Grilling season is never really over in Austin, TX – but we know that cooler days are ahead and want to be able to prepare our products without wearing a parka. Enter: moist-heating methods! Moist-heating refers to cooking foods with or in a type of liquid. This includes steam, water, wine, stock (anything liquid!)
We’ll be going over different ways to cook with liquid over the next couple of weeks, so make sure to read our previous post about braising. The methods we’ll cover today are poaching and simmering.
Poaching is one of those kitchen tricks that seems difficult to execute, but is actually quite simple once you understand how to do it well. Technically, poaching means cooking your food in a liquid with a temperature between 140°F to 180°F. It’s an excellent choice for delicate and soft foods, like salmon or eggs. We want the water to be hot, but not boiling rapidly so that we can slip our products into the liquid without it breaking. Make sure to watch your items so that they don’t break apart!
Another moist cooking method that can needs to be carefully watched at first, simmering refers to the tiny bubbles that rise up from the bottom of your pot. You’ll often find simmering used as a cooking method when the recipe calls for a long and slow cooking process. We simmer sauces, tomato confit, stews, etc.
Simmering will cook your food gently and delicately. Like poaching, this works well with fragile foods. On the other hand, you can use this method to cook tougher cuts of meat, as it will remain moist and tender despite the long cooking time.When simmering, a tiny bubble should be able to break through the surface of the liquid.
Bon appétit, ya’ll!