How do you know it is done?

Blog - Cooking Vegetables, Pasta Hints for vision impaired.
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COOKING, HOW TO KNOW WHEN IT IS DONE When you can’t see, use your other senses, smell, taste, listen for the boil smell the browning. Fine-tune these senses; they have been with you all your life waiting to be used. Feel how the spatula grazes across the item, is it crisp or browned. Use the spatula or tongs to lift an edge then you can feel how it pulls away, does it feel done. You know if it feels stiff on the underside then it is time to turn it over. Good judgment plays into cooking with your other senses.

If you have an item cooking on the stove, get in the habit of setting your burners at medium, or low. Cooking on high other than a stir fry or saute which must be cooked that way, will only cause splatter and more danger in the kitchen. With the medium point marked, you will cook like items the same amount of time each time. Like pasta, once you hear the water boil, put in the salt, add the pasta then on average pasta cooks 10-12 minutes. This will vary with personal taste and the thickness of the pasta. Always use a timer.

Vegetables: Once a fresh vegetable comes to a simmer, broccoli or cauliflower, the smell will intensify, if you like your vegetables al dente this is when the flavor is best and they have a tender crunch 3-5 minutes after simmer/low-boil, then just drain and add a little butter, salt and pepper.

SAUTE VEGETABLES I love to sauté my vegetables; this is done with a little olive oil and garlic. Heat the pan about 30 seconds, then heat the oil about 30 seconds. I use a pan with a wide bottom or a Wok make sure your vegetables are dry, there may be a little sizzle when you add vegetables. Add vegetables with a colander with a handle to keep from being splattered if you are concerned. Just toss around for a 3-4 minutes, salt and pepper to taste, at about a minute out add a few fresh herbs if you have Thyme, oregano or rosemary this gives it a bump. The smell will go from none to wow, quick and it is done. To know when vegetables are done; you will need to rely on texture, smell and the way it sounds in the pan.

To check for doneness a spider or pasta fork, to remove and check pasta a piece at a time is handy to have. Also to check vegetables, like a little fishing net, after you catch it, taste smell and feel to determine doneness. Don't burn your tongue!

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