Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Basics: Boiling Water

Yes, you NEED to know this. Why? Because not knowing a rolling boil from a shimmer or a simmer can make or break your dinner. Always start with cold water. You may think using hot water will make things faster, and it will, but you'll be ingesting all kinds of sediment that has been lying around it the hot water tanks. Think about it people, most of you live in NYC and trust me, you have enough toxins to wade through during the day without eating "mystery minerals."

Step 1: Get a pot that is big enough for what you are cooking.
Sounds pretty “duh” right? WRONG! And I have a story about how a wrong size pot can get you in trouble. (Rob: don't you mean “hot water?” Me: .....divorce....) Anyhow, if you're hard or soft boiling a couple of eggs, a small pot will do. It should hold the eggs and have the water cover them. Pasta and other grains need a bigger pot depending on the amount you'll be cooking. We'll get into specifics later.

Step 2: Add water to pot and add a pinch of salt.
Salt makes water boil at a higher temperature which makes food cook faster and it also adds flavor.

Step 3: Turn heat to high and wait.
The first thing you'll notice is a bit of steam coming off the top. Then small bubbles will begin to form on the bottom and sides of the pot. After a while it will start to move and shimmer a bit. A full rolling boil looks very chaotic, lots of bubbles, steam and action. You can hear the water bubbling rapidly. This is called a rolling boil, because the water rolls back onto itself as it bubbles up. This is the point where you would add your pasta, rice, oatmeal and so on. Eggs would be in there from start to finish, more on that later.

Step 4: Most Important: DO NOT LEAVE BOILING WATER ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pretend your boiling water is like a three year old with a machine gun, because that's exactly what it's like. This stuff can kill your food, damage your stove and possibley boil over and splash on you, your pets or your children. NEVER leave a stove unattended, even to go to the bathroom really quick, because accidents can happen fast! If you must leave the kitchen for a moment, have someone else keep an eye on things or just turn off the stove. So dinner is late five minutes, big deal. It's better than risking an injury.

This is what it looks like on film. This is NOT in real time:


Crease said...

I keep burning the water :( Haha, not really. I dig the blog though, and ABSOLUTELY DESPERATELY NEED HELP cooking, so feel free to like.. keep it up. ;D And since I'm the only one who's voted thus far, feel free to follow only my specific instructions! Muahaha! Hope you and the beau are doing well!

Corwin Bl├║dravn said...

Got to say I've never seen instructions on how to boil water...but I have to agree there's a whole lot of stupid out there and anything we can do to combat that is glorious...