There are some foods that when cooked wrong, it will leave such a bad impression on a person, they’ll never try it again.
There are three healthy foods that first come to mind – when thinking about some of the worst things to overcook: Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage and Spinach.
When you overcook the Brussels, for example, it releases a chemical that in turn, emits a sulfurous odor. Not only does it smell bad, it will have such a sulfuric taste that it will have many persons shoving them to the far end of their dinner plate. Take it from me, I’ve had them prepared the right way and the wrong way; there is a big difference. Same for Spinach, as overcooking these greens can totally ruin your opinion of this leafy vegetable – especially for the ones who are trying them for the first time or rarely eat them. As for Cabbage, overcooking can often lead to a less tasty result and a house full of unwanted, lingering odors. Below, I’ll provide some quick, easy-to-follow methods that’ll improve the end results of these healthy side dishes.
Spinach – Cooking Method
There is no need to boil spinach, as steaming is the best way to go. I usually buy them fresh, pre-cut, in bags.
Use about 12-16 ounces of spinach per large fry pan.
Rinse spinach; try to remove as much excess water as possible; set aside.
Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of Olive oil or Canola oil (whatever oil you desire).
Add 1/4 cup diced onion to the pan.
I usually add salt & pepper to the pan before adding spinach, but you can always season after it is done.
Over medium heat, using a large frying pan, cook the onions into the lightly salted & peppered oil.
Cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes, then:
Add spinach; you may have to press it down.
After it has cooked for about 1.5 minutes, remove cover and begin turning these lovely greens over.
Cover again and cook for another 1 to 1.5 minutes.
Remove from heat; drain and season to taste.
Unless you’re a chef with finesse, the whole process, counting the rinsing and seasoning, only takes around 7 or 8 minutes. It is as simple as that; presto, you’re done!
Cabbage – Cooking Method
Cut the cabbage as you like; some prefer it finely cut, I prefer square, big pieces.
Rinse cabbage, then add to a large pot. (I usually add 1/3 cup of water to the pot, to start the steaming process while I’m adding cabbage)
Add salt & pepper, as desired. (Optional) Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Cover with lid and cook over medium heat.
Stir occasionally while cooking for 5 minutes.
Uncover, add 2 tablespoons of butter, bring heat up to medium-high.
Leave uncovered and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes; stir.
Remove from heat.
Cover with lid or serve.
Brussels sprouts – Cooking Method
I usually buy them fresh-frozen, in 32 oz. bags. This is how I cook them and, of course, you can season or alter it as you like:
In a large sauce pan, add 5 or 6 cups of water or enough to cover the amount of sprouts being cooked.
Add about 1 ounce of Worcestershire sauce to the water, along with 2 tablespoons of sugar, a few drops of Hot Sauce (optional), an ample amount of Lawlry’s Seasoned Salt and McCormick’s Season All pepper (or you could use regular table salt & pepper), 1.5 tablespoons of butter (you could also replace this with a healthier oil).
Bring the prior contents to a boil.
Add the Brussels.
As soon as it returns back to a boil, remove from high heat, then simmer for 3 to 5 minutes over a lower temperature setting.
Remove from heat.
[From here, while the stove eye is off, I let mine soak for a while to absorb some extra flavor.]
Drain; season to taste.
That’s it…..There is no need to give them an infernal flame or sulfurous boiling, just a quick cook with seasoning and they’re done.