bullion cubes, just say no!
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Steve Young
(shakeylegs) - F
bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/23/2006 14:03:56 MST Print View

Almost everything tastes better in the outdoors. Even bullion cubes approach tolerability. However, as soups and sauces are the basis for much of my one burner cuisine, I've looked for means other than bullion cubes for creating rich, flavorful backcountry soups and sauces.

The best alternatives I've found are glaces and demi-glazes, real soup stocks reduced to a gel like consistency that are highly concentrated in flavor, low in salt, and require no refridgeration for reasonable periods in warm weather.

I used to make them myself, slowly reducing clear stocks for many hours. Now, there are a few commercially available glaces. The one I've used is by "More than Gourmet" called a "Demi-Glace".

Flavors range from veggie to chicken to beef to seafood and beyond. Individual packets of 1.5oz and 16oz bulk size are available. The small pack is under $6 dollars and makes from 1 to 3 servings depending upon strength. Far superior to the flavor of bullion, just add water for a real gourmet treat.

Glaces are now a staple of my backcountry kitchen. Though I haven't done much boil-n-bag cooking glaces should provide a rich flavor boost to the technique.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/23/2006 16:47:39 MST Print View

They sound great! Where can I find these critters?

Steve Young
(shakeylegs) - F
Re: bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/23/2006 17:07:07 MST Print View

Rick,
try searching for "more than gourmet" and "demi-glace". I think that's how they bill themselves. I'm pretty sure they have a web presence.

Edited by shakeylegs on 01/23/2006 17:07:46 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/24/2006 01:16:42 MST Print View

Yup, there they are. I'll bet I'd be happy eating these at home!

http://www.morethangourmet.com/

Merci

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/24/2006 01:37:25 MST Print View

Steve, Any idea of the milligrams of salt content in the various glaces?

EDIT: no need to reply, just found the nutrional info. Many thanks for starting a Thread about these glaces. Looks like an excellent product.

Edited by pj on 01/24/2006 01:40:24 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: bullion cubes, just say no! on 01/24/2006 09:00:20 MST Print View

Not bad for sodium (though still way to high for a low sodium diet!!).
I might at least have to try this out on the family-it would be an intresting concept for trail cooking.
Thnaks!

Steve Young
(shakeylegs) - F
re: bullion cubes just say no! on 01/25/2006 15:53:26 MST Print View

Glace is a classic technique of great french chefs. But they probably learned it from the Italians. This IS the original bullion cube.

I keep a few at home for when I'm too lazy to make a stock. Dilute with water and add seasoning. Also glace's are great for rich sauce bases. At home or in the mountains I saute a challot or onions and garlic in butter or oil. Sprinkle some flour and cook briefly till bubbling. Add the glace, a little water, a few herbs, salt, pepper, and it's beef or chicken or turkey or seafood gravy.

Miso is another great substitute for bullion. It also travels pretty well without refridgeration. For soup just warm some filtered water (actually you don't want to boil miso), add a piece of dried seaweed and bonita powder (the traditional flavor additions to miso soup) stir in a couple spoons of miso and it's soup! tofu and chopped green onions are good additions. Miso also makes a good base for salad like dressings.

Edit - It just dawned on me that Miso soup could probably be made very easily in a baggie as no sauteing is needed. It's basically heat and serve. I'll have to try. BTW, miso does have salt. White miso is recommended for miso newcomers as it is mildest in flavor. It also contains the least sodium (about 1,000 milligrams sodium per tablespoon).

I know that bullion is quick and easy but I never feel like I'm eating food when it's at the heart of the meal.

Edited by shakeylegs on 01/25/2006 16:06:00 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: re: bullion cubes just say no! on 01/25/2006 16:19:56 MST Print View

Steve, I have a couple miso recipes on my website-in the vegan/veg section and under soups.
It is very easy indeed-and good with freeze dried chives added.

For me, I use low sodium boullion. Not what I want to use ;-) But it passes.....at home I use stock only!

Steve Young
(shakeylegs) - F
Re: bullion cubes just say no! on 01/25/2006 17:14:52 MST Print View

Thanks Sarah. I was just looking at your site and the Miso stew is a wonderful idea. Your recipe suggestions reminded me that curry paste is another in the growing list of alternatives to bullion cubes.

Which reminds me - "Ethnic" cuisine is more the norm than not here in northern california. One great resource is a chain of groceries called 99 Ranch market - these are veritable warehouses the size of costco with food stuffs from all over asia; dried everything, endless varieties of rice and noodles, tofu in vacumn sealed boxes, spices for any taste, mystery pastes and stuff that looks like no human should approach. It's a backpacking chefs dream.

Looks like they have a url of 99ranch.com . Stores concentrated in California but also has stores in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington. Plus a joint venture with the Chinese Canadian T & T Supermarket chain, which operates mainly in the Vancouver area and also Calgary and Toronto.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: bullion cubes just say no! on 01/25/2006 18:22:14 MST Print View

Yep, we have some near me.

I work for www.importfood.com - we run an online Thai/Japanese with some Chinese and Indian website.
I love my job...I get to try new foods all the time! :-D (Which if anyone ever orders from the site, most likely your order will be packed by me.)

In Seattle and Bellevue in Wa, an awesome place to shop is:
http://www.uwajimaya.com/
They are like the Asian superstore. Very clean also!