Why steaming food is perfect for the heatwave
With temperatures soaring over the past few weeks, many of us haven't felt much like eating proper meals. It's too hot to really feel hungry, let alone slave away over a hot stove for hours, so sandwiches and salads have become standard fodder in our house, and I'm sure we're not alone ! There is an alternative though – my Intellisteam Steamer has been working overtime. It's great for creating light meals that are simple to throw together. My new motto is, if you can't stand the heat, keep out of the kitchen – let the Intellisteam take the strain !
The fact that it has several independent compartments that can be timed separately means that it's a doddle to prepare a complete meal with just a couple of minutes of preparation. Salmon fillets drenched in lime juice and sprinkled with garlic salt served with brilliantly green broccoli (the steamer helps it to keep its colour) and steamed new potatoes is perfect on a hot day, as is chicken fillet marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger and steamed alongside Chinese noodles and mangetout.
After going to a Chinese restaurant last week for my son's birthday and sampling their delicious Dim Sum, I was tempted to try these out using the Intellisteam too. I'd call them a work-in progress at the moment because I need to finetune the seasoning but they're not bad at all. Here's the recipe if you want to have a go (and feel free to tweak it to suit your tastes).
You'll need : a defrosted pack of frozen Wonton wrappers (you can find them in most Asian supermarkets), 400g minced pork or sausagemeat, a spring onion (finely chopped), a can of water chestunts if you happen to find them when you buy the wonton wrappers, salt & pepper, a glug of sesame oil, a dash of Chinese 5 spice seasoning. Finely chop the spring onion and water chestnuts, put them in a bowl with the meat and spices and mix thoroughly. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper and fold it around, leaving the top open. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
I also experimented with cooking fruity summery desserts in the steamer and the unanimous favourite was this tropical pineapple and coconut steamed pudding.
Ingredients : 100g desiccated coconut, ½ cup coconut milk, ¼ cup water, 1 lightly beaten egg, 90g self-raising flour, 50g caster sugar, the juice of 1 lime, 80g crushed pineapple (fresh or tinned)
- Leave the dessicated coconut to soak in the coconut milk and water for an hour until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir in the egg, then the flour, sugar and lime juice and finally fold in the pineapple.
- Fill 6 individual ramekins about ¾ full with the mixture and put in the steamer for about 15 minutes, until they have risen and started pulling away from the edges.
- Serve sprinkled with extra coconut or drizzled with pineapple syrup. If you're feeling really decadent, a scoop of coconut ice cream would go really nicely with it too!