robuchon take 1: vegetable broth
Ok. Let’s be honest. First times are not always as amazing as they are rumored to be. First kiss? Um, braces, awkward. First drink? Gin & tonics should not be drunken in bulk. First time making bread? Always best to try again.
My first with Robuchon, however, was actually amazing. That’s Joel Robuchon, the famous French chef. For our first year anniversary of buying our house, G gave me his cookbook, “The Complete Robuchon.” It’s an amazing book, kind of like a modern Julia Child cookbook, with an interest in explaining the basics and complexities of French food from stocks and sauces to regional dishes. It’s real bedtime reading with detailed descriptions for mastering techniques. Here’s an example:
A stock should cook gently, at a bare simmer, really just a shiver. As it bubbles oh-so quietly, you must skim the gray-ish foam of impurities rising to its surface. A stock that has bubbled vigorously will yield a cloudy broth, not the clear one desired.
I decided, then, after reading through the first few sections of the book that if I was ever going to learn how to cook, to really cook then I should work my way through all of the recipes. So, my first was “vegetable broth,” the very first recipe in the book. I was curious about how it would turn out since you only cook the vegetables in water for about 20 minutes. I was suspicious that it wouldn’t be that rich. Well, well, I was totally wrong.
This broth is delicious and completely easy to make. I think it’s the leeks that makes it taste rich and earthy. We had a little bit by itself and then I used the rest to make a mixture of brown and wild rice, which we served with salmon. Yum yum yum. Definitely try it. You’ll love it.
robuchon’s vegetable broth
adapted from “The Complete Robuchon.” You’ll need some cheesecloth.
2 leeks, chopped (not using the tough green part)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 stems parsley
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
In a large sauce or soup pot, add 6 cups of water to all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, skim foam off of the surface using shallow spoon, which you can dip in a bowl of cold water to wash off after every skim. Turn the heat down, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once that’s done, take the pot off the heat. Line the cheesecloth in a fine strainer (I used a regular colander, which wasn’t as effective but did a fine job) and pour the broth into it over a bowl letting the vegetables rest on top (don’t push them down to squeeze more juice out of them). Robuchon recommends saving the vegetables and tossing them in some vinagrette or cooking them in some butter, which we did to go with our rice and salmon. I did, however, remove the parsley before eating them.