Cooking stock is easy and doesn’t take much time. But if your in a hurry, even 20 or 30 minutes can seem like too much. So to maximize your precious time, you can enhance pretty much any stock — even canned or cube stock. Here’s how to do it easily:
1. Improved canned stock
For every can of stock you’ll use, add the following: a sliced carrot, a sliced onion, a crushed garlic clove, a bay leaf, 5 whole pepper-corns, and several fresh parsley stems. Cook the ingredients in the canned stock over medium heat for 15 minutes. Then strain and use as you like.
2. Garlic stock
Add 1 whole head of garlic — don’t peel it — to the stockpot along with all the other ingredients from the previous variation.
3. Indian-style stock
Add up to 5 crushed cloves garlic, two thin slices of ginger (unpeeled), 1 tbsp of curry powder or garam masala, and several sprigs of cilantro in place of parsley.
4. Southern-Style Stock
Best with chicken, beef, or veal, especially when roasted: Add a ham hock along with the bones.
5. French inspired stock
This time you’ll add 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 5 to 10 peppercorns, 3 to 5 cloves, and 1/2 cup of dry white wine with the other ingredients.
6. Asian style stock
Add 5 thin slices of unpeeled ginger, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil, 4 trimmed and roughly chopped scallions, and 1 star anise (don’t forget this one!) along with the other ingredients.
7. Southeast asian style stock
Add 1 stalk of chopped lemongrass, four thin slices unpeeled ginger, 3 crushed cloves garlic, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro instead of parsley. Omit the bay leaf as its not common in southeast Asia.