As many believe cooking is but a routine work that is meant to prepare something to stuff your tummy with, I look upon it as a fulfilling act that gives you immense satisfaction.
When you start cooking you would come across a great many options. There are a vast number of vegetables and also as many cooking methods. With these options one should also acquaint themselves with the rules of smartly cooking them.
I do not believe that books that simply give you the list of rules to memorize are useful. Understanding the principle behind it is the most important.
In order to do that, first you must know what changes happen in the vegetables as you cook them and also the methods to control these changes.
One must understand that any vegetable that gets cooked will undergo texture, flavor, color, and nutrients change.
The proportion of these changes is what determines the fact whether it is eatable or not. There seems to be a lot of discrepancy among the chefs in regard to the vegetable cooking techniques, but experienced chefs know to address the issue effectively.
The main purpose behind cooking is to change the texture of the food. The fiber in a vegetable gives it the firmness. Cooking softens the fibers and makes the food easily digestible.
The fiber content of Spinach and tomatoes is lesser than the one in carrot and turnip. In the same kind of vegetable, say for example, carrot – old and tough carrots have more fiber than young and fresh carrots.
In the same vegetable the tender tip of it will have lesser fiber than the rest. Acids and sugar will make the fiber firmer whereas heat and alkali will soften the fiber.
Another important vegetable component is starch. Dry starch food materials like vegetables and rice requires lots of water whereas moist starch items like potatoes require lesser quantity of water.
When a vegetable attains the required softness, then the vegetable is deemed to have been cooked. It varies from vegetable to vegetable.
I understand the flavor change process thoroughly. Flavor change happens when the flavor is converted into liquid or vapor in the cooking process. Flavor loss can be controlled by cooking for a short duration of time.
Adding vegetable to salted and boiled water will reduce the cooking time thus helping in preserving the flavor of the food.
I would like to bring it to your notice that cooking vegetables in a small quantity of water will reduce the temperature which in turn will increase the cooking time.
Strong-flavored vegetables can be purposely made to lose their flavor by cooking in order to make it eatable.
Cooking cabbage is not an easy task. If you overcook it would give it a bad flavor so you should know that cabbages should be cooked quickly and uncovered.
Fresh vegetables will have a sweet tinge to them due to the presence of high sugar content.
The basic knowledge of all the above will help you master the secrets of cooking a pan full of delightfully tasting veggies.
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