culinary review
   
   

Blanching

Last Modified: 09/04/10
First Published: 09/04/10
Views: 594
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Views: 594
The method of blanching involves cooking something shortly in boiling water, and then cooling it quickly in ice water to stop the cooking process. This is most often done to vegetables. If you want the vegetables to keep carrottheir color, texture and flavor, as well as their vitamins and minerals, then blanching is an excellent method.

If you were just to cook the vegetables in boiling water and them take them out without dipping in ice water, then they would continue cooking and they would likely overcook. When you cook something in hot water first, and then soak the item in ice water, then the cooking process is stopped immediately and you preserve the product at its optimal cooking level. Ideally this is when it's slightly al dente, with a firm texture and a bit of a bite, yet still tender.

Blanching is also frequently used when saving fresh herbs to freeze. In order for the herbs to keep their color, it's a good idea to quickly blanch them before freezing. If you grow a lot of fresh herbs in your garden, then this is a great method of enjoying the fruit of your labor long past the harvest season.