How to blanch vegetables with Jonno Proudfoot

How to blanch vegetables with Jonno Proudfoot

Throughout my books and the online program, I make references to blanching and steaming. I usually say something like ‘blanch the ingredient then refresh it in iced water’. Here is the longer explanation.

Blanching could also be described as parboiling. There is no fixed time for blanching all ingredients, but the basic idea is that they are boiled until they are ‘just cooked’. Not mushy, not raw. Carrots could be blanched for five minutes. Asparagus could be blanched for two minutes. The real value in this technique is in the next step, which is to ‘refresh’.

Refreshing is what happens when you take these blanched vegetables and drop them into an ice bath – basically a bowl with water and lots of ice. The freezing cold water rushes the food straight back down to an icy temperature, stopping the cooking process dead in its tracks. For some greener veg, refreshing also enhances the colour.

Here are the steps for blanching:

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and throw in a tablespoon of salt.

Drop the vegetables into the water and wait until the prescribed time has passed.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables into an ice bath.

Once they are cool, remove them from the water, pat them dry with a cloth and keep them out or in the refrigerator until you need them later.


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