How to Prepare Vegetables
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Vegetables - General Prep & Cooking
Like it or loathe it, veg prep is a
key part of everyday cooking, but as restaurant chefs know, there
are ways to get ahead when cooking for large numbers of people.
In this video
one of Britain's rising stars of the kitchen and the
youngest chef ever to win a Michelin star, shares his tips
See below for
written guidelines and tips.
Step 1 Cut carrots into julienne or thin batons by peeling the carrots and
slicing in half. Cut off one side from each piece to make a flat base, then cut
away another side and cut into strips. Slice into batons. Cut broccoli florets
into same-sized pieces. Top beans but leave the tail on. Cut a cross on the base
of Brussels sprouts so the hot water gets inside and cooks them at the same
speed as outside.
Step 2 Another restaurant technique is blanching, which allows you to prep veg
ahead then reheat quickly. The idea is to shock veg with very hot water then
very cold to seal in colour and flavour. Bring a large pan of water to a rolling
boil. Add a little salt to make the water boil quicker and therefore cook the
veg quicker. Also prepare a large bowl of ice-cold water. Now add prepped veg
such as green beans to the pan.
Step 3 After 3 minutes, remove the beans with a slotted spoon and put into
ice-cold water. Leave for 1 minute until cold, then drain on kitchen paper.
Repeat the process with other veg. Cook peas for 20-30 seconds, broccoli for 3
minutes, and Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes. For carrots, put into cold water
and bring to boil for 2-3 minutes, then refresh. Store veg in the fridge in an
airtight container for up to 24 hours.
Step 4 To reheat and give veg a glossy finish, make a mixture of equal parts
water and butter, known as an emulsion. As soon as the mixture begins to boil,
put in the vegetables and heat through for several minutes. Serve immediately
Smart Tip - Use the largest pan you have as you want the water to hold its
temperature when you add the cold vegetables and the larger the volume of water,
the better it will do this.