Technique used to partially cook food that is going to finish cooking by a different method.
Many times recipes will call for the parboiling of vegetables or potatoes. This confuses many people, and it really shouldn't. The biggest reason to want to parboil something is to partially cook it so that when it is cooked with the rest of the meal, everything is done at the same time. For example, dense vegetables that take longer to cook than, say, shrimp, can be partially cooked ahead of time, then cooked with the shrimp in order for them to finish together. Parboiling is also used for potatoes when getting ready to roast them. If you parboil the potatoes, you can add them to your roasting pan near the end of the roasting time for your meat, and the outsides get all nice and crispy while the insides are already soft and cooked! (I highly recommend this-it tastes fabulous!)
- When parboiling vegetables or potatoes, keep an eye on them and take them out of the boiling water once they have cooked about half way. Immediately immerse them very cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Keep the parboiled food in cold water long enough for it to become cold. Then you can drain and set aside to await further cooking.
- Once food has been parboiled, it can be frozen for future use, or put in the refrigerator to be used within 1-2 days.
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