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15.3.11

COOKING VEGETABLES


Didn’t like your overcooked vegetables when you were a kid? Well good for you, neither did I. To this day I find nothing sorrier on the plate than a clump of soggy, limp, faded vegetables. Vegetables when cooked well have even more vibrant colours than fresh. Just like pasta, cooked vegetables should have a bit of resistance or crunch when you bite into them; I call it tender-crisp. But flavour and texture is not the only things that are lost with overcooking; most of the nutrients are cooked out as well.

• Prep vegetables just before cooking
• Cut uniform size pieces.
• Do not mix different vegetables.
• Batch cook to reduce hot holding times

• Put a few inches of water in the pot.
• Place the pot on moderately-high heat and bring to full boil.
• Now add the vegetables.
• The water should not touch the vegetables.
• Cover with lid.
• Test from time to time to check whether they are done
• Give special attention to vegetables with tough and tender parts.
• Do not over cook.
• Cook for an ‘al dente’ texture (slightly firm to the bite).
• Serve immediately.

If the vegetables are soft all the way through, they are overcooked.
Boiled vegetables are often soggy, tasteless with no food value.
So don’t boil, steam! Steaming reduces nutrient leaching.
Prep and cook close to serving or use pre-cook shock with reheating later.
Use little water and minimize time in water.

TO RETAIN VEGETABLES NATURAL COLOR

White Vegetables:
Use short cooking times
Add a small amount of lemon juice

Red Vegetables:
Use as little water as necessary
Cook with a small amount of lemon juice

Green vegetables:
Cook uncovered
Cook quickly
Cook in small batches

Yellow And Orange Vegetables:
Short cooking times
   

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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