When you're making a batch of soup or stew, you normally start with some kind of broth or stock as a base. Chicken, vegetable, beef, and seafood are all types of broth with which you're probably familiar. Chef and TV personality Giada De Laurentiis, however, prefers a different kind of broth. She adds a boost of umami flavor to her soups and stews by making parmesan broth using the rinds from parmesan cheese.
The handy tip for making parmesan broth is to collect the leftover rinds in the freezer until you have a pound of them -- though De Laurentiis also suggests asking to purchase them from cheese counters if you don't want to wait. Then, when it's time to make the broth, she adds the pound of rinds into a saucepan full of water along with other ingredients like herbs, garlic, onion, and celery. She allows it to simmer so the water can absorb the complex parmesan flavors and transform into a savory, delightfully umami broth.
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How To Make Parmesan Broth
Aside from the usual carrots, celery, garlic, and onion, chef Giada De Laurentiis also adds oregano, thyme, and a whole bay leaf when making parmesan broth. Once everything is in the pot, she lets it simmer on the stovetop for over an hour. When the broth is done, De Laurentiis recommends storing it in the fridge if you plan to use it soon, or in the freezer for longer-term storage. Broth can stay fresh in the fridge for three to four days, or up to three months when it's frozen. Once you have it on hand, use the parmesan broth in any soup or stew recipe that calls for vegetable or chicken stock or broth.
You should try using parmesan broth in soups that will benefit from a little extra cheesy flavor. French onion soup is typically topped off with Gruyère cheese, so a bit of parmesan flavor in the broth might help to enhance the taste of the dish. If you often serve your tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side, the added flavor will make the dish come together in new, delicious ways.
Parmesan Broth Can Benefit Other Dishes, Too
Soups and stews seem like a natural choice for experimenting with parmesan broth, but it can elevate other dishes, too. Chef Giada De Laurentiis also recommends using the broth to cook risotto like a pro. To make risotto, arborio rice is typically simmered in broth or stock so that it can absorb the flavors of the liquid. Parmesan cheese is usually folded in after the rice cooks, so the deep umami flavor from the parmesan broth could help enhance the creamy risotto.
If you often top off your pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, you can also use the broth to upgrade the taste of your simple plate of spaghetti. Instead of cooking your pasta to al dente perfection in a pot of boiling water, try using broth instead. The cheesy addition will pack in some more savory flavor to the dish.
Be sure to stash your parmesan rinds in the freezer from now on, so the next time you're planning to make a big batch of soup, you can throw them in the broth. The umami boost will take so many of your favorite recipes to the next level.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.