One of my goals in researching and writing this blog has been to get more acquainted with different cooking methods…including what foods work best for which technique…and how to use each method in creating not only meals that are healthier, but also more delicious.
One of the most common ways to cook corn is to boil or steam it. These are both “moist” cooking methods. Other moist-heat cooking methods are braising, poaching, simmering, steaming, and stewing.
Moist cooking methods…
Bring out more of the natural flavor in the food.
Involve cooking food with, or in, some type of liquid—such as water, stock, or wine
Maintains most of the nutritional value of the food being cooked
Preserve and even add moisture to the food as it is cooking
Preserve and maintain water-soluble vitamins and other nutrients
Typically are simple and economical.
Use a lower temperatures—ranging from 140°F to 212°F—than other methods such as frying,
How to Boil
You probably already know how to do this cooking method called boiling…most of us have been boiling stuff since we were making our own macaroni and cheese out of a box when we were teenagers…assuming that you were born before they started making macaroni and cheese is single-serving microwavable cups.
But what exactly is boiling?
The simple process of boiling has many advantages, including…allowing you to cook a large amount of food quickly and easily
boosting the color of green vegetables
breaking them down foods that would otherwise be inedible—such as grains, beans, tougher and cheaper cuts of meat and poultry, and starchy vegetables—so that they are soft enough to eat
helping to disinfect water if necessary during certain circumstances-
keeping your pasta from getting soggy
maintaining the nutrittional value, of your food
making gravy and pan sauces by simplyg adding a splash of white wine or stock to the pan that you’ve just finished cooking in
Boiling is a moist-heat cooking method that involves immersing food in a liquid that has been heated to 212 degrees F. This hot liquid then transmits its heat to the food being cooked.
This temperature is called the boiling point…the point where the pressure of the liquid equals the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding atmosphere.
As liquids boil, you will see bubbles forming and then exploding on the surface of the liquid. These bubbles are caused by water vapor rushing to the surface.
The food that you boil should be sturdy enough to withstand the aggressive water without being damaged…because the rough agitation of the water can actually damage the food.
Commonly boiled ingredientsinclude pasta, grains, green vegetables. dried pasta, dried legumes, rice, noodles, potatoes, and eggs.
Three suggestions for making your water boil faster are to…
add a water-soluble substance—such as oil or sugar—to the liquid
make sure that there is no water on the outside of a pot before you start cooking.
put the lid on your pot
Ingredients an either be added to cold water and heated along with the water…ior added to the water once the water has already started boilling…depending on the characteristics, of what it is that you are cooking…(more on this later)…
As far as seasoning the water that you will be boiling your food in…or at least for those of us who can’t cook a dang thing without a recipe…a good rule of thumb is to add 1-1/2tsp salt per quart of water. …(and how many of us actually measure the amount of water that we put into the pot whenever we are boiling things in the first place, even as obsessive-compulsive as I am)..
As far as keeping the water at the boiling point, be sure to…
add your food a bit at a time
keep the lid on your pot
use plenty of water so that the cooking liquid doesn’t cool down dramatically when you add your food
How long you boil the ingredient depends on several factors, such as…
how important maintaining the food’s original color, texture, and flavor is to you
how you were brought up….(for example, back in Mississippi we cook our peas along with some bacon practially all day before serving
what the ingredient is
what your personal preference is
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s move on to far more interesting things—such as recipes…