I’ve been shooting my mouth off a lot about the wonders of veal stock, in the new book, in Gourmet magazine all the way back in 1999 (here’s the braised short ribs that featured the veal stock), and over this past weekend on The Splendid Table.  You can listen at their site, and here’s the recipe I gave them but I’m going to make it even more simple here. My main points about the veal stock (photo by donna) are these: almost no one has written about the special qualities of veal stock since Richard Olney in the 70s and this is unfortunate. If there were one ingredient that the home cook could have that would transform absolutely his or her cooking, one that would put it close to the level of the professional chef, Read On »

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Aspic: Aspic is clear gelled liquid, usually stock, commonly used in haute cuisine.  It can be diced or chopped and used as a savory garnish.  It is a kind of tool that holds ingredients in place within a mold—diced vegetables (vegetable terrine), an egg (oeuff en gelée), pork (headcheese).  In a pâté en croute, it fills in the space between the cooked pâté and the crust.  Food dipped in aspic will take on a lacquered finish for a fancy presentation.  Certain meat stocks, especially those that have included a calves foot or pig skin, will contain enough gelatin to set completely when chilled.  Other stocks such as those made from fish or vegetables require the addition of gelatin.  Aspics can be delicate, in which they hold their shape, but are very tender, on the verge Read On »

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