the ends of green beans, celery and carrots. I washed the scraps and tossed them into the pressure cooker with 8 cups of hot water, 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs of dry thyme and 1 tablespoon of dry, sweet basil. I brought the stock to pressure, lowered the heat and cooked for 10 minutes at pressure and then allowed a natural release. I drained the stock through a cheesecloth, squeezing the excess stock from the veggies with tongs. It made just over nine cups of stock! I left the stock on the counter and dipped into it when I needed stock in my bulk cooking.
While I was making the stock I tossed 1 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of farro, rinsed and drained, in the rice cooker. I added 1 cup of stock and 2 cups of water and cooked on the brown rice setting. Completely unattended, I had a perfectly cooked grain dish in just about 30 minutes.
I tried out a seitan recipe and put all of that great stock to good use. I did this with the big (6 quart) pressure cooker.
Meanwhile, I got the smaller pressure cooker (4 quart) going with this week’s soup. Okay, the soup ended up being more like “dal” and, well, it rocked.
After the grain mix was complete I washed up the rice cooker and added steel-cut oats, millet, water and a bit of salt, on the porridge setting, and soon I had breakfast for the week.
A few hours in the kitchen, well spent! I used half of the food for reheating lunch and dinner this week.
And plenty to freeze.
This is why I choose to spend a few hours in the kitchen each weekend. I get to create recipes and prepare for my week.
I didn’t mean to do everything Saturday morning but, since I did, Sunday I found myself itching to make something else. So I tested a new Happy Herbivore recipe!
Oh, people, I feel so lucky! Here’s the story. When Lindsay returned to the U.S. she had a few days in New York. Lucky me, she popped into a restaurant I was dining in to surprise me and say hello. Squeals and hugs later, I finally remembered to introduce her to my husband. They hit it off and started talking and soon she discovered that he is (half) Hungarian and she wanted to know if he had a family recipe he would like to see veganized. Indeed! Hungarian Goulash.
So good! It was a perfectly warm and hearty meal on a cold, winter Sunday–my husband and I both loved it. You will find this recipe in Happy Herbivore Abroad, due out December 2012.
I have a three-day weekend coming up and I’m already dreaming up things to cook in bulk. How about you? Bulk cooking plans for the weekend?