The Microwave Oven

Microwave Oven

Recently The New York Times featured a fascinating article titled: Creating a Dish, Not Just Reheating One, by Sophie Brickman.

Yes, we agree with the author! Microwave cooking is more than just reheating your coffee. One of the divine recipes she presents is microwaved black cod with scallions and ginger. It is adapted from the cookbook "Modernist Cuisine at Home," by Nathan Myhrvold. The microwave is like a dear, loyal friend who is always by your side, supporting everything you do, but under-appreciated. We take our microwaves for granted. But, not any more. We offer kudos for all it can do. This hard working appliance is multi-faceted, simple to operate, easy to clean and at the ready! Here are a few of its many uses, which include cooking, warming, baking and sterilizing!

Miracles of the Microwave:

  • Sterilize and deodorize sponges and cutting boards. Engineers at the University of Florida demonstrated that microwaving a completely wet sponge for two minutes kills over 99% of harmful bacteria. To avoid a fire ensure your sponge is totally wet and heat for no longer than two minutes. Also, be careful not to burn your fingers when removing the sponge from your oven. This method works for sterilizing cutting boards, too. Scrub thoroughly, then heat on high for one or two minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the board.

  • Sterilize garden soil. Non-gardeners may say "huh?" but keen gardeners know sterile soil is best for starting seed. Spread small amounts of soil on a flat tray and heat 'till it's steaming.

  • Warm plates in the microwave. Sprinkle each plate with water and place in a stack in the microwave. Heat on high for about 30 seconds.

  • Get more juice from citrus fruits. Before squeezing or putting through a juicing machine, zap your citrus fruits for 10 or 20 seconds. Aim to warm them, not heat them. This will help you get every last drop of juice out.

  • Peel peaches or tomatoes easily. Microwave a bowl of water to boiling point. Drop your peaches or tomatoes in for a few seconds each. The skin should come off easily.

  • Make sundried tomatoes in the microwave. Okay, no sun involved, but you can still dry tomatoes this way!

  • Dry herbs speedily. Place small bunches at a time between paper towels and microwave for a minute or two. If they're not dry enough to crumble between your fingertips give 'em more heat, 30 seconds at a time until done.

  • Save crystallized honey. A great trick to know about since quality honey is expensive! Simply heat the honey until the crystals melt.

  • Soften brown sugar. Brown sugar can get hard and lumpy over time. Place hard sugar in a plastic bag with a few drops of water or a segment of fresh apple. Microwave for 20 seconds then stir.

  • Roast garlic in a flash. Slice the top off a head of garlic to expose the flesh of the individual cloves. Place in a dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add a couple tablespoons of water to the dish, then heat on medium for around seven minutes.

  • Prep veggies for the grill. Zapping vegetables in the microwave just prior to grilling cuts down on cooking time. Great tip if you're cooking for a crowd and need to cook lots of veggies fast.

  • Toast nuts and breadcrumbs. Much faster than oven roasting. Spread thinly on a plate and cook nuts or crumbs on high for one minute at a time.

  • 5-Minute Cupcake. Ahh, the sweetest idea of all. Use your microwave to make an almost instant cupcake in a coffee mug. Yum.

This listing originally appeared and was compiled from Homessive.

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