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Saving Flavors For Other Dishes - What do You do?

One poster suggested to save the ham "broth" when cooking Navy Beans & ham hocks to be used in making potatoe soup. Do you have any other interchangeable ideas like this? Frugal cooks are always coming up with ways to add flavor to other dishes. Sort of like using baking grease to fry chicken. Share the ideas & spread the flavors around.

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  1. I do this maybe once a year because it is so . . . . . unhealthy (or at least I feel that way).

    I have used the leftover beer from brats to make beer-cheese soup. it is oh so yummy but I feel so guilty after eating it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: thimes

      Please don't ever feel guilty, you are truly being inventive & resourceful in the kitchen. Remember the Flavor Rule....."Flavor Rules"....a saying from Peter Reinhart.

      1. re: thimes

        I haven't done brats in beer or made the soup, I am inspired!

      2. In my freezer right now are three bags filled with shrimp shells, that's right, just the shells. We've eaten the shrimp in various recipes over the past year. I save the shells and use them to make a killer shrimp bisque during the holidays. It's amazing how much flavor is in the shells alone; the bisque recipe does not use the shrimp itself at all, only the shells.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bitchincook

          I do the same thing to make shrimp stock for risotto con frutti di mare. I used to just use diluted chicken stock, but switched to a shrimp stock when I had a vegetarian guest, and the flavor was amazing.

          1. re: lisaonthecape

            Shrimp shells are vegetarian? Whoda thunk...

          2. re: bitchincook

            i have a bag filled with shrimp shells and heads as well. i think there is also a florida lobster shell in there as well.

              1. re: bitchincook

                Yep, I save the shrimp shells for my New Years Eve bouillabaisse. I used to just make fish stock with some bones from the fishmonger, but now I saute the shrimp shells in a little butter then make the stock out of them. If I don't have enough shrimp shells saved up, I'll add some kind of whole fish to it. I like the shrimp flavor better... it just seems richer.

              2. There seem to be many uses for hot dog water...

                3 Replies
                1. re: calliope_nh

                  This is a new one on me, are you serious??

                  1. re: cstout

                    Not really serious, but if you missed it, here is the link to one of my all time favorite Chowhound threads. "What do you do with hot dog water?"

                    1. re: calliope_nh

                      My goodness, you mean to tell me I have been throwing out that hot dog water all these years when I could have been using it for all those things? Actually, I just put the hot dogs in a pan in the oven & baked them till they were kinda puffed up & ready to split open so I could add a strip of cheese to them. Very seldom I boiled them since they always looked so pale & bloated just floating around in all that water. Excuse me for the gross testament.

                2. Here are just 2 of the threads on CH about making stock or broth from the leftover carcass of a fowl.



                  The homemade broth can be used to flavor other foods.

                  If you boil veggies in water, you can save the water to flavor other veggies. I have personal knowledge that leftover green bean water flavors dried beans very well. (Too bad I almost never cook veggies in water anymore.


                  I have saved the drips and dregs from cooking pans in a peanut butter jar in the freezer. I made soup from these bits when I had enough. It was pretty good soup. Almost free too.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo

                    Yummy, I need a carcass right now. Well, no more bones for the dogs. I know you aren't supposed to feed bones to dogs, but don't tell that to my 19 year old blue healer. Carcass is her favorite staple. I must save the next carcass to make a broth though. Thanks for posting.
                    My dog has been eating way too good after reading those 2 posts.

                    1. re: cstout

                      Spelled blue Heeler incorrectly...spell check does not find these kinds of errors....just hate it when I cannot go back & correct the spelling. I know it is annoying to read through all these typos.

                      1. re: cstout

                        you usually have a one-hour window to edit your posts. just click on the "Edit" link at the bottom of the particular post you want to fix.

                  2. i strain & save the steeping liquid when i hydrate dried mushrooms & sun-dried tomatoes...serious umami in there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Ok, now I need some help with ideas. I just boiled a corned beef, and have a quart and a half of flavorful beef-water. It smells too good to toss. What can I do with it?
                      Hubby wants Israeli couscous, it's in the pantry, so there's a use for some of it.

                      What else have CHer's done with it? Anything besides brown rice or barley?

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                        Well, maybe you could just freeze it for later & when you want that wonderful corned beef taste but don't have the meat, you could just cut up some hunks of cabbage & saute it in some of those juices, broth without the beef, you might say.

                        1. re: cstout

                          I like that! We could eat an entire meal of cabbage.

                          1. re: cstout

                            It makes great split pea soup- strain it and toss it in the freezer until you want to make some.

                          2. re: jmcarthur8

                            Here is what I finally did this week with the corned beef water. I soaked a pound of dried navy beans, then drained them. Sauteed onion, celery and carrot in a little olive oil. Added the 6 cups of corned beef broth and the navy beans. Simmered it for a couple of hours, put it in the fridge overnight to decide if I wanted to make soup or just a bean dish with it. Decided not to have soup, so I baked it in a 350' oven until all the liquid was gone, adding sliced polish sausage the last hour or so.
                            It was excellent. I am sold.

                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                              jmcarthur8, yes, I am sold too - what a wonderful dish, I can taste it now. All I need is the corn beef water, never made corned beef before, but I have certainly eaten it & it is heaven in my books.

                          3. I kept about a 1/4 cup of zuni chicken juices/rendered fat in a bowl next to the stove for a week and used a bit for scrambling eggs -- the flavor was heavenly, and the rest I poured into a meal of braised chicken thigh & oyster mushrooms in white wine cream sauce. Sad it's gone now.

                            I also save shrimp shells, bacon grease, duck fat.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: linguafood

                              My My, that zuni chicken left some wonderful memories & the chicken thigh dish with oyster mushrooms sounds mighty good right about now.