Stocks

I can’t recall when I started making soup stocks. All I know for sure is that vegetable stock and shrimp stock have long been staples in my freezer. The pair meets most needs, but I keep a lighter Corncob Stock and heavier mushroom stock on hand when growing season and freezer space allow.

Like salad dressings, stocks are easy to make and adapt. They’re also powerful: Replace water with stock when preparing soup, a sauce, or even plain rice, and you instantly elevate your dish to the next level. But stocks can be too powerful: Store-bought stocks are often too intensely flavored and too highly salted. By making your own, you can control everything from content to salt ratio to storage size. They can be made with whole vegetables, but they’re equally tasty from the trimmings off another meal. You don’t really need a recipe, but a few techniques can help. Learn to make Vegetable Stock and Shrimp Stock

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Corn

If fresh corn on the cob captures the flavor of summer, grilled corn makes that flavor explode in your mouth. Corn steams beautifully within its own husks and develops a taste and smell that can’t be matched by boiled or steamed ears. It also means you don’t need to heat a giant kettle of water on a hot summer evening and could even skip the kitchen altogether by grilling your entire meal.

I first started grilling corn when I was gifted Williams-Sonoma’s fabulous and comprehensive Complete Grilling Book, now out of print but still possible to track down. We used to just gobble up the grilled corn fresh, but then I realized it would freeze just as well and I could enjoy that grilled flavor all winter. As a bonus, the cobs can be frozen separately and turned into stock. Learn to grill and freeze corn and make Corncob Stock