It is encouraging to see so many people in my neighborhood walking, jogging and getting outside. If anything, this social distancing and working from home may help kick start some healthy habits.
For some, that may start in the kitchen with more fresh produce versus prepacked or processed.
As the orders came in from the governor and mayor, Cyndi and I did our usual divide and conquer approach to shopping. Cyndi loves broccoli so when I saw a BOGO, I put a couple of bunches in the cart. While Cyndi was shopping, she also saw broccoli, and we soon had a small harvest.
Even wrapped in protective plastics, fresh produce has a limited shelf life. One of my pet peeves is wasting food. After all, wasted food is wasted money. I could have gone all Bubba Gump with broccoli soup, broccoli amandine, grilled broccoli, broccoli kababs, shrimp and... you get it. Yeah, four days and four heads of broccoli. If toilet paper wasn’t more valuable than a barrel of oil, I might have done that.
In preservation of TP and not wanting to waste the food or money, I resorted to a method of locking in color, nutrients and flavor called blanching.
This quick process requires a little time, salted boiling water, ice, cool water, a slotted spoon and a storage container.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1-2 tablespoons of salt.
- Cut your vegetables into smaller pieces, broccoli or cauliflower, break into florets.
- In a new bowl add water, ice. Still to chill the water.
- Add florets or pieces to the boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. As soon as the color has changed, you are ready for the next step.
- Add the now brightly colored veggies to the chilled water. Let the cooking process stop. This usually takes 30-45 seconds, slightly longer for larger pieces.
- Place the now chilled veggies in a colander or on a sheet tray with a cooling rack.
- Allow the veggies to dry to the touch before storing them.
Properly cooled and stored, this will last five to seven days. Or in other words, a chance to find a new recipe and give your digestive system time to recover from the fiber influx. Nature’s broom, sweep, sweep, sweep.
When cooking the blanched broccoli or vegetables, use the same methods as you normally would. Saute, bake, fry or add to a salad for a crisp, crunchy bite.
If you are blanching more than one type of produce, make sure you change the water.
With all of this talk of blanching, I have to say, “Thank you for being a friend” and for watching...
If you are really bored and want to learn more from the Culinary Nunnsense kitchen, check out our YouTube videos here.