I grew up in the Midwest. There are some wonderful things about growing up in the Midwest: friendly neighbors, sense of community, Big 10 football. Quality food experiences, however, does not make the list. As I started to explore the world and its food, I made some amazing discoveries. Near the top of that list was the macaron.
A little “o” can make a big difference. As a kid I was drawn to these spongy lumps that glued my tongue to the roof of my mouth and left coconut in my teeth for days called macaroons. Then, I discovered a true macaron, with a delicate, crisp outer layer that gives way to a soft, slightly chewy inside sandwiched around smooth, sweet, creamy buttercream. It was an epiphany. I am not saying that macarons are better than macaroons1. I am simply saying that they are not the same.
Macaroon: chunks of hastily prepared stickiness to adorn a middle school pot-luck table. Macaron: colorful bites of Parisian decadence that can make women swoon, bring men to their knees, and cause unicorns to weep.
This week’s recipe is a bit of a two-for-one. The “main” recipe is a fall favorite of mine, mushroom soup (PDF – 770kb). This recipe only has five ingredients (not including salt and oil, which are staples, not ingredients), the most important of which is not, in fact, the mushrooms. It’s the stock (PDF – 115kb). Just replace the mushroom with any number of vegetables and we can still make a delicious soup – as long as we start with good stock. So, if we want to understand the science behind great mushroom soup, we need to understand the science behind good stock. Continue reading “Mushroom Soup & Homemade Stock: The Root of All Flavor”