Steaming is one of the healthiest cooking techniques available to us. It also happens to be one of the easiest and fastest. During the busy holiday months, it is especially useful. WIth all the great seafood we have in Southern Louisiana, it seems strange that the techniques isn’t used more? Why is that? The easy answer may be most home cooks don’t have the proper tools.
To steam foods that have a tendency to stick, a simple metal steamer will do, but bamboo is better. Another tip is to use a cabbage or kale leaf to create a barrier between the surface and the food. Then there’s an additional vegetable to add to the meal. This is a great strategy for steaming asian dumplings. You can also use banana leaves, which we have in abundance!
For light fish like rainbow trout, which we’ve picture here, steaming the filets over freshly harvested pine needles will impart a wonderful flavor. Adding lemon, crushed juniper berries and a little olive oil really puts shine on a simple and healthful fish dish.
3 fillets of rainbow trout with skin on
pine needles-fresh, washed and dried
olive oil for drizzling
6 juniper berries
Bring water to a medium boil and check steamer fits properly.
Place pine needles in basket, add fish, then slice lemons, crush juniper and add the seasonings. Place on pot and steam with lid on for about 5 minutes. Check frequently.
Using ingredients fully yields the best results. I learned to cook this way out of economic necessity and found it to be the most rewarding and nourishing way to approach food. It happenst to be the best for the planet too. These recipes are a tribute to my Italian grandfather who inspired the zero-waste philosophy by teaching me how to turn leftover polenta into lasagna.