You can accomplish that a lot more than reheat leftovers in a microwave, although that’s what I use it for more than the rest. Here are a few more methods to get probably the most out of it.
What are your favourite makes use of to your microwave? Share within the feedback under!
Baking. If you’re a fan of microwave mug desserts, you’ll get no dissent from me (and skeptics, please let people have their pleasure the place they will). But I encourage you to consider different methods you’ll be able to “bake” in your microwave. Case in level: 6-minute Berry Cobbler Mugs. This recipe from cookbook writer Nancy Baggett begins like many a mug cake, heating a mixture of flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, adopted by the addition of butter. The topping is then portioned over a mixture of your choose of recent or frozen fruit earlier than one final spherical within the microwave. Voilà — mini cobblers. She takes a related method with Super-Quick ‘Baked’ Fruit and Yogurt Mug, the place the juices of the cooked fruit are combined with yogurt for a gorgeous, tasty parfait.
Steaming. The microwave is a nice possibility for steaming greens whenever you don’t have the tools or inclination to do it on the stovetop or in your Instant Pot. For small frozen greens, akin to peas or corn, I put them in a bowl with simply a tablespoon or so of water, cowl with a plate and microwave till they’re achieved. That sort of meals is prepared usually in lower than 3 minutes, although many packages supply steering on microwave cooking. Squash, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas and snow peas are additionally good candidates for microwave steaming. Larger objects do nicely in shallow baking dishes, once more with a few tablespoons of water. You can use a vented glass or silicone lid or plastic wrap with some holes punched into it. Heat on excessive till tender sufficient to be pierced with a fork or knife tip.
“Frying.” As Baggett explains, “Microwave ovens cannot only steam food, but in some situations can toast, fry and even caramelize. And that makes all the difference. All sorts of dry or low-moisture ingredients — flour, sugar, nuts, uncooked rice, onions, celery, bacon and many more — can go from raw-tasting to mellow, aromatic and even crisp with a minute or two of ‘micro-toasting’ or ‘micro-frying.’” In Microwave-Baked Potato, Bacon, Chive and Cheese Soup Mugs, for instance, she microwaves a few slices of bacon in between layers of paper towels till brown and crisp. America’s Test Kitchen can also be a proponent of microwave frying, particularly with alliums, although it has provided recommendations on how to crisp olives, capers and herbs, too. Make microwave-fried shallots by heating 1/2 cup vegetable oil with 3 thinly sliced shallots for five minutes, then stir each 2 minutes till they start to brown, 4 to 6 more minutes. Drop the stirring increments to 30 seconds and microwave till deeply golden brown, up to 2 more minutes, then drain on a paper towel and season with salt.
Proofing dough. I don’t know whether or not I’ll ever have a kitchen kitted out with a proofing drawer a la “Great British Baking Show.” The microwave, nonetheless, makes a fairly good various whenever you want a heat, draft-free spot to let bread dough rise. Place a cup or small bowl of sizzling water within the microwave — or warmth in there first — and then pop in your coated dough. While I can’t actually envision a circumstance wherein somebody would activate the microwave with out first opening the door, it’s by no means a dangerous thought to put a sticky notice on the entrance of the equipment as a heads-up. Bonus factors if you happen to additionally write down the time you began your proof.
Melting. I nearly by no means soften butter on the stovetop, except I’m planning to do different prep there as nicely. It’s often a protected wager to do it within the microwave, although some home equipment could also be highly effective sufficient to trigger the butter to explode — lookin’ at you, Food Lab microwave. If you’re not sure about how melting butter will go in your microwave, or if you happen to’ve had related blowups, strive utilizing diminished, as an alternative of full, warmth for a gentler method (that is typically managed with a “power level” button). Covering the bowl or measuring cup with wax paper is added insurance coverage. That being stated, examine whether or not your microwave has a soften operate. My new one does, and I adore it, particularly as a result of it doesn’t go at full energy and permits you to specify how a lot (half or full stick) you’re melting. I additionally typically soften chocolate within the microwave. Like butter, gradual and regular is healthier, as chocolate that’s overheated can simply be ruined. My soften operate has a chocolate possibility, too. The diminished warmth mixed with frequent stirring makes this a comparatively mess-free technique whenever you don’t need to trouble with a double boiler on the stovetop.
Drying herbs. Keep this tactic in thoughts for summer season when your herb vegetation go wild. The Oregon State University Extension Service says it’s best to by no means dry more than 1 to 2 cups at a time and recommends you test your microwave directions for steering. Layer the herbs between two sheets of plain white paper towels (recycled paper towels could include scraps of metallic that may arc, it says). “A general guide for drying 1 cup of herbs is to cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes in 700-1,200 watt ovens; 2 to 4 minutes in 650-700 watt ovens; and 3 to 6 minutes in 500-600 watt ovens. Stir the herbs every 30 seconds after the first minute until almost dry, and then let them finish drying at room temperature.”