Cooking by Boiling

Cooking by Boiling

Cooking by boiling is to cook in water or other liquid heated until bubbling vigorously. Few techniques cause as much confusion as boiling, simmering and poaching. Boiling is, in fact, often a technique to be avoided. Most foods like meat and seafood for example are poached instead (cooked in liquid held just below the boil so that it just shimmers slightly on the surface), because boiling turns them dry or stringy, and it can cause the liquid to become murky or greasy.

Some foods, however are best cooked at a rolling boil. Rice and pasta cook more quickly and evenly in boiling water. Green vegetables are often cooked uncovered in a large amount of boiling salted water. The large quantity of water prevents the vegetables from lowering the temperature of the water, which would slow their cooking and cause them to lose their bright color. The salt also helps the vegetables retain their green color. As soon as the vegetables are done, immediately drain them in a colander and either plunge them into ice water or quickly rinse them under cold tap water until completely cool. This technique of immediately chilling the drained vegetables so they retain their flavor and color is called refreshing.

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