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Curtis Stone reveals his secret for steaming vegetables while keeping the nutrients in.
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How to Steam Vegetables
Featured Pro: Curtis Stone Category: Cooking Time: 3:49
CURTIS STONE: Hey, I’m Curtis Stone, and welcome to your next GMC Trade Secret.
Now, this is a really simple one, but it’s about something that’s so important to us all – good-quality, fresh-steamed, nutritious vegetables.
Now, when you’re steaming veggies, you’ve got a bunch of different options. I’ve just started one off over here. I’ve got a little bamboo steamer, which is like the Asian-style steamer. And what I’m going to do – well, the good thing about this is it allows you to steam different vegetables at different times. So the broccoli takes a couple of minutes longer than the snap peas, so they’ve been going for a couple of minutes. So now I put the lid onto the snap peas, and then that becomes a lid on the broccoli. So you can stack that up as high as you like. You can do quite a few.
Now, back here, I’ve got a big old pot. I’ve just got some water boiling in the bottom; not too much water. Now, here I’ve got a little contraption which is also a steamer, and that opens out to fit in any size pot. So I can fit in a little one and I can fit in a big one. So all you do is you drop it straight here into the pan with the water boiling just below the level of the steamer, and then I’m going to pop in some baby carrots and some cauliflower florets as well. And they’re going to take about the same amount of time to cook, so you can put them in together. Pop your lid back on and you let it go.
Now, steaming veggies are great if you’re serving dinner and you want to just keep all those nutrients in your vegetables and the flavor that mother nature intended them to have. You serve them hot alongside your meat or fish or chicken or whatever it is you’re eating. But they’re also good if you want to steam them and then refresh them, which means stop the cooking process.
Now, to do that, I’ve got over here a big bowl of ice-cold water, okay. So the way you know are the vegetables cooked is exactly that. You take them out – okay, I’m just going to stir them up there – and then you lift your lid and you see all the steam coming out. Take one out while you – put the lid back while you’re checking it out. You might want to cut it in half, or maybe just – let me just pop it into the ice-cold water really quick. Pop it into your mouth. Still nice and crunchy, which is exactly what you want in a veggie. Perfect. So, there you go, straight into the ice-cold water.
Have a look at your broccoli. Cut a little piece off. Mmm. Great. So pop those in as well. Then you just submerge the vegetables in the ice-cold water. And what the ice bath is going to do is completely stop the cooking process.
Okay, so once it’s had a minute in the ice bath and you can feel that there’s no more heat left in it, you want to take it out and you can just pop it onto a plate. Or if you want to use some absorbent paper, some kitchen paper or something to strain off any of that excess liquid, that would also work. Beautiful – nice, healthy, crispy cold vegetables. You’ll be surprised how many kids, if you put a bowl of these in front of them when they get home from school or whatever, will pick up and start munching them. They’ll be eating their veggies and they won’t even know it. It’s really a good way to get them into their diet.
Okay, let’s have a look at this. So let’s check our carrots. The best way to know whether the carrots are cooked is just to get a knife and just push it into the carrot. And if it goes in quite easily and comes back out, it’s ready. There’s still quite a bit of resistance there, so that’s going to be still crunchy. There’s nothing wrong with crunchy carrots. You can eat them raw, after all. But I like them a little bit more than that, just another minute.
Right. So our veggies are done. They’ve been in for about eight, ten minutes now. So the carrots are ready to come out, and so is the cauliflower. The best way to check it is always to just get a little knife, pop the knife in. And if you’re still concerned, have a little taste of it, and then you’ll know straightaway.
That’s it, just as mother nature intended them – beautiful, still full of nutrients and vitamins, and great for you.
I’m Curtis Stone, and that’s your GMC Trade Secret.