you're looking for flavor without fat, steaming is the ticket.
You can use the technique to cook vegetables, grains, fish or
poultry. Steamed dishes are a nutrition notch above poached or
boiled fare because the food never touches the water. That way
the vegetables or whatever else is in your pot keep their shape,
texture and flavor, and hold onto more nutrients. Plus, this moist-heat
cooking method won't dry out delicate foods.
Stove top: Place a rack or steam basket at the bottom of
a saucepan with a lid, add about an inch or two of water and bring
to a boil over high heat. A wok with a cover also makes a handy
steamer. Turn the heat down to a simmer, place the food on the
rack or in the steam basket and cover and cook until done.
2. Microwave: Place the food in a microwave-safe
container with a generous splash of water. Cover with plastic
wrap and microwave on high until done.
is hotter than boiling water and can cause painful burns. Protect
your hands with oven mitts and never peer into a steaming pot.
cook very fast in steam and it's easy to end up with mushy,
overcooked peas or broccoli. Be mindful of cooking times; seven
minutes or less to keep green vegetables bright in color.
- For best
results, make sure any food headed for a steam bath is cut into
same size pieces and laid out in a single layer; don't overcrowd.
You can flavor
the steam by adding herbs, spices and aromatic fruits or vegetables
to the water. This will infuse the food with flavor without adding
any fat or calories and make the kitchen smell great in the process.
Some good steam baths are lemon, lime, orange and mint; garlic
and basil; and ginger and dried mustard
with parchment paper en papillote is
a twist that's ideal for fish because it stays succulent
and moist, and also works well with vegetables. It's
simple to do and it can be prepared in advance. Here's
the fish or vegetables on a piece of parchment paper
that is about four times as large as the food.
seasonings like fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
the paper in half over the food. Crimp the edges
of the paper to bind the food, leaving one corner
opened. (This can all be done in advance and refrigerated.)
a splash of fresh lemon juice, wine or another acidic
liquid through the open corner, then seal.
on a tray in a 350° oven.
Chicken en Papillote
Fillet of Sole en Papillote