Need to soften potatoes, pronto? Don't waste time boiling potatoes for fries or other dishes, use steam instead.
Photo by osseous.
As Epicurious points out, steaming has all the benefits of boiling, but at a fraction of the time. You need just half an inch or so of water to soften the potatoes up, as opposed to waiting for water to boil. It's kind of like steaming eggs instead of boiling them for hard-cooked eggs: You achieve the same results in less time and with less energy wasted.
Four Ways to Pick Up the Pace with Potato Cooking [Epicurious]