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Healthy meals from your dishwasher?

Learn how to steam salmon in a most unexpected kitchen appliance. Chef David Burke shares his secrets.
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Did you know you can use your dishwasher for easy and healthy cooking? Yes, that’s correct — your dishwasher. On NBC’s “Today” show, chef David Burke, author of “Cooking with David Burke,” shows how a dishwasher can serve as a steamer and also shares the secrets to some dishes from his new restaurant David Burke and Donatella. Check out some of his recipes:


Serves 4

4 salmon filets; 6-8oz.

Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder

1/2 cup loose packed Basil

1/2 cup olive oil

18-24 littleneck clams

6 cloves garlic

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

3/4 cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup cooked macaroni

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

Red pepper flakes to table

2-3 tablespoons of butter

Extra Basil leaves

1. Season salmon with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder and chopped basil. Wrap in saran wrap, zip lock bag tightly. Place in dishwasher and steam for 8-10 minutes or poach in water under a boil for 8-10 min.

2. After salmon is steaming, heat a skillet with the 1/2 cup olive oil. Add clams, garlic, lemon zest, tomatoes, pepper flakes. Add white wine, lemon juice, cover and steam until clams open.

3. Add macaroni, basil, butter (optional) and broth or water if needed

4. Season with salt and pepper and more basil leaves.

To build this dish:

Place salmon on steamed spinach or green beans. Top each filet with approximately 5 clams, macaroni and some sauce.


6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/4 pound butter (1 stick), cut into 8 pieces

2 vanilla beans, split and scraped

Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan.

Over low heat, mash potatoes until puréed, adding butter, vanilla, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve.


6 miniature pumpkins, each about 1/2 pound

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup heavy sweet cream

4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 vanilla bean, split

3 egg yolks

3 tablespoons white sugar

3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar

Spice Ice Cream

Pumpkin Chips

Preheat oven to 300

Remove stems from pumpkins and cut off tops. Hollow out pumpkins, discarding seeds, reserving pulp, and leaving 1/4-inch perimeter of pulp in shells.

Cut pumpkin pulp into cubes and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until pumpkin is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain pumpkin and place in a food processor. Purée until very fine, and strain. Reserve 3/4 cup pumpkin pulp for this recipe and refrigerate remainder of pulp for another use.

Combine milk, cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla bean in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat just after mixture has come to a boil. Remove vanilla bean and add pumpkin purée. Stir until ingredients are combined and allow mixture to cool.

Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and egg yolks and beat until eggs are pale and form a light ribbon. Add a third of milk-pumpkin mixture to egg-yolk mixture and beat to combine. Return ingredients to saucepan and cook over very low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Be careful not to let mixture come to a simmer.

Beat the sauce for 1 minute, off heat, to cool, and strain through a fine sieve.

Spoon custard mixture into pumpkin shells. Place shells on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until custard has set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet.

Preheat broiler

Combine white sugar and brown sugar mix. Spoon sugar mixture over custards. Place pumpkin shells under broiler and broil until sugar has caramelized. Check broiler after 2 minutes and turn pumpkin shells if sugar appears to be browning only in one spot.

To Serve: Place pumpkin shells on six dessert plates. Place a scoop of Spice Ice Cream on top of each pumpkin. Garnish with Pumpkin Chips.

Recipes from “Cooking With David Burke.” Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.