Cooking with Steam and Skye
I have oven envy. Having endured months of builders taking over my house, I now bask in the beauty of my extended kitchen-diner and shiny new appliances. Or rather I did until I was invited along to the Xanadu of home appliances, the Miele Experience Centre. Located just off Oxford Circus, this is where prospective clients are able to experiment with the equipment, joining cookery courses or seminars to learn how to optimise their purchase. I was here to view Miele’s new “Perfection Series” and discover the wonderful world of steam ovens.
Miele has three pillars at the heart of their cooking strategy: Precision, Passion and Perfection. They have teamed up with two outstanding chefs, Skye Gyngell, Head Chef at London’s Spring Restaurant and Marianne Lumb, Masterchef: The Professionals Finalist, to demonstrate these values and the features of the new steam oven range through their individual cooking styles. Both chefs have each created a menu to complement the technology – the idea being that these ovens, the domesticated versions of the professional kitchen, allow you to replicate professional cookery practices in your own home.
Skye Gyngell is known for her distinctively seasonal, elegant cooking – it’s her passion. In her new recipe collection Spring, the cookbook she documents the thought process behind the opening of her Spring Restaurant in London’s Somerset House. Her quest for perfection in her work is inspirational, as is her calm demeanour as she stands in front of a bank of steam ovens, in an unknown kitchen, ready to cook a dinner party for ten.
The Miele DGC6660XXL steam combination oven offers the best of both worlds: the healthy delicate touch of steam cooking and the versatility of a conventional oven. This means you can be precise in your requirements and enjoy crusty bread, moist tender meats with crispy skin as well as a perfect crème brulée. To demonstrate this Skye produced deliciously crusty sour-dough bread before delivering a starter of delicately steamed Asparagus with Hollandaise and Bottarga.
Skye tells us that she normally cooks with gas but has found that “These ovens are absolutely incredible, a real revelation”. She is particularly impressed with the purity of the flavour in foods cooked in the steam oven. This is illustrated by the Steamed Cod with Seaweed, Cucumber and Beurre Blanc which forms our main course (following a Skye signature mixed leaf, very simple and very perfect salad). The vegetables are steamed for two minutes, the fish for six and everything tastes precisely perfect.
The last test for the oven is our dessert: Farro Tart with Gariguette Strawberries and Espresso Caramel. This is a truly delicious way to end our meal – the pastry is crisp and the filling is divinely creamy.
Skye’s menu demonstrated the versatility of the steam oven and its ability to retain the texture, colour and flavour of delicate foods (not to mention the essential vitamins and minerals) which are so often lost when cooked in water or with less precise conventional steamers.
Help is at hand if, like me, you are not able to redesign your fitted kitchen into a mini Miele Experience, the Miele Freestanding DG6010 Steam oven does not need to be plumbed in but thanks to an integrated water container it can be placed on your kitchen worktop near to a plug socket. The team at Miele are currently offering London Unattached readers a discount of £200 off the DG6010 freestanding steam oven (RRP: £799!). Simply quote the unique discount code: CRQ2875231.
Time to throw out the microwave! And if you don’t believe me, then you can listen to Skye’s expert opinion!
Further information and all Skye’s recipes for Miele can be found on the Miele blog.