Food Tips: Passive cooking

A friend of mine recently asked me how I cook amaranth that I don’t burn it. Oddly, I’ve never had this problem, but when a complication threw itself into my schedule recently, I figured out a solution for her.

Having just put a pot of quinoa on to cook, I received a call demanding a needs-your-immediate-attention Web site update. The quinoa had just started to boil, so I turned off the heat and left it to do the update, thinking I would just come back later and finish cooking it.

Well, it might sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but when I returned to the quinoa about thirty or forty minutes later, it was *perfectly* cooked. So my conversation with my friend came back to mind and within that week tried doing amaranth and rice and hulled oats the same way: bring it to a boil, then cut the heat off and let it cook the rest of the way passively. LIKE A CHARM it worked. Perfectly tender grains, sometimes a little leftover water to drain off even (I often have to add more), energy saved, and my kitchen doesn’t get so goshdurn hot – a consideration because I try not to run the AC until it’s sweltering. And I’m pitta, so that’s saying something.

So I had to share. Have you tried cooking things passively? I’m wanting to try this with pasta and potatoes and such – has anyone tried this already?

Love from foodie land – Anna

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