Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Steamy Veggies

I am going to tell you how to do steamed veggies WITHOUT A STEAMER.

I know. It's amazing. Not only can you do it without a steamer, but even more amazing, I'm the one telling it to you.

Someone asked me how to do it once. Once is enough.

I know your mom completely covered the veggies in water so that they were swimming. It's what they were taught to do. They thought drowning it was necessary.

Here's the thing. When you pick a vegetable, you have killed it. It's already dead.

Just to make sure it was dead, they thought they should boil it to death which is silly since you can't boil something to death that is already dead. But they did it anyway.

It's why we all grew up hating vegetables.

When I was in home-ec class we were instructed not to do that. Instead we were told to just cover the veggies with water, and then boil it to death. That way you only drowned them a little bit before completely killing them off.

I'm going to make a wild suggestion here.

Do not drown your veggies even a little bit. Yes, I know that drowning is drowning whether you drown in two inches of water or sixty feet, but still. Don't drown your veggies.

Remember, they're already dead. Doing more is overkill. Overkill. Get it?

Anyway, take your veggies and just put a little water in the bottom. Get their feet wet.

Now put them on to boil with a lid.

When the water starts boiling, let it boil for a minute or two and then here's the shocking part. Turn off the heat!

I know. How can food cook without any heat?

But this is why we call it steamed veggies. You've created steam. Now let the steam do the trick. Do not remove the lid! You will let that steam escape and that is not what you want.

Let it sit there on the cooling down burner for about five minutes, or while you're finishing up the rest of your meal, or while you're painting your toes, or while you're reminding your kids for the eight hundredth time to pick up their jackets and backpacks.

Then remove the lid and Voila! You have steamed veggies that are cooked, yet still crisp, full of color and delicious because you haven't taken all the flavor or texture out.

And people think I can't do anything.

Okay, now look at the picture. Weird or cool? You would think this was done by a modern painter but no.

Giuseppe Archimboldo (don't ask me to pronounce that) was an Italian painter who lived from 1527-1593. He specialized in painting portrait heads made up of vegetables, fruit, flowers, fish and books. Perhaps he couldn't read and thought books were for wearing on the head. I don't know. To see more of his work go to Giuseppe Archimboldo The Complete Works.