Many of us like to follow a recipe when cooking. While there are thousands of cookbooks available with a myriad of recipes to follow, there are very few waterless cookbooks out there. Charles and David Knight have published "Healthy Meat and Potatoes," providing not only lots of good recipes but also helpful tips for waterless cookware owners. Following is a summary of some of the tips Charles Knight offers for cooking vegetables the waterless, greaseless way.
Scrub Root Vegetables
Clean your root vegetables with a vegetable brush under cold running water. Remove any surface blemishes you see. Peeling is not necessary.
Vegetables, especially root vegetables, tend to lose some of their natural moisture after they are harvested. To replenish some of this lost moisture, place the vegetables in the pan, fill the pan with water, add 1 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Soaking will also remove chemical sprays, preservatives and any other substances the vegetable may have come in contact with as a result of transit and storage. Pour the water off, rinse, and then cook according to the recipe.
Use the Right-Sized Pan
When cooking vegetables the waterless way, it is important to use a size pan that the vegetables almost completely fill. This is critical in forming the vapor seal. The fewer vegetables in the pan, the more air, which can possibly result in oxidation. When pans are not full enough, a high temperature is required to create a vapor seal. This can cause scorching or burning.
Form the Vapor Seal
In heating, the moist air expands and is forced out between the rim and the cover of the pan. Around the rim there is a well, or reservoir, that collect the moisture. The covers are angled down to fit in line with well. As the heated air continues to escape, the well fills with moisture, forming the vapor seal. This process usually takes 3 to 5 minutes.
Find the Right Temperature Setting
Despite the wide variety of gas and electric ranges available, waterless cooking takes the guesswork out of the cooking process. Here are two tips:
- If the rim or well spits moisture, the temperature is too high.
- If the lid does not spin freely on a cushion of water after forming the seal, the temperature is too low.
You may need to experiment with finding the right temperature for a time or two, but once you find that perfect temperature, cooking with waterless cookware will be simple and easy.
Reestablish the Vapor Seal
Do not peek during the waterless cooking process. Removing the cover destroys the vapor seal, lengthens the cooking time and can possibly cause the vegetables to burn. If, for any reason, the cover is taken off, cover the pan again, close the vent and add 2 Tbsp. to the rim to reestablish the vapor seal. Add 3 to 5 minutes to the designated cooking time.
Don't let the concept of cooking waterless scare you. When you try it, you will soon discover how easy it is to actually use waterless cookware if you follow the above principles. Yes, cooking with waterless cookware is healthy because vegetables cook in their own natural juices, but you will soon discover how tasty and uniquely flavorful your prepared meals are. The Gourmet's Cookware offers a wide variety of quality waterless stainless steel products along with tips and healthy recipes that can be adapted to your waterless cookware.