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

Sweet Peppers

My love for grilled flavor in frozen and canned vegetables grew from a love of freshly grilled garden goodies. Long before the technique became essential for frozen eggplant puree and jars of pasta sauce and tomatillo salsa, we were grilling vegetables and immediately stuffing them into our mouths.

Although the grilled food I encountered as a kid was mainly meat, one summer treat at the family home consisted of sticks of shish kebabs. Unlike the traditional Middle Eastern meat sticks, these were mainly veg. Perhaps it was just a ploy to get little girls to eat vegetables: let them choose food to thread on sticks and spin on the grill grate until charred. I’m pretty sure my early choices were black olives, potato, and pineapple, but I eventually developed a taste for anything cooked over coals. I still rely on a version of my mom’s marinade—and grill an extra bell pepper for the next day’s munchies. Learn to make Shish Kebabs with Garlic–Soy Marinade and Corn, Bean, and Pepper Salsa

Mushrooms

When it comes to feeding a crowd, two things generally happen: expensive premade dishes pack the table, and those with special diets are left with precut fruit, naked greens, and a bare baked potato. This year’s Montana Cup meals proved it doesn’t have to be that way.

Dinner’s salads got the Twice as Tasty treatment, but North Flathead Yacht Club also had vegans and vegetarians fully covered with marinated and grilled Portobello mushrooms. NFYC also brought in gorgeous Yukon River Coho salmon fillets from Flathead Fish & Seafood Co. and top sirloin steaks provided by regional grocery chain Super 1 Foods. I decided to whip up some sauces that could accompany any option or the sides of salad and baked potato, relying on our local Kalispell Kreamery and my own canning shelves. Learn to make Marinated and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Yogurt-Dill Sauce and Romesco Sauce