CHEF'S NOTE: When I make dishes involving fresh corn, I like to use the leftover cobs to make a light, summery vegetarian broth that can be used in myriad ways. I cook with it in place of water to intensify the corn flavor of grits or polenta, as the base of a soup, or in a vegetable sauté. Don’t worry about measuring or peeling anything; if you are already prepping vegetables, just add them and allow the flavors to develop while you do other things in the kitchen.
- 1 onion, skin on, quartered
- 2 to 3 shallots, skin on, halved
- A few garlic cloves
- A few ribs celery, including leaves, roughly chopped
- Mushroom stems from cleaning mushrooms
- 6 corncobs, kernels removed for other use
- Herb stems, such as parsley, tarragon, and thyme
- 12 black peppercorns, slightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
INSTRUCTIONS: Put all the ingredients into a large pot and cover with 10 cups of water. Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the broth is flavorful, at least 1 hour. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve, then chill or freeze for later use.