The Earth-Bound Cook (Workman Publishing, 2010) by Myra Goodman is a guide for readers to learn how to easily cook in sync with the environment with sustainably produced ingredients. Readers will feel empowered about environmental issues instead of overwhelmed by them after reading this book. Throughout the book there are informative spotlights and sidebars along with tips meant to help educate cooks on their choices in food, appliance use, prep habits, and cleanup can affect the environment.
At the astronomical price per pound you have to pay for quality Italian Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano), it's plain good sense to use the hard rinds. Tightly wrap the heels and ends of your cheese in plastic wrap, place them in a zip-lock bag, and freeze until you have at least half a pound of rinds. Then cook them to make a flavorful stock that's a wonderful addition to soups, pasta sauces, and vegetable braises.
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow onions or leeks
- 1 cup white wine
- 8 ounces Parmesan rinds
- 1 small dried bay leaf
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 6 cups cold water
- Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until it is hot, and then add the onions.
- Reduce the heat to low, place a round of parchment or wax paper directly on top of the onions, and sweat the onions (see sidebar, this page), stirring them occasionally, until they have softened, about 15 minutes.
- Discard the paper and add the wine to the pot.
- Raise the heat to high and bring to the start of a simmer. Add the Parmesan rinds, bay leaf, peppercorns, and water, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer, and cook the stock, uncovered, for 2 hours, or until the liquid has reduced by about half.
- Let the stock sit at room temperature until it is lukewarm.
- Strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a container, and discard the solids. If it's not for immediate use, refrigerate the stock until it is cold; then cover and freeze for up to 3 months.
In culinary parlance, sweating is a common preliminary step in vegetable cooking, particularly for onions and leeks. The vegetables are cooked in a small amount of butter or oil over low heat, with a piece of parchment paper pressed directly onto the vegetables. (The parchment traps the heat so the vegetables soften without browning and cook in their own juices.) Sweating vegetables usually results in tender, sometimes translucent, pieces and is used further in various culinary preparations.
More from The Earth-Bound Cook:
- Cauliflower Couscous Recipe
- Roasted Banana Cream Recipe
- Rigatoni with Eggplant and Buffalo Mozzarella Recipe
From The Earth-Bound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and A Healthy Planet, by Myra Goodman. Published by Workman Publishing, © 2010. Used with permission from Workman Publishing.