Al Dente vegatables

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by benrias, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. benrias

    benrias

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    A discussion in another thread reminded me of this debate I had with some friends. What do you think?

    I feel that the term "al dente" is overused by some cooks or restaurants to describe vegatables that are under cooked--undercooked because the cooks are either afraid of cooking them too long or because they don't know how to consistently cook the vegetables to get that tender, but still fresh result. Agree or disagree?

    [and just so everyone knows...No, I can't get that perfectly cooked vegetable either. BUT I don't say that they are al dente to cover up for my lack of skill. But I'l get there one day darn it!] :crazy:
     
  2. hipjoint

    hipjoint

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    ===== i agree ... and with a background of mostly chinese and italian cooking, i would have to say that veggies cooked through taste better and are easier to digest. if someone wants veggies "al dente", eat a salad.

    italians (traditionally, any way ...) cook their veggies all the way thru ....
    and some "nuveau california" types would consider them overdone. when i learned how to cook chinese veggies it was stir fried in a wok but always finished with a little liquid under a lid to final steam the veggies till heated
    thru. this was my mom's secret for getting that tender but fresh result.
     
  3. dano1

    dano1

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    yeah, the al dente thing is way overdone. cooked veg , like anything else, should be cooked until done-no more no less(unless you plan on holding on a table for a length of time ;). Scary how many cooks i see don't even taste something to verify its done, sure there are visual indicators but the test is in the taste.
     
  4. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    I don't ever refer to veggies as being al dente. I have seen references to recipes where an author refers to veggies as being "crisp tender" which is the best description I can think of for this state of quickly steaming or blanching, then refreshing.
     
  5. spritzer

    spritzer

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    I kinda agree and disagree.
    As al dente means "to the tooth" a vegetable that still has that " crunch " is..... technically ( i know my spelling is shocking) al dente. I would rather have a brocolly that has a slight crunch than one that you could squash through your teeth like an old person :D..... what was the discussion about again? :blush:
     
  6. markv

    markv

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    I suspect many chefs err on the side of firmness with veggies due to economics. Much like a steak, you can always cook it more and not lose money. But if it's overcooked, there's no going back.

    Mark