Cooking with Bwog: Microwave Your Life
Written by Bwog Staff
Welcome once again to Cooking With Bwog, bringing you the cooking tips you need to eat well using dorm kitchens, a lack of utensils, and a tight budget. This week, Bwog’s culinary team brings you tips for using your microwave.
Microwaves are so informal in the cooking world that they often aren’t mentioned in cook books. The truth is, most restaurant chefs use them often – at the restaurant Bwog worked at, pasta sauce was made at the beginning of the week and reheated in the microwave when people ordered the dish. Microwaves in America are as pervasive as TVs, and yet people generally use them for only the simplist cooking tasks, such as reheating and cooking popcorn, and even these are often botched by uninformed cooks. Here are a few things you can do to cook with your microwave.
Keep in mind that a microwave operates by emiting microwave radiation. These microwaves are of a certain frequency, which happens to be the frequency that makes water molecules rotate. Physics aside, this means that when you put something in the microwave, the only thing in it that is being heated is the water. If you put something without much moisture in it it will become dehydrated. When you want to reheat Mac and Cheese, for instance, you should always add about a teaspoon of water to the bowl and stir it into the pasta, and when you want to make quesadillas you should wrap the tortillas in wet paper towels to keep them soft.
Recipes, cooking times and more after the jump!
Covering a dish is also a good way to keep it moist. When cooking frozen or fresh veggies, covering and making sure there is a bit of water in the bottom will do the trick. This site has a good list of what dishes you can and can’t use in the microwave, but always keep in mind that microwaving metal is a bad idea. Also, you should always stir the food you are heating every 1 minute if you’re cooking it for a long time, and every 30 seconds if it’s only going to be in the microwave for a minute or less. Microwaves heat unevenly and stirring and rotating the dish mitigates this a bit.
For gourmet microwave cooking, check out this website. Bwog perused the many microwave recipes on the site. Here are a few favorites: Cheese Potato Bake, Polenta, 5-minute Fudge, Brownies, Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Mini-Pizzas, and for the holidays Roasted Pumpkin Seeds! If you don’t want to be that creative, try a few of the following simple recipes.
Quesadillas with apple and cheese
Ingredients: 1 apple, shredded cheese of any kind, tortillas, and cinnamon
Cut apple into pieces smaller than your thumb nail. Put some onto a tortilla with cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon, then top it with another tortilla. Cover with a moist paper towel. Microwave for 15 seconds at a time until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!
Cheese on a plate
Put a plate with slices of cheese on it and microwave until melted. Eat it with a fork or dip crackers or bread in it.
Ingredients: Graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate
First, microwave the chocolate on one graham cracker for 25 seconds. Then microwave the marshmallow on the other for about 10 seconds, watching it carefully so it doesn’t explode. Then make a sandwich out of the two graham crackers.
When cooking baked potatoes in a microwave, place on a plate and poke holes in the potato with a fork. Microwave for 1 minute at a time until soft, rotating the potato.