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Steamy Taters

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
168
84
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
I cook a fair amount of foods with simple steam. It's cheaper than boiling, and more forgiving than frying. Here's a simple part of a meal at home or in camp.

Get a folding steamer-basket at the supermarket. They're made of stainless steel, and fold into a smaller circle than when extended. Remove the center post, or better yet get one that has the legs and center handle not riveted in place, but are little spring clips that slide into place. The very best and most useful steamer-baskets are made of silicone, and are flexible. They'll fit a wider variety of cooking pots. You will probably have to go to a kitchen gourmet shop to find one, but worth it.

I steam cook potatoes - white or sweet. If you slice them in half lengthwise, they'll cook quicker. Clean the outside, cut out any bad spots, slice, and steam them. With yams or sweet potatoes, you can easily mash the potato and separate the skin so it pulls off, leaving only nice meat behind. Butter or olive oil, salt, & pepper. White potatoes, just mash and dress them with butter, salt, & pepper. Makes a nice cool or chilly evenings.

You can easily steam up a bag of rice, cornbread, etc. too. Takes only 1" of water in the pot, and live steam does the work. CAUTION: Steam is really HOT!
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,645
2
on the bank of Trinity Bay
Chef Jack,
I have heard of people steaming foods but have never done it or thought of doing it. Does it cook faster? Is it healthier for you? In other words, please tell me why I should do it. I am up to trying new things, just need to know why I'm doing it. Inquirin.....ignorant minds want to know. :wink:
Bob
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,409
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Steam does a good job of cooking foods , the wire basket here at the house for the veggies.

Out camping..........
I have used a bakepacker when camping and it steams the meal inside a bag so there is no cleaning up after the meal is cooked , 20 minutes is the norm for most anything in it. Meat , stews , soups , breads , pizzas , cornbread , pancakes about an inch thick anything you can cook at home you can do in the woods with it.

http://www.bakepacker.com/

I got it from Ms. Jean when she had Adventure foods and it is really nice , the pancakes and even corn bread turns out really well , which are my favorite ones to do in it. You don't have to watch it , just make sure the water is in it and when it gets hot and some steam escapes then just a simmering flame will do the rest for you. One thing about canoe camping , you never run out of water to use for the cooking. :roll:

Chuck.
:lol: I even use it here at the house when I want some quick cornbread and don't want to heat up the place using the oven.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
13,976
168
84
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Chuck's right; it's very easy to cook with steam. A few caveats:

Start out with 1" of water. Make sure the pot does NOT run dry.

Don't cook soups or other liquids this way in a plastic bag. If the liquid is in a small pot sitting on the steamer, that's OK. But - do NOT try to handle a plastic bag full of near boiling soup!

With recipes you are used to cooking in a pan or covered pot, say rice, you will want to decrease water content a bit. Fer instance, if I cook 2 cups of rice in a covered pot, I add 4 cups of water. When steaming, no water boils off. I use only 3 3/4 cups then.
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
10,409
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Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Kayak Jack said:
Don't cook soups or other liquids this way in a plastic bag. If the liquid is in a small pot sitting on the steamer, that's OK. But - do NOT try to handle a plastic bag full of near boiling soup!
You are correct , it is dangerous to cook soups with steam.
As Jean says in her recipe book for the Bakepacker.
"It is best to avoid cooking very liquid soups , broths , hot beverages and gravies in a plastic Glad Bag. The chances of dumping the liquid on yourself , or of overheating the bag are to great and such foods can be easily cooked conventionally in any pot ".

My trouble is like to have a biscuit on top of the thicker soups and some instant Bisquick mix in there works wonders for a biscuit topping on them. Such as a upside down Sloppy Joe mix or a upside down Chicken Pot Pie without burning everything.

From the Bakepacker web site ( Recipe )
Example ...Beef Stew and Biscuits.
Use any freeze-dried or dehydrated entree (2 serving size) or one 14 oz. to 16 oz. size can beef stew, pork n' beans, chili, corned beef hash, etc.

1/2 C Bisquick
1 1/2 T water
1 T powdered milk (heaping)

Check water level in your pot (1"). Add entree package contents to bag. If using freeze-dried or dehydrated entree, add water as stated on package directions (usually about 2 C). If using a canned entree, add contents to bag (no water).
Place bag with entree onto BakePacker grid in your pot. Spread bag with entree to cover as much of the grid as possible.
In a small bowl or cup combine Bisquick, powdered milk and water. Mix with fork and pat out dough to form 3-5 biscuits. Patted biscuits should have a coating of dry, dusty flour on them for best results.
Now lay the biscuits on top of the entree in the bag. Boil/bake for 15 minutes (don't peek).

***Serve directly from the bag with a large spoon. Serves 2-4. As a variation, instead of forming individual biscuits, you can form 1 large -biscuit- (about 1/2" thick) and lay entire -biscuit- on top of entree in the bag.
Boil/bake and serve as above.