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Old 04-19-2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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How to par-cook vegetables?

Hi there. I read the term "par-cooked" in a cookbook (referring to vegetables), and while I gather it means to partially cook them, I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to do. Do I boil or steam them or saute them? For how long? Is there a difference if the veggies were frozen (I'm using a bag of frozen mixed veggies)?

Thanks a lot!
~K

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Old 04-19-2006, 06:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_young221
Hi there. I read the term "par-cooked" in a cookbook (referring to vegetables), and while I gather it means to partially cook them, I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to do. Do I boil or steam them or saute them? For how long? Is there a difference if the veggies were frozen (I'm using a bag of frozen mixed veggies)?

Thanks a lot!
~K
Hi K,
many bags of frozen veggies are already partially cooked, so when I use them, I usually put in a strainer and let them defrost to get off as much ice and water as possible then add to the recipe. If what i'm doing is sauteing then I saute the veggies with it, stew, dump them in as is after defrosting, I don't know just what you're making so I can't really give you a specific answer.

kadesma
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:07 PM   #3
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I agree w/kadesma. Depends on what you want to do with them.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:08 PM   #4
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Sorry, I should have been more specific: It's this pasta and chicken casserole. Cooked rotini and chopped cooked chicken and par-cooked veggies with a cheese sauce over it, then broiled.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_young221
Sorry, I should have been more specific: It's this pasta and chicken casserole. Cooked rotini and chopped cooked chicken and par-cooked veggies with a cheese sauce over it, then broiled.
K, if I were making it, I'd just defrost the veggies and add to the pasta and cheese sauce then put under the broiler..That is enough heat to heat them through without making mooosh out of them. Hope this helps a little and your meal is great.

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Old 04-19-2006, 06:14 PM   #6
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Okay, I'll try that then. Time to go make dinner! Thanks for the help. =) I love this message board!

~K
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:14 PM   #7
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couple of ways you could do this, IMO:

because you're eventually broiling anyway, just dump 'em in a colander and run some warm water over them to get the cold/ice off before adding to your casserole

throw them in a saucepan of water (maybe a pinch of salt) for the same objective. Let the water boil up for just a minute or two, then turn fire off and drain before adding to casserole.
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:54 PM   #8
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That would work fine with peas or corn, but for any others, I would put in boiling salted water, let it come back to a boil, let cook for 3-5 minutes, then drain in colander and run cold water over the top to stop cooking.
Just broiling the dish isn't going to let anything cook very much, and personally, I prefer my vegetables cooked long enough to be tender.

If I want crunch, I make a salad.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:02 PM   #9
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You par boil fresh vegies.Frozen just needs to thaw for this and maybe warmed a little in microwave.
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:46 PM   #10
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What eveyone has been saying is that when using forzen veggies, they have already been par-cooked and just need to be warmed. This is quickly done by tossing into boiling water, steaming, and micro-waving. When done by heating in a pan, expcially and uncovered pan, it will take longer to heat them up.

If using fresh veggies, then saute, steam, broil, or microwave until the veggies are hot, and lightly softened, with a good crunch left in them. If you saute, the flavor of the oil or butter will flavor the veggies. Steaming, boiling, or nuking won't add any flavor. Also, the the veggies will caramelize when saute'd or broiled.

So, by using different heating methods, you can really taylor the recipe to your tastes. Steaming and microwaving will give the veggies a "brighter" flavor, while the other methods will alter the natural veggie flavor.

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