Par-cooking is a technique that can help you get dinner on the table fast. So, what is it, and how do you do it?
So, what exactly is par-cooking?
Simply put, par-cooking is the process of partially cooking some or all your ingredients ahead of time. Allowing you to get dinner on the table faster. Additionally, par-cooking can be used to cook different ingredients to the same level of doneness. This is especially handy when making a meal that has multiple components, such as a stir-fry, soup, or a big holiday meal. By par-cooking each ingredient, you can be sure that everything will be cooked through and will be ready to eat at the same time. Many restaurants have used par-cooking to ensure diners get their meals quickly for years in recipes from fried chicken to risotto.
How to par-cook
The key to successful par-cooking is to carefully time the process and understand how your ingredients will respond to heat. Delicate vegetables like broccoli and green beans should be quickly blanched in boiling water, while tougher vegetables like carrots can be roasted in the oven. Meats can be par-cooked by both roasting and boiling. In general, for meats par-boiling is best for stews and casseroles, while par-roasting is great for meals you plan to finish on the grill or fry. Par-cooking chicken in seasoned water or broth before breading and frying helps lock in moisture and ensure doneness.
Safely storing your par-cooked food
It's important to remember that par-cooked food can be susceptible to bacteria. For this reason, it's essential to take care when storing and handling par-cooked food. Meats, fish, and poultry should be refrigerated immediately after cooking and used within 3-4 days.
- Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, while bacon will stay good for 14 days. If you're not planning on eating the par-cooked food within this time frame, freezing is a great option.
- Casseroles and blanched vegetables can be stored in the freezer for months, making them a convenient option for busy cooks.
By taking the time to learn how to par-cook and store your favourite Good & Fugly vegetables, you can create delicious and healthy meals with ease.
Have you ever tried par-cooking? If not, we suggest giving it a try. It’s an easy way to ensure that all your ingredients are cooked perfectly without having to worry about timing. Plus, it can save you time in the kitchen.