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steam basket

March 24, 2010

PhotobucketWhen my sister worked on a potato farm (in Idaho, Who knew?!), the farmer told her never to boil potatoes, always to steam them instead because the water can draw out a lot of the flavor whereas the steam keeps it in. I now apply this method to almost all vegetables that I cook. It retains great flavor and is very easy to clean up. just add a little water to the pot, bring to a boil, add your vegetable, cover and cook. even if I am going to cook a vegetable in a pan I usually cook it al dente in the steamer first. A steam basket is a great device that I use in my kitchen all the time and can be bought almost anywhere for cheap ($2-$5).

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Steamed potatoes & seared steak

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steamed Brocoocli

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2010 7:46 pm

    So… maybe I’m out of the loop on this one, but I honestly don’t understand the steamer thing. I wanted to buy one, but am not sure how to use it. Is it ok if the water in the bottom of the pot touches the steamer, or the food inside of it? If not, how does the steamer hold the food up out of the water? Also, are you supposed to put a lid on the pot or leave it open? I know this is one of the simplest kitchen tools, and it’s a little embarrassing that I don’t know how to go about using it…

    • learninglifefromscratch permalink*
      May 2, 2010 10:12 am

      Hey Christy. Thanks for the question. There is never a need to be embarrassed. Questions like this are good because they bring up points that I sometimes take for granted because I have known them for so long. Steam baskets are built with little feet to raise them up off the bottom of the pot. The water level should be just below the bottom of the basket. Its ok if the water shows a little, but if there’s too much water the vegetable will boil instead of steam. The lid should be kept on to trap all the steam to cook the vegetables all around. When you take the lid off to check the vegetables use tongs or a long fork because steam is hotter than boiling water and steam burns hurt like hell. Try steaming some broccoli, then putting the steamed broccoli in a bowl and drizzling with a bit of olive oil, a few drops of fresh lemon and a light dusting of salt. It is so delicious and simple it might just blow your mind.

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