BLANCHING / SHOCKING, How to do
Blanching is a par-cooking technique used for vegetables and fruits that sets their color (green vegetables) and sets flavor and texture. It sometimes is done to make peeling easier (tomatoes and nuts). Dropping into salted boiling water is followed by a quick ice water bath to stop the cooking. Blanching is typically done to equalize the cookin time for a variety of vegetables when they will be cooked together. If it is a carrot, it will take a little more blanching than a celery, for example. Also a broccoli stem needs more blanching than the flower. Blanching to equalize cooking times is always followed by shocking so they don’t overcook.
Though typically water is the blanching medium it isn’t the only one. Blanching potatoes for french fries is done in medium heated oil (325) for a short time and cooled; then when needed, fried in deep fat at 375ºF. Blanched potatoes for french fries are not shocked, but they do need to cool before finishing the cooking cooking in hot deep fat.
Blanching is not exclusive to vegetables either. We blanch bacon for use in cooking sauces, for example.
SHOCKING IN ICE WATER: Blanching is almost always followed by shocking. We shock the food by dropping into ice water bath to stop the cooking.
Blanching nuts is down by pouring boiling water over the nuts for a very short time. Then drain and rub the nuts in a clean tea towel and the skins should slide right off.