Boiling is the cooking of foods in a liquid either at, or brought to, boiling point.
Although boiling appears to be a simple method of cookery care must be
taken to prepare, time and finish the items.
Fine meat dishes are boiled as are many vegetables.
The humble boiled egg must be carefully timed if the ideal consistency is to be achieved be that a lightly cooked Breakfast egg or "oeufs mollet" or a cold hard boiled egg.
There are several liquids in which food can be boiled are:
Food can be added to either water which is already boiling, or to cold water which is brought to the boil. Which method is used depends on what food is being cooked. If food is added to cold water the natural flavours and nutrients are lost, but this is a good method for producing stocks as it softens hard foods and protects foods which may be damaged or loose their shape in fast boiling water. Small fillets of fish have their flavour sealed in when dropped into boiling water and proteins will be set. This method also preserves the colour of food and can reduce the overall cooking times.
Root vegetables with the exception of new potatoes should always be placed in cold water and brought to the boil. All other vegetables should be added to water which is already boiling.
Older, tougher, cheaper joints of meat and poultry can be made palatable and digestible
It is appropriate for large-scale cookery
It is economic on fuel
Nutritious, well flavoured stock is produced
It is labour saving, as it requires little attention
It is safe and simple
Maximum colour and nutritional value is retained when cooking green vegetables, provided boiling time is kept to the minimum
Foods can look unattractive and dull as colour is lost
It can be a slow method
There is a loss of soluble vitamins in the water
Foods suitable for boiling:
Stocks beef, mutton, chicken, fish
Glazes fish, meat
Sauces brown, white, curry, jam
Soups tomato, lentil
Farinaceous pasta, noodles
Fish cod, turbot, salmon
Meat beef silverside, leg of mutton, joint of bacon
Vegetables carrots, cabbage, potatoes