Thursday, December 28, 2006

When it Strains it Bores

Boiling anything other than rice or pasta should be punishable by death by, you got it... boiling. So put away your strainers America and start steaming, sautéing and yes, simmering.

Okay okay, sure, there are wonderful dishes like corned beef, or even some English boiled meat dishes that threaten to make my point invalid. I say however, that those dishes are “poached” and not boiled. There is also the occasional Brussels Sprout or Broccoli that does great when boiled quickly and then shocked in ice water. But my main focus of this episode of Guerrilla Food is to do battle with the notion that it is okay to boil vegetables. It’s not.

Sure childhood images of huge pots of simmering green beans with ham hocks and black eyed peas being beaten into submission by a couple quarts of rolling H²O pop into my mind. The key word here however is simmer. That’s right, 212˚F is simply too hot for essential nutrients as well as many flavor components to survive. I’d feel much better about eating beans that were simmering away at 180˚F for three hours, than at 212˚F for 30 minutes.

Who has three hours to dedicate to simmering black-eyed-peas you ask? Well shame on you for asking. Nothing produces more lifeless and limp boring psydo-vegetation than boiling. I hope you do something really awesome like cure cancer during the couple hours you “saved” by boiling your vegetables.

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