Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back to the grindstone

So it took a while, but life has finally settled into a more-or-less pleasant rhythm with Rijntje, and I've been getting the blogging bug again.  I don't think I'll be updating quite as frequently as I used to, but with a new accountant, Vierdaagse pictures, and rediscovering the markt, there's quite a bit of material to work with.

I'll leave you with perhaps the best tip I've ever encountered about zucchini.  Alas, I ate everything before it occurred to me to take a photo of it, but I'll be sure to make the lemon-herbed zucchini again before the summer's out:  salt.

Zucchini (or courgettes) are deceptive:  you slice them open and they're nice and dry, but when you cook them they go from raw to stew in the space of minutes.  Harold McGee says that this is because all plants release water when their cell walls are broken down, and zucchini have more water than most.

So what you do before cooking zucchini is salt it.  Cut it into the size you want, and then put it in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt.  It might seem ridiculous, and it might seem terribly unhealthy, but after about an hour or so, you wash off most of the salt and all of the brine that's accumulated.  You probably won't be able to get all of it off, but odds are the dish you're making probably requires a smidge of salt anyway.  The end result is a zucchini that hits the sweet spot between tender and crunchy quickly and easily, and never ends in soup.  

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