The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Vegetables

by zesty on August 11, 2008 · 6 comments

How to Shock Vegetables

A simple do-ahead method for delicious veggies every time.

Shocking, or refreshing, refers to the technique of plunging just blanched vegetables into ice water to halt the cooking. (They’ll keep cooking if you simply take them off the heat.) It locks in flavor, texture, and color, and you don’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking. It’s especially helpful when you’re entertaining — you can do the work hours in advance and reheat just before serving.

Step 1: Prepare an ice bath. Fill a mixing bowl halfway with ice and enough water to cover it. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water (so you won’t wash away the salt absorbed during blanching).

Step 2: Blanch. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your vegetables to the desired tenderness.

Step 3: Shock. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the pot to the ice bath. Remove when they’re cold, in about 1 minute.

This is a very simple technique that will allow your vegetables to be much crisper and flavorful not too mention not lose as many nutrients. Next time your cooking vegetables try this method either in advance if your short on time or preparing a large meal for a group.

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