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Old 06-27-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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"Shocking" cooked vegetables?

What advantages are there to taking vegetables (or maybe other foods too) that have been cooked, say parboiled, and putting them in a bowl of cold water just after cooking?

(I heard something about that but I'm not sure if that's exactly what you do or if this is very common)--?

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Old 06-27-2008, 12:56 PM   #2
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It stops the cooking process and retains the bright color of the veggies, otherwise the residual heat already in the veggies would cause them to overcook and get mushy and discolored.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Ah, now it makes lots of sense. I should have thought of that.

Thanks.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:15 PM   #4
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It also allows you to precook the veggies ahead of time.
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzrdvark View Post
What advantages are there to taking vegetables (or maybe other foods too) that have been cooked, say parboiled, and putting them in a bowl of cold water just after cooking?

(I heard something about that but I'm not sure if that's exactly what you do or if this is very common)--?
One reason to blanch and shock vegetables is to preserve their crunch and heighten their color. Whenever I prepare crudites I blanch and shock all but the peppers, celery and the cherry tomatoes. The greens of broccoli, snow peas, green beans, the orange of the carrots all become and stay vivid. If you didn't shock them in an ice water bath, they would continue cooking past the point where you want them.
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Old 06-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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Some important tips for blanching:

1. Make sure the water is at a full boil before you add the veggies.

2. Have enough water, or do not add too much veggies to where the water will take a long time to come back to a boil. Especially with green veggies, boiling water is key to retaining the green color.

3. Season the water. It should have the same salinity as salt water.

4. Have enough ice in your ice water bath. The faster you can chill the veggies, the better chance you'll have to retain their color and crunch. Certain veggies like carrots take longer to cool off because they are denser, and thus have a certain amount of carryover cooking even when submerged in ice water.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:02 PM   #7
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Chlorophyll disintegrates at high temperatures over time (but not a long time), so shocking cooked green veggies stops the cooking process and preserves the color. This is also why you need a LOT of water when blanching green veg- ideally you never want to lose your boil when blanching vegetables. The faster your veg. cooks, the more color they will retain.
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