Saturday, July 31, 2010

A few thoughts

-Why do people order the most expensive cut of meat only to ask for it be cooked well done??

-Why is it cheaper to eat junk food than eating healthy?

-Why does Justin Bieber look like a girl?

-Why don't they show that program "Air crash investigation" as part of in-flight entertainment?

-"Why isn't there a name for the tops of your feet?"  George Carlin

-"Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?" George Carlin

Friday, July 30, 2010

The mystery of filet mignon

Why is filet mignon such a big seller?  It's not that it is bad, it just isn't great.  Filet mignon has very little fat and remember fat equals flavor. Remember that line in Pulp Fiction?  "Pork chops taste good, bacon tastes good."  It is because of the fat in pork.  Filet mignon has much less flavor compared to other cuts of meat.  It is tender, I will give you that, but I have to laugh at the fact that the most expensive cut of meat is also one of the most flavorless on the animal.

We chefs are back there cooking in the kitchen and see order after order come up for filet mignon when people could be ordering rib eye or N.Y. strip.  It is almost like a kind of inside joke we have amongst us.  I always shake my head when I see orders for filet mignon.

I don't know one chef who orders that shit when he or she goes out to eat.  Not one.

Would you non-chefs like a tip?  Next time you want to cook steak, buy a flank steak.  I know it doesn't sounds as sexy but you will spend about a quarter of the cost and will end up with a much more flavorful cut of meat.  You must make sure you cut it in thin slices perpendicular to the grain or it will be chewy as hell.
One of my favorite steak recipes.
Take a couple cloves of garlic and 2 shallots.  Mince them.
Take a sprig of rosemary and chop it fine.
Rub a piece of flank steak with olive oil and coat both sides with the chopped herb, shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Grill it on high to get a nice charred texture (not burnt) but keeping it medium rare
Serve with some guacamole or salsa
It kicks MAJOR culinary ass.  I will be my friend's salary you will like it better.

Try it

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Culinary tip, nuts, nuts, nuts

Crap, I have have been having writer's block lately.  At least I have a little culinary knowledge so I can post a recipe or something when I have a blank.

OK how many of you hate when you are chopping nuts and they go all over the place?  Would you like to know how to resolve that?  Simply toss your nuts (men get your mind out of the gutter) with a little water or oil, just enough to coat them, then chop them.  You will find they won't go everywhere.  

Keep one thing in mind.... Your recipe.  If you are baking cookies I wouldn't suggest tossing your nuts with oil (crap that sounds soo sexual) as it will affect the flavor of your cookies.

That reminds me of one of the favorite things for a guy to say to someone if they were toasting nuts in the oven at work.  "Hey man, how are your nuts doing?  They smell burnt"  When nuts are burning in the oven it is a pretty distinct smell to the point where you can usually tell what kind of nut it is.  One day my cook was toasting almonds in the oven and he forgot about them and I told him "you better check your nuts" without thinking about how it sounded coming out.  The staff got a laugh out of it.

That reminds me of another awkward moment.  When I was chef of a resort in the Maldives it was New Year's eve and I was doing an Italian station so I imported all these Italian products for the evening's event. One thing I got was a three foot long salami that is only available at that time of year.  I was speaking to one of the guests and he asked "Chef what will you be serving tonight?" My reply was, (as I was holding up my hands about three feet apart to show size) "you should see the size of the salami I got."  Right after I said it I realized how it came out and we both had one of those awkward silences and then busted out laughing.  I started to correct myself and explain that I had this sausage from Italy that is huge and fortunately he understood.  Thank god it was a man with a good sense of humor I was speaking to.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Selecting cookbooks

My mignons,

I have had some questions about what cookbooks are good to get so here you go.

I will give a bit of explanation on my thoughts and then give you a bulletpoint list of cookbooks and chefs to look out for.
 In my formative years as a culinary upstart I used to buy a shitload of cookbooks.  Now, because I kick so much culinary ass I don't really buy many cookbooks.  Honestly, I stopped buying cookbooks for my personal use about 10 years ago. The only time I buy cookbooks are for work.  Being a hotel chef is different from being a restaurant chef in that I often have to be able to cook a number of different cuisines due to the fact that you often have a few restaurants featuring different cuisines and people are staying in your hotel so you need to offer more choices.  Plus, hotels have something freestanding restaurants don't; banquets.  Banquets can be anything from a wedding dinner featuring traditional French food to a Middle Eastern buffet or a sushi station so I would buy cookbooks that featured traditional and authentic recipes.  The best way to piss someone off is to bastardize their cuisine.  Even though I rock as a chef one cannot learn every cuisine in a lifetime so in hotels I would always have the resources handy to produce food of any kind. .........did I say I rock?!!!  Ah, yes I did.  Now on to the books you need.

-Get a culinary textbook used in culinary schools. This will cover all the basics.  Just go to your local bookstore and someone there should be able to help you out.  If your local bookstore is Wal-Mart you are pretty much F_ _ked!

-I always go for cookbooks that offer tips in addition to the recipes.  It is great to find a cookbook with great recipes but when you have tips or some lessons thrown in there it helps you understand what you are doing as opposed to just doing what it says.  If you understand why you are doing something you will retain the information better.

-Don't always go for the hottest new cookbook from the hottest celebrity schmuck chef.  Just because someone is the hottest new thing since sliced bread does not mean their recipes are better.  You are talking about taste, don't forget that.  One cookbook may say to use four kinds of cheese in it's lasagna recipe when another may say to use two.  How do you say which is better?  Take it from me as someone who has been in the business for a number of years and knows how it works; the food business is like any other business.  If you have a great PR firm getting your name out there you don't need to be that talented or skilled so remember, don't always go for the big names.

-Pick a cookbook with recipes that are written in a way that is easy to follow for you.  If cooking is to you what auto mechanics are to me then it needs to be written in dumb ass style and then some.  The best thing to do is figure out what kind of cookbook (say Italian for example) you want and pick three or four books from that category and read through them.  To take it further, pick out a recipe that is in each of the books and compare the recipes.  Do that with a few recipes.

-Pick cookbooks based on what your needs are.  Do you host dinner parties and cocktail receptions?  If so, get books geared to that.

-Often these celebrity chefs from fancy five star restaurants release cookbooks with advanced recipes from their restaurant.  Don't buy these cookbooks unless you plan on devoting some time in the kitchen.  When you get into the world of fine dining often one dish can take a number of days to prepare because of the steps involved.  To give you an idea, I used to do a torchon of duck foie gras.  Here is the basic preparation.  Day 1-soak the foie gras in milk overnight.  Day 2-clean the foie gras and marinate overnight.  Day 3-form and cook the foie gras.  Let sit overnight.  Day 4-serve.
If you want to learn how to do some of these more advanced techniques, then by all means do it, I just want you to know what you may be getting into.  All recipes are not like that though.

Now here is a list of books and chefs/authors.

-"Cookwise"by Shirley Corriher.  One of the best books I have ever read.  She explains the science behind what is happening in the cooking process without getting so scientific that it is frustrating to read.
-"Culinaria"-this is a series and they have cookbooks for most countries.  I have the ones for Spain, France, American and Greece.  These books will teach you the traditional way of preparing the recipes from each country.  Very good
-"Larousse Gastronimique"-Any serious or half-serious chef/cook has this.  This is like the Holy Bible of cookbooks.
-"Escoffier"-another classic like Larousse.  They say Escoffier was the first celebrity chef.  He died not long ago.  I think it was 1935 or something.
-"Martha Stewart's hors d' oeuvres handbook."  I have used this one a lot when I have needed new ideas for cocktail receptions
-"The French laundry" and "Bouchon."  Thomas Keller is the chef and author of both of these books and he is in my opinion one of the best chefs in America.  He is one of the few who can take classical dishes and prepare them in a modern style why maintaining the integrity of the original dish.
-Anything by Julia Child is always good.
-Reference books are also good to have like ones with ingredients, culinary definitions and so forth.

Since I haven't bought any cookbooks in a while I don't know what is hot right now.  Remember the internet has some great sites.  Emeril's, Martha Stewart's,, and there are others.

Happy cooking and good luck

Perfect hard boiled eggs-everytime

In my many years of cooking the one thing cooks, even professional ones can't seem to get right consistently is hard boiled eggs.  Well, for all you egg lovers here is a foolproof way of preparing them properly, every time.

1.  Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil with a bit of vinegar.
2.  Add the eggs to the boiling water gently.
3.  After the water comes back to a boil, cook them for precisely seven minutes
4.  After seven minutes remove the pan of eggs from the heat and leave the eggs in the water for precisely 10 minutes.
5.  Run under cold water until chilled
6.  You have perfect eggs

Monday, July 26, 2010

Culinary myth

Here is another culinary myth for y'all.

Have you ever heard of putting baking soda in water when boiling green vegetables to help them retain their color?  

Well, it is bullshit!  If you follow one of my earlier blogs about cooking green vegetables you will find that is all you need to do.

happy cooking

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to be a better cook

OK all, here is a piece I wrote for a writer's website.  It is for all you home cooks out there so enjoy and give me your feedback.

Happy cooking

How to be a better cook.

I find a bit of humor when a guest who I cooked for asks me in disbelief, “how did you do that, it was amazing?” Like I won the Fields medal or broke some encrypted message and hacked into the Department of Defense's computer system. Cooking is not rocket science. If it was, I wouldn't be doing it.

Learning to cook is like learning mathematics or a musical instrument. You must have a strong foundation of the basics in order to proceed to more advanced calculations or techniques. Those basic skills are the foundation to build upon.

The best way to retain any technical skill(s) is by repetition and reinforcement. When you practice something, don't try it once and practice it again a month later for you won't retain the skill(s). Practice the same thing as many times a week depending on your budget and time restraints.
Focus on the areas that need improvement using as many resources as you can to improve your skills and knowledge. There are countless cookbooks and plenty of culinary websites. Some sites even have forums which are great for seeking advice from others. Also, don't be afraid to ask the chef of one of your favorite restaurants for any tips provided he or she is not busy. I have found most chefs are happy to give advice when asked.

Before proceeding on your culinary journey you must determine your goals. Do you want to learn a few dishes? Do you want to host formal dinner parties? Do you want to bake bread?
From those goals you need to create a plan.
Tailor your plan to suit your needs. If you don't like rice, then skip it. If you plan on cooking mostly Asian food then focus on that. Whatever your goals may be, make sure you are cooking what you enjoy to eat. It will feel more rewarding.

Here are two examples of plans. They both focus on the principle of repetition by spending a week on each lesson.

1. General knowledge
Week 1-green vegetable cookery and poaching
Week 2-Sautéing meat, poultry and fish and cooking varieties of rice
Week 3-Roasting of meats and vegetables
Week 4-Egg cookery
Etc. etc.

2. Asian cooking
Week 1-Stir fries
Week 2-Curries
Week 3-Desserts
Week 4-Appetizers
Etc., etc.

Now that you have your plan you need to get everything together. Get only high quality ingredients. You cannot create a good dish out of bad ingredients. You can cover up certain shortcomings to a certain extent but in the end it will show. Treat the food with respect. Don't buy the best quality tomatoes you can find to make a tomato salad only to cover them up with ranch dressing.
Do you have all of your basic cooking equipment and utensils? Use the right tool for the job. If you want to learn to make stir fry properly then everything I am telling you about execution and mastering the basics will be pointless if you don't have a wok or decent sauté pan. Cookbooks often have a section dedicated to what you should keep in your kitchen for the recipes contained within.

Be careful with seasoning. Remember add a little at a time. You can always add more but you can't take it out. While seasoning, taste the dish in stages if possible. You have to develop your palate through constant tasting. Most of us are born with the ability to hear but your average person does not hear like a professional musician does because our ears are not trained to. The same is true with your palate. Be aware of your personal biases. If you like salt then use a little less when cooking for others. While practicing your cookery techniques it is always good to have someone else taste as well.

I always recommend purchasing a culinary textbook that is used in culinary schools. It will cover all the basics and give you the skills needed to build upon for more advanced cooking. Don't dive right in to complicated and advanced recipes. Start with simple recipes. You must walk before you can run. Nobody will care how creative your dish is if the chicken is undercooked. When I was learning to play guitar I attempted songs that were above my skill level and I would get frustrated easily and sometimes wanted to quit. I then changed my approach and practiced songs better suited to my skill level, had greater success and enjoyed it more. I learned that for any technical skill that takes time, effort and patience to develop, it is important that you are seeing the fruits of your labor along the way or you will get frustrated as I did with the guitar in my formative years. In other words, focus on your successes.

Regarding recipes, use common sense and judgment as they are sometimes wrong. Don't follow any recipe in blind faith. If a recipe tells you to cook something at 350F for two hours and you see it is getting too dark after an hour than turn the oven down. The oven and equipment you are using in your kitchen is most likely different than what was used in the kitchen where they tested the recipes you are attempting. With that said, know your equipment. Do you know where the hot spots are in your oven?

When it comes to creating your own dishes I suggest this approach. First get comfortable with a recipe(s) and then start to come up with your own variations. Remember you can make beef stew and add more carrots or other vegetables if you like and it will still be a beef stew. You cannot do that when it comes to baking and pastry because the ingredients work together creating chemical reactions to produce the end result. Just because you want a loaf of bread to be lighter doesn't mean you can just throw in some extra yeast.

In closing, I will sum up what cooking is to me in one sentence. “Do the simple things but do them well.” I will reiterate it all goes back to basics and proper execution of technique. If you can learn and abide by that, it will serve you well.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


OK here is a funny one.

I served a guest blackened tuna and he said it was black, it was burnt................hello moron, why do you think it is called 'blackened?'............freaks!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Strange guests

Some strange stories from the restaurant underground.

-A woman came in to get a cappuccino.  She wanted half caffeinated coffee and half decaf because she wanted half of the caffeine.  Come one.  Are you kidding me??!!  She came in later in the afternoon for the same thing.  I told her "why don't you just have one regular?"...................FREAKS!!!

-I love seeing fat guests go to buffets, load up their plates and drink a diet soda.  Hello, it may be diet soda but it is just as bad for you as regular soda.  Plus, you pile up your food and think drinking a diet soda will make a difference.  Again,..............FREAKS!!

-A guest ordered an egg white omelette with cheese and bacon.  You are having cheese and bacon.  You might as well have the friggin egg yolk.

-I am on a dry spell tonight............writer's block I guess.  Write more tomorrow
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen practical jokes and chef rash

My devoted followers (well, the few that I have anyways)

For you three who posted a comment "thank you."  I am working on developing a large following so please spread the word and let me know what you guys want to see me post.  I will give you each a dollar.  haha.
Pooja, I will get you a killer fried chicken recipe shortly.  Do you want a veg or non veg recipe? :)

I thought I would go with a bit of humor here today.

For you non culinarians out there you may or may not know that professional kitchens are like breeding grounds for practical jokes.  Well, here is a story that I promise will make you laugh.

Do you know what chef rash is?  Any chef reading this is cringing just by reading the term 'chef rash.' Like hearing about a psycho ex or something.
Bear with me, as I need to explain this to get to the funny part.  Kitchens are very hot places.  One of the places that gets the hottest is down below....I hope you don't need me to spell that out.  Well, when you add the heat, sweat and friction from your inner thighs rubbing together.  Trust me, if you look up the definition of 'sucks' in the dictionary it wold say "chef rash."  Wait, wouldn't that be "pain in the ass?"

One time my girlfriend saw me walking funny after work and asked what was wrong.  I replied "I have the worst case of chef rash ever."  Her demeanor changed in a second and she barked,  "What do you have?  Who have you been sleeping with?"  I had to explain just what it was.

I am happy to say that I don't get it often but on those rare occasions when it does make its unwelcome visit it is reminiscent of coincidentally bumping into your ex that you had a nasty breakup with.

Fortunately there is a remedy that is readily available in just about every kitchen.  It is called cornstarch. Believe it or not, it is actually better than baby powder.  You can use cornstarch as a substitute for baby powder but I haven't tried substituting baby powder for cornstarch. 
You can always tell who has chef rash because they are the ones frowning and walking like Gollum from Lord of the Rings or like they just got off a horse. They are the ones who make way for the walk in cooler. Once in the privacy of your well-cooled surroundings unbutton your pants, dip your hand in cornstarch and apply.  Those same individuals who went in the walk in with frowns come out with a huge smile.  Just like new.  Can you readers out there now understand why babies cry soo much if they have a rash?  It sucks man!  Trust me.  Feels like you are wearing sandpaper for underwear.

Now, onto the practical joke.  One time I worked with this dude that nobody in the kitchen liked.  I was just a cook at the time and he was more senior and he was always messing with us younger guys.  He was a real asshole.  I mean, like Gordon Ramsay type _ _ _hole.  So one day the 'old light bulb pops in my head and it was in the form of cornstarch.  I thought to myself 'I will get this bastard."  When everyone was on break I poured the cornstarch in the trash and put flour in the box.

He was very fat, sweat more than the rest of us and would often get chef rash. He kept his box of (stash) cornstarch hidden in the walk in like an alcoholic hides his beer and sneaks a drink when he can. Fortunately for me that particular day was very hot and I could see the chef rash gradually forming by the look on his face.  I was struggling to contain myself.  We were in the middle of the dinner rush and he says "guys, I forgot something in the walk in I will be right back."  I knew where he was going and I looked at the other cook who knew  what I did and we were snickering about it."  Then we heard a scream from the walk in. "Ahhh shit man.  God damnit!" He stormed out of the walk in and asked "which one of you _ _ _holes put flour in the cornstarch box?"  Nobody could answer because we were all laughing so hard.  I felt soo proud!  I almost felt bad for the moron because he had to go and change his pants.  The flour mixed with all that sweat made a paste.  By the way, I said I almost felt bad for him. 
Stay tuned for more recipes, culinary advice, philosophy and

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's recipe-Corn chowder

It occurred to me that I have a culinary blog but haven't posted a recipe for y'all yet.

Corn chowder is a popular soup here in the USA and when I lived in India I had to take many non-vegetarian dishes and convert them into vegetarian dishes.  Sometimes it worked well and other times it didn't.  I can say that this corn chowder converts to vegetarian quite nicely.  Funny thing was the restaurant where I served this was in Bombay, India.  The restaurant was modeled after an American style steakhouse in a country that is 75% vegetarian. If that doesn't constitute funny I don't know what does.

When you live in other countries there is naturally going to be a learning curve.  Well, there was one with this recipe. I learned that ingredients can be different in different countries.  I opened a new hotel when I was in Bombay.  I arrived in August of '03 and we didn't open until March of '04.  Once the hotel was finished and we were allowed to start using the kitchens this was the first recipe I cooked and tested.  I cut the kernels off the ears of corn and proceeded to boil them.  Some of my cooks stopped me, "chef, the corn won't cook."  "Yeah, right, do you think I just started cooking yesterday?" I replied in disbelief that they would try to pull one over on their new boss.  After 30 minutes I checked the corn and it was still hard.  After another 30 minutes I checked and it still wasn't cooked.  "What the F&$@K?" I thought.  My cooks saw me and said "See we told you."  Point taken, lesson learned.  What I learned I had to do was cook the hell out of that crappy corn then puree and strain it which, thankfully, worked.  
Corn here in the U.S. is more tender.  It actually, that is novel idea; food that cooks!  Hmmm, what is next?  A tire that rolls?

Anyways, enjoy the recipe.  For you non-vegematerians I suggest adding some jumbo lump crab at the end but don't cook it in the soup or it won't be jumbo lump anymore.  

Duration: 2 hours

Yield: 4- 6 ppl
Corn chowder


For the soup
250 gr. Corn kernels that have been boiled and strained
25 gr. White onion, medium dice
15 gr.. Garlic, minced
75 ml. Double cream
150 gr. Potato, peeled, diced-2”X2”, boiled separately in salted water and drained
pinch Thyme, picked
300ml. Corn puree-recipe below
85ml. White wine
To sauté Butter
To taste Salt
To taste Fresh cracked black pepper

For the corn purée
300 gr. Corn, frozen
To cover Water
To taste Salt

Basic Preparation:
For the corn purée:
Cook the corn in lightly boiling, salted water until tender
Drain the kernels and purée in a blender, not food processor. While puréeing, add just enough water to make it the consistency of baby food. Remember you can always add more water but you can’t take out. Strain through a fine strainer if you want a finer purée or don't strain if you want a chunkier type purée.
To finish:
Sauté the garlic, onion, thyme and cooked corn kernels over medium heat in a little butter for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. As the vegetables absorb the butter during the cooking process, add a little olive or salad oil as needed.
Stir frequently and make sure the vegetables DO NOT TAKE COLOR. If they do, reduce the heat and add a small amount of water if necessary.
Add the wine and cook until it is reduced but not dry
Add the corn puree, drained potatoes and cream and simmer for @ 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning where necessary.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Recipes are not like religion.  You don't need to follow them in blind faith.  Use common sense and logic. Yes, I know what you are thinking; those are two things religion has a problem with but hell with it.  When preparing a recipe, read through it a few times first to get familiar with it.  Also, get everything ready before you start the recipe.  There may be times when you need to question a recipe.  If the recipe says to cook something at 350F for two hours and the food item is getting too brown after one hour then turn the oven down.  When a cookbook is written the recipes are tested in a test kitchen (or at least we hope so) and the oven they use will most likely be different than yours.  Also, every oven has hot spots so you need to know your equipment well and take this into account when following a recipe.

When purchasing a cookbook, don't just run to buy the cookbook of the hottest new celebrity chef.  For example, if you want an Italian cookbook read a few and compare.  Pick the one that makes sense to you.  How do the recipes read to you?  Easy?  Hard to understand?  Just because the chef is famous doesn't mean his or her recipes will be better.  What I look for in a cookbook is not just recipes but does the chef teach you more than just recipes.  Are there tips, some background info and so on so forth.

Till next time

Friday, July 16, 2010

Culinary myth number 2

Ok all here is another culinary myth

Many people marinate less tender cuts of meat with wine or another acid such as citrus or some other form to help tenderize the meat.  Acid does not tenderize but it will give nice flavor to the food.  The best way to tenderize a less tender cut of meat is through long, slow cooking.  If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.  In the near future I will do a posting just on marinades and tenderizing.

Your tip for the day

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Culinary myth

How many of you put oil in the water when you cook pasta because you don't want the pasta to stick together?  Have you ever noticed that the oil sits on top of the water?  If the oil sits on the surface of the water then how is it going to prevent the pasta that is underneath the surface of the water from sticking?

In other words, you don't need oil in your pasta cooking water.  All you need is salt to season the pasta.  When you drain the pasta, if you are not going to use it right away, then you toss it with oil.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Culinary tips-juicing lemons and purchasing cheese

OK all here are a couple tips for you.

1.  Juicing fresh lemons.  Put a lemon on the counter and place your palm on top and press down rolling the lemon back in forth as if you were massaging it.  Then put the lemon(s) in the microwave just to warm them before juicing them.  Don't cook them.

2.  Purchasing cheese.  Assuming you are not buying Velveeta or some processed cheese and want to have good quality cheese, never buy pre-cut cheese.  When you are going to spend some money on cheese they should cut it for you there on the spot.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Green vegetables

Well, now that I have started a culinary blog it may be nice to give some culinary advice so today I will give you the "how to" of green vegetable cookery

First let's start with the obvious point.  Green vegetables are called that because of their color, so let's keep 'em that way.

I have put these instructions in the simplest and hopefully easy-to-follow manner to ensure no step is left out for those of you who don't know how to cook them properly.  If you don't know this you shouldn't feel bad.  I have found green vegetable cookery to be more challenging for less experienced cooks.

NOTE:  Whenever following any recipe or cooking instructions, read it/them at least a couple times prior to cooking.  Get everything ready before starting your recipe.  You don't want to be looking for some ingredient or utensil when it comes to that time in the recipe only to find you can't find it.

1.  Put a pot of water on high heat to boil.  To know what size pot to use will depend on the quantity of vegetables you are going to cook.  If you are cooking for 4 people then put a gallon sized pot on to boil.

2.  Add a generous amount of salt.   How much is enough?  After the salt has dissolved, (should take a few seconds or so) quickly dip your finger in the water and taste.  It should taste like sea water.

3.  While the water is coming to a boil, cut your vegetables for cooking. Cut some extra if you like to test doneness.

4.  Make sure the pieces of vegetables are the same size so everything cooks evenly.

5.  Place the colander in the sink.

6.  Make sure the water is boiling violently.  Add the vegetables and cook.  The proper ratio of vegetable to water is this:  Once you add the vegetables, if the water does not return to a boil IMMEDIATELY then you added too many vegetables.

7.  Get a saute pan large enough to accommodate the vegetables and add some butter.  Place the pan over medium heat to melt the butter.

8.  To test the doneness of the vegetables:  First, remember they should have a pretty green color and be tender but have some bite when bitten into.  If you are new at this, stand there and watch the time and vegetables so you have some kind of gauge. Assuming you are cooking normal sized broccoli spears or green beans, take a piece out after 2-3 mintues.  Taste it.  Is it really crunchy?  If you can hear a crunch when you bite it, it is undercooked.  Does it have some firmness but tender?  If the latter, pour the pot of vegetables into the colander and drain completely.
NOTE:  If you are new to this, taste a piece of vegetable every minute so you don't run the risk of overcooking until you are comfortable with cooking green vegetables.

9.  Once the vegetables are drained add them to the pan with the melted butter, add seasoning and toss to ensure the vegetables are coated.  Taste.  Serve.
One note about seasoning.  Add in small amounts.  You can always add more but you cant take out.

If you don't have a large pot to cook in than cook in a smaller pot and cook smaller quantities at a time.

Over and out Y'all