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How to keep cooked brocolis bright green

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone

i was just wondering if someone knows how to keep cooked broccoli's bright green, here is my dilemma i am working in a nursing home as a sous chef, so therefore i must cook all greens vegetables for a long period of time so it become very soft for the elderly people to be able to chew and eat. i seems to have problems to kept green and hot for service. Does anyone knows???

thank you for any suggestion

 

post #2 of 14

Try adding some baking soda to your cooking water. Promotes greenness and it makes veggies softer faster.

post #3 of 14

   Hi Cinnamon-UK,

 

   Have you tried shocking them?

 

  Dan

post #4 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cinnamon-uk View Post

... so therefore i must cook all greens vegetables for a long period of time so it become very soft for the elderly people to be able to chew and eat...

Have you been told to do so or are you making an assumption?

 

A common misconception is that food for our senior citizens needs to be very soft, in fact some enjoy the texture rather than mush.

 

Why don't you try one time by blanching to crisp-tender, then sauté with a little butter and lemon and see how much returns to the kitchen? If most comes back, then the very soft is probably the way to go, if little comes back, think of the opportunities you've just opened up!

 

IMHO, the elderly do NOT want bland, soft, cooked to death food. Ask them!
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetincook View Post

Try adding some baking soda to your cooking water. Promotes greenness and it makes veggies softer faster.



I was taught by a French Chef that the addition of baking soda to the water creates a chemical reaction that removes some of the minerals and vitamins from the vegetables being blanched. Salt added to the water, on the other hand, adds in keeping those vitamins locked in.

post #6 of 14

The addition of soda does in fact kill off  the vitamins in particular any vit.C.( A trace of amonia will also help keep green) This nursing home is better off in my opinion using canned veges. They are almost always soft and overcooked anyway.  And once overcooked you can't keep green as you have also knocked off all of the chlora. in the green veges. Stck with carrots, turnips, squash, stewed tomatoes  etc.  I worked in a hospital when I was way younger and there is really no way to preserve eye appeal. In addition the food is held in heaters and steamtables to long of a period..

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 14

First of all, you need to cook the stems longer than the green bushy parts.  I always cut off as much of the stems as I can, cut them into chunks and throw them into the pot to cook for at least 5-8 minutes before I throw in the green parts.  Only cook them through, they will soften up surprisingly quickly.

 

Secondly, steam them.  Do not boil.  Steaming retains their nutrients and color better.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much; I am very much appreciated for all your replies, that’s was very helpful. And I will definitely think about it. The nursing home policies catering service must provide fresh vegetables and cook food from scratch, and I have been asked to cook veggies very........... soft and look appealing, haha

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

haha

post #10 of 14
To expand a little on what Koukouvagia said...

Start by removing the stems and breaking the heads into "florets." Then peel the stems using a vegetable peeler (or with your knife if you have good skills), and slice the stems into very thin"coins." Cut this way, the broccoil will become very tender before it losing its color.

Boil the florets and stems until the florets turn a dark green. Then remove the broccoli from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and shock it by putting it immediately into ice water. When the broccoli has chilled, drain it, hold it for service (up to a day), and steam or saute to reheat.

This technique will give tender broccoli with good color.

BDL
post #11 of 14

   Hi BDL :)

 

   That should be what he needs.  I'm still sometimes surprised at how well shocking green vegetables can set the color, it can look really wonderful in a dish.  I'm curious, are there any tricks like this for  vegetables of other colors?

 

  Thanks...

 

  BWell!

  Dan

post #12 of 14

BDL, haha thanks for reminding me of the word I was looking for: "florets"  it sounds much better than green bushy bits lol.

 

And yes I do peel the stems but not with a veg peeler, I always cut myself like that.  I use a knife.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #13 of 14

Save the stems for stir fry dishes

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for all your lovely commentssmile.gif

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