Boiling is one of the simplest cooking methods, your food is immersed in a liquid, sometimes boiling, sometimes cold and maintained at boiling point, simmering gently and being stirred occasionally until the food is cooked through.
However as with every cooking method there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. for instance you can boil food in water or stock, each adding their own subtle flavours to the end result.
When boiling food it’s best to use a heavy bottomed saucepan and make sure that it is large enough to hold all your ingredients. You want a saucepan large enough to hold all your ingredients without them being crowded, you want to cover the food and leave it room to move, that’s all the space you need.
It’s important not to let things boil out of control, bring it to the boil then allow it to simmer, until your food is cooked and always remember that your pans will be much heavier when they are full of liquid, so take care when lifting as the contents are 100C when boiling and will give you (or someone else) a nasty scald if it comes in contact with you/them. For this reason it’s always a good idea to check that the path to your destination is clear before lifting that pot to begin with.
The last thing I would say about boiling is to be aware that when you boil food you will lose some of the nutritional value. If you are boiling in water or stock the water-soluble vitamins (B & C) will start to leave the food as it cooks. For this reason it is important to only boil foods for the least amount of time that is required to cook them fully and to remove them from the liquid as quickly as possible. Well unless you intend to use the liquid in your dish 😉
It seems like an eternity has flashed passed since I last published regular posts here and in reality it’s been a little less than 7 months. Regular readers will know that I returned to college to study catering with a plan to become a professional chef. I had hoped to spend some time adapting what I was learning in college to being content for Not Junk Food.
It became clear early on that this was not practical as the course was cramming an awful lot of information into my pea sized brain rather quickly and I needed to spend a lot of time studying, if I was going to have a hope of succeeding. Well I’m glad to say that I finished my final exam on Thursday last and am now going to have free time to start posting here again. We’ll have to wait for the exam results to see if I have succeeded on the study 😉
I’m also going to follow through on my promise to adapt some of my college work for Not Junk Food, in fact starting this week I’m going to do one post a week about each cooking method and a very basic recipe for each. My hope is that this information will help people think more about cooking and not simply following a recipe.
Once you become familiar with these cooking methods and the thought process behind them, you will use recipes less because you’ll know that having X, Y and a little Z in the cupboard means you can “freestyle” dishes.
There are others topics that I wish to cover as well, Nutrition and Hygiene are very important elements to consider in any kitchen and I also plan to pass on some of the knowledge I have gained in this area as well. There really is no point in cooking great tasting food if it makes you, your family or friends ill and lets face it that’s what poor nutrition and hygiene can do.