How to Steam (Without a Steamer Basket)

For vegetables: Fill a large pot or Dutch oven with ½ inch of water and set a small metal colander inside (the water should not come above the bottom of the colander); bring to a simmer. Place the vegetables—green beans, carrots, or potatoes, say—in the colander, cover the pot, and steam until tender.


For fish: Fill a large skillet with ½ inch of water and set a heatproof plate inside (the water should not come above the rim of the plate); bring to a simmer. Place the fish fillets on the plate, cover the skillet, and steam until the fish is opaque throughout.