Entertaining On A Budget With Hot Pot Soup Base

A hot pot soup base is the new trendy way to entertain and with the uncomplicated preparation and little equipment needed, it is no wonder. The meal is prepared in one pot, making for very little cleaning up, and it is of course the ultimate in comfort food, perfect for a cosy winter evening with friends and family.

This dish originated in Mongolia many centuries ago and the meal was later adopted by a variety of other cultures. It involves a pot of simmering broth in the middle of the table with an array of thinly sliced ingredients being added at the end to finish off the dish. This colorful array of finishings can be as simple or elaborate as one chooses and the varieties of combinations are endless.

The stock which is the base of this dish needs to be very flavorful and well executed for the end result to taste great. For those who are experts in the kitchen it is recommended to make a stock from scratch using bones, vegetables and spices. This is often a lengthy process and for those who find this a bit daunting, purchasing stock at the local supermarket is fine. The quality, as mentioned, is of utmost importance so be sure to buy a reputable brand.

Deciding which stock to use is of utmost importance. Considering the guests that will be eating the meal is essential in this. In today’s modern society dietary restraints are common and catering for friends or family with these needs are important. When entertaining vegetarian or vegan guests, be sure to consider this when acquiring the stock for the base.

A mire poix is the French term used to describe a mixture of onion, carrot, celery and leeks. After frying the mire poix for several minutes till caramelized, wine is added to the skillet along with some spices like bay leaves and parsley sprigs. The contents are covered in water and then simmered for 6-8 hours while skimming the surface to remove impurities every half hour.

Different broths adapt well to different flavors and deciding what to add at the end is often quite challenging. Dishes that are reminiscent of Thai flavors may incorporate fish sauce, galangal or kaffir lime leaves. Chinese broths may be seasoned with soy sauce. A more homely version can include a variety of root vegetables, thinly sliced meat and some dried pulses perhaps.

The produce added at the end often determines the end result and this can be done with a certain cuisine in mind. If adding dried mushrooms, soy sauce and bonito flakes the meal can have a decidedly Japanese feel. If adding lime juice, galangal and fish sauce the feel will lend itself more to Thai. The theme can even be incorporated into the decor and costumes for the evening, creating a fun atmosphere.

A hot pot soup base is a fantastic way to entertain. The results are homely yet an air of theater is still added to excite guests. Paired with a local wine or Chinese sake it makes a fun night of entertaining for everyone.

Hot pot soup base and many other recipes are found at www.baobaopot.net. To order right now, visit our online store on http://www.baobaopot.net.

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