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Cooking Class: Steaming

Cooking Class: Steaming

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Learn this quick and easy technique for cooking without fat.

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Life Skills as High School Electives: Cooking Basics for Teens

I have realized through the years that there are many things I take for granted, for instance, knowing how to boil water, or crack an egg. It always surprises me how many kids I come across that have not been taught some of the most basic cooking skills. As homeschoolers I think this may happen a little less as our children are home with us and surrounded by cooking happening in real life. Either way, high school is a great time to be sure our children are prepared to live in out in the world on their one. One great way to do this is by using life skills as high school electives, in this case, cooking basics for teens.

Welcome to my series Life Skills as High School Electives: Home Economics and Shop Class. In this installment we are covering cooking basics for teens. Many of these things they may have already learned so you can check them right off! Others you may not have covered yet, or even thought of. Be sure to grab my Life Skills as High School Electives: Cooking Basics for Teens printable list at the end of this post!

Martha's Cooking School Lessons: The Basics

Imagine having Martha Stewart at your side in the kitchen, teaching you about the parts of a chef's knife, the proper technique for sautéing, how to scramble eggs, the method for cooking perfect white rice, and much more. That's what this slideshow, based on our founder's book Martha Stewart's Cooking School ($23.99,, brings you. It's like a session of culinary master classes from Martha herself, and the lessons are suitable for home cooks of all levels.

The first lesson is knife skills. Martha starts here because it is the most essential culinary skill. She outlines the three knives every home cook needs in their knife block and how to use them. We also look at techniques for chopping an onion and julienning.

Lesson two deals with butchering. After all, knowing how to cute a whole chicken into pieces is a sensible technique that's also economical. Just compare the price of a chicken cut into pieces with that of a whole bird and you'll understand why this is such an essential skill.

From there Martha's lesson plan moves through basic techniques like sautéing and frying to simple tasks like making vinaigrette for a salad. She also outlines the proper method for butterflying meat as well as rolling and stuffing your butterflied meat. And that's not all. Martha also shares the wonder of classic techniques like braising, which is just right for cheaper cuts of meat that cook low and slow, and steaming, which keeps fish, meat, and vegetables moist and tender.

Martha embraces her role as our pre-eminent cooking teacher, sharing essential techniques and expert tips to teach you how to cook with confidence and competence.

A Guide for Buying and Cooking Clams

Many different types of clams are available in seafood markets, and you can often buy hard- and soft- shelled varieties, depending on the region.

Atlantic hard-shell clams, or quahogs, are sold by size. Large ones, called chowder clams, are tough and good for dishes like chowders and stews which tenderize them. Medium quahogs are called cherrystones, and the smallest are littlenecks. These may be steamed open in broth, stuffed and baked or eaten raw. Tenderness decreases with size, and littlenecks are the sweetest.

Razor clams are long, narrow clams that look like an old-fashioned straight razor. They are delicious when steamed.

Manila clams, a hard-shelled clam found in the Pacific, can be eaten raw or steamed.

Green-and-blue-tinged cockles from New Zealand are tiny and sweet. They are best when steamed.

Soft-shell clams, called steamers, have thin, flexible shells and slender, protruding necks. They are eaten steamed. Soft-shell clams are more perishable than hard shells and often contain sand.

Clams should be purchased alive with hard shells tightly closed. If you are unsure, gently poke the neck and it should retreat slightly.

Recent testimonials

“Chef Olive is clearly in love with the bounty Mother Nature provides and was eager to educate how to take the maximum advantage of her gifts. He bubbled over with enthusiasm as he cooked, explained as he puttered in the kitchen, and answered questions. Chef Lev was the quiet voice in the background, answering questions, providing individual guidance to each student”. ND, Florida

“Self-confidence in the kitchen – develop gently, allowing the confidence to double in size every week
A huge measure of personal attention – the Chefs keep a close eye on each student via their big screens, and are quick to make suggestions, address techniques that could be done more efficiently or safely, and provide ideas for modifications as needed”.
Keri, Berkeley CA

Online vs at the kitchen: “While I missed the classroom ambiance and working with my classmates in person, on the plus side, being able to take the class in my own kitchen was very helpful. I learned how to use my new stove and oven more efficiently, and what kitchen tools I actually needed, and which ones were just taking up valuable drawer space. As with the hands-on class, reading the recipes and cooking instructions carefully before each class was very helpful and really helped to get prepared for each class. Even more important for the virtual class since it was up to me to have everything. tools, ingredients, laid out and ready to go. Jim, Oakland CA

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We love working with other Christian families who love good food and want to eat according to God’s design…

Not only because we believe it’s the healthiest way, but because we want to give Him glory for creating good food as the best medicine!

Bible-Based Cooking Program

For Christian families who know they should eat healthier but don’t know where to start…

You can still “eat what you want to eat” like cinnamon rolls and cookies, bread and butter, and meat and potatoes… except it’s all healthy by God’s design!

Without spending hours in the kitchen or fearing the scale creeping up from all the good food!

Join 11,791 families served since 2010! Learn more here…

Add Flavor to the Shrimp Steaming Liquid

When it comes to seafood, there are people who believe in tasting the pure, natural flavors of shrimp and those who believe shrimp are a vehicle for lots of seasonings. Neither approach is wrong, and steaming lets you add as much or as little flavor to your shrimp as you want. If you are adding extra flavor, what’s important to keep in mind is that your steaming liquid needs to more heavily seasoned than soup or stew broth. Your liquid needs to be almost too flavorful to eat on its own. If your concoction makes you pucker or grab a glass of water, then its steam will impart just enough flavor to your shrimp.

  • How to let the shrimp’s simple flavors shine. Use plain water as your steaming liquid. Adding a few slices of lemon is also traditional and lets you focus on the sweet, unadulterated flavors of the shrimp.
  • Swap water for another liquid. You can use stock, wine, beer, fruit juices or any other beverages you like. There are no limits to how you can experiment with steaming shrimp.
  • Add aromatics to the steaming liquid. Think of vegetables that add a lot of aroma, like onions, celery and carrots. Garlic and ginger are also great additions that impart a lot of flavor. Don’t be afraid to rummage through your spice cabinet and herb garden for inspiration. Chili peppers, black pepper, bay leaves, thyme cilantro and parsley are just some of the many seasonings you can add to your steaming liquid.

Steaming Games

We've got the games just like Mom used to make! Our Cooking Games will entertain you and teach you everything you need to know about the kitchen. There's no need for reservations because we've got a table waiting for you at our Restaurant Games! The best kind of pie is handmade and you'll find out exactly what you need for dough, sauce, and topping combinations in our Pizza Games, or make a five-course, five-star dinner for the whole family with our Meal Games!

If you've got more of a sweet-tooth, not to worry because we've got plenty of Ice Cream Games to satisfy your love for fudge! Or if you love Baking Games, we've got a whole list of Cake Games from carrot to cheese, pound to spice! If it has flour, eggs, and sugar, then we've got you covered!

With new recipes forming in kitchens all over the world, of course you can rely on us to deliver the latest recipes to you the way you want them with New Cooking Games collection coming out every week! We offer mouth-watering free cooking games in every category and flavor you could ever imagine! With all of the savory cooking games that we have, it's simple to adapt your own style and flair to each dish, and show off your new cooking skills. You choose what makes our most Popular Cooking Games list, so be sure to pick the most succulent games that all our fans can sample and enjoy.

So grab your spoon and spatula and start mixing, frying, and sauteing with Cooking Games!

OXO Stainless Steel Good Grips Steamer with Extendable Handle

We like to boil whole or chopped vegetables when we've already got a full pot on the stove, say for noodles or grains. If your water is well-salted, you’ll also be seasoning from the get-go. Take care with delicate greens like spinach, which will need lots of squeezing post-boil. You’ll also find recipes, especially those from the culinary traditions of Southeast and East Asia, that call for boiling meat like pork, chicken, beef, and bones in order to remove undesirable flavors and/or create a clearer, cleaner-tasting broth.

When you throw what you’ve boiled into an ice bath to halt the cooking process and preserve the color and texture, that's called blanching. This is handy for maintaining the sweet freshness of precious ingredients, like first of the season peas or asparagus, as well as removing the clingy skins from tomatoes, peaches, pearl onions, and even almonds and hazelnuts.

But in most cases, blanching is not strictly necessary! Unless you’re cooking for a love interest or the Queen, skip the ice bath: Rinsing the veg under cold water in a colander, then spreading them out so they continue to cool, is sufficient.

For Korean spinach namul, mature spinach is boiled, then blanchedand squeezed.

Photo by Emma Fishman, Food Styling by D'mytrek Brown

Poaching refers to cooking in hot—not boiling—water, a gentle way to approach delicate foods such as fish, chicken breasts, and eggs. It’s healthy, hands-off, and great if you need a blank canvas (hello, chicken salad), but don’t expect crispy bits or textural variance. Be careful about the water temperature—if the water is too hot, fish could curl, meat could toughen, and eggs could scramble.

Poached chicken breast can be the perfect base to a springy salad.

Up your game by adding flavors—citrus peels, a splash of soy, white wine—or switching out the water for olive oil. Though some may say that you're now confit'ing?

Our Thermomix Varoma Cooking Class

The Varoma opens up a world of possibility in the Thermomix, so learn how to make the most of it with our entertaining and educational Varoma cooking class! We’ll be teaching you how to multilayer cook with the help of this seriously underrated accessory, and in turn, show you how to maximise your cooking capacity, halve your cooking time and double the flavour of your dishes. By the end of this class you will be able to master steamed desserts, quick-fix yet impressive mains fit for weeknight family meals and dinner parties alike, and be confident in cooking more elaborate dishes incorporating seafood, beef and lamb.

Each attendee will go home with a class-exclusive recipe booklet, which you can fill with your notes throughout the session. Many recipes will be taught with variations, so that they can be adapted for different dietary requirements. In this class we will be making (and tasting):

Linguine with flaked salmon and vegetables

Beef, potato & beetroot salad

Hazelnut crusted rack of lamb

Asparagus and Dutch carrots with honey glaze

Smokey smashed potatoes, and

Sticky fig & date pudding with coffee toffee sauce

As a result of this class, you will have developed advanced Thermomix skills and will know:

How to steam in the Varoma

How to cook for a crowd with your Thermomix

How to multi-layer cook and cook different foods at the same time

How to adapt meals for different eating preferences

How to steam meats to perfection

How to steam in dariole moulds

Twice cook potatoes for crispy outside and fluffy inside

A variety of foods that can be steamed

The health benefits of steam cooking

You’ll be steaming your way to quick-fix success in no time!

alyce alexandra cooking classes are relaxed and intimate, with 24 people or less. Sit back and enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee while tasting all the delicious morsels of food being prepared in front of you. Our presenters are always open for questions, and will be teaching you many of their most useful Thermomix secrets along the way. Some recipes will be from alyce alexandra’s cookbooks, while others will be exclusive recipes to the classes.

Presenting this class is Janene Babauskis, a well-respected and long-standing member of the Thermomix community. Janene was Victoria’s first Thermomix Branch Manager and worked with the company for eight years. She now focuses solely on running independent specialist Thermomix cooking classes with the AA team, where she shares her years of experience and wisdom, helping you to make the most of this amazing machine.

Want the recipes but can’t make the class? Some of them feature in our ‘Recipes from our Cooking School’ cookbook – click here to find out more. We’ve got lots of Varoma recipes throughout all our other cookbooks also!