How To...

Don't know how to do it? Dr. Gourmet explains common cooking techniques and the hows and whys of what they are and why they work. More Cooking Techniques

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Cooking Techniques


AsparagusTo boil raw ingredients in a liquid. Vegetables are commonly blanched. The key to blanching vegetables is to not cook them too long. To blanch asparagus, bring a pot of water to about the poach stage over medium high heat. Add the asparagus and let it cook until the color becomes very green. The spears should just barely bend when picked up out of the water (about 3 minutes or so for thin asparagus and 5 minutes for the thickest).

If the asparagus is not going to be used right away, remove them to a bowl of ice water. This is known as "refreshing." The cold water stops the food from continuing to cook from internal heat and keeps the food fresh and crisp. This is also known as "shocking" the food.

Blanching can also be used for softening foods, making it easy to remove their skins. Almonds and tomatoes are two examples of this.

Related Techniques

Steaming Asparagus

Recipes Using Blanching

Vegetable Side Dish Recipes

Grilled Asparagus

Fish and Shellfish Recipes

Scallops with Bacon and Asparagus
Halibut with Meyer Lemon and Basil Butter
Linguine with Shrimp in Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce | Coumadin Safe Version
Shrimp Scampi Orzo Pasta Salad
Sole in Parchment with Vegetables and Mushroom Sauce
Fettuccine with Dill Pesto and Shrimp
Whitefish in Foil with Vegetables and Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian Recipes

Asparagus Linguine
Penne with Leeks and Asparagus
Yellow Pepper and White Asparagus Soft Tacos

Breakfast Recipes

Eggs Benedict
Asparagus Frittata