THE COMPLETE BOOK OF STEAM COOKERY by Coralie Castle

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF STEAM COOKERY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A book expounding the virtues of steaming not only vegetables, but grains, meats, fish and even breads. While some of these take well to steaming, others seem to be prepared this way simply for the sake of proving it can be done. Many of the recipes rely on Oriental cuisines, which steam a variety of foods that westerners generally bake, broil, saut‚, or poach. Seafoods like Chinese Whole Sea Bass with Brown Bean Sauce, South Asian Mussels, and Burmese Fish Packets; chicken prepared in Moroccan, Mideast, Thai, and Cantonese styles are among these offerings, as well as Dim Sum and some tofu concoctions. Less known as ""steamable"" are such dishes as Osso Buco, Mustard Rabbit, Chicken Livers Marsala, and Duckling with Port Wine Sauce. While steamed chicken fares well in taste and texture, the author warns that it remains pale after cooking and needs a colorful sauce to make it appetizing. Steamed bread has the same result, and should be sliced before serving. In the case of the bread, little is gained from steaming aside from slight differences in taste and consistency; the usual baking method is more efficacious. Steaming, of course, is a healthful way to prepare food. But not wishing to limit appeal to the health-or diet-conscious, the author recommends cream and butter-laden sauces for some dishes and includes a selection of steamed puddings. She also advises the cholesterol and calorie counters to ignore these recipes. The aim is to convince readers to adopt the steaming technique for everyday cooking and for as many dishes as possible. But in a number of cases it is not the best way, and the book loses its focus in the attempt to cover too much ground. In sum: perhaps carried to an extreme, but nevertheless a diverse collection of recipes and valuable lessons on steaming techniques.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1985
Publisher: Tarcher--dist. by St. Martin's