Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tips and recipes for microwave cooking

Microwave cooking can save you time and energy all year long. But it is especially nice in summer because it enables you to cook hot meals without heating up your home.

Microwave heat is produced only within the food, so the microwave oven stays cool and your house does, too, saving you money on your air conditioning bill!

In general, the microwave oven uses only one- fourth of the energy used by a conventional oven.

Important Notes
1. When you cook food using a microwave, the most important thing is to make sure the food is cooked thoroughly to destroy any food poisoning bacteria that may be present.

2.Foods that you can cook in the microwave include rice, pasta, meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, potatoes and any pre-cooked microwave meals. Fruits and vegetables in fact, retain more nutritional value because less water and a shorter cooking time is needed.

3.To cook food in the microwave arrange items evenly in a covered dish and add some liquid if needed. Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap; loosen or vent the lid or wrap to let steam escape. The moisture created from the heat will help destroy harmful bacteria and ensure even cooking.

4.Try not to cook large cuts of meat on high power (100%). Large cuts of meat should be cooked on medium power (50%) for longer periods. This allows heat to reach the centre without overcooking the outside.

5.To avoid cooking large food items, cut food so that pieces are about the same size. This helps to cook your meal more evenly.

6.Stir or rotate food midway through microwaving to eliminate cold spots where harmful bacteria can survive, and for more even cooking.

7.Meats, fish and poultry can be cooked in the microwave, but it is important to check that it has been cooked until the inside is no longer pink or bleeding. Foods keep cooking after the microwave is off, so allow standing time.


In order to get the most from using your microwave oven, remember these tips:


1. Covering most foods will speed up cooking.

2. Use round or oval dishes, instead of square or rectangle, for more even cooking.

3. If you are cooking two foods at the same time, choose foods that take about the same amount of time to cook.

4. Heating continues after food is removed from the microwave oven, so allow time for this additional cooking.

5. Arrange chicken pieces so that the thicker, meatier portions are toward the outside of the dish and the thin, bony parts are toward the center.

6. Foods containing sugar and fats cook faster.

Many of your family's favorite recipes can be converted to a microwave recipe.

To figure microwave cooking time, start with one- fourth of the conventional time.

Always undercook--if more time is needed, you can always add another minute or two.

Use less liquid because there is not as much evaporation.

It may help to find a recipe that is similar to yours that is written especially for microwave ovens and use it as a guide.

Microwave Raspberry Cake
1/2 cup butter 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves 1/4 cup sour cream 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Mix in preserves. Blend well. Add sour cream and eggs. Beat well. Blend together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add gradually to first mixture, beating well.

Pour batter into greased 8-inch round microwave-safe dish. Microwave on full power for 4 to 5 minutes or until top springs back when pressed with finger.

Cool. Frost with Raspberry Frosting.

Raspberry Frosting

2 tablespoons butter 2 cups powdered sugar, divided 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves
Combine butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract and preserves. Blend well. Add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Spread on cake.

Microwave Sponge Pudding

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and milk gradually, so as not to curdle the butter. Sift in the flour, and fold in gently. Transfer to a 1 pint microwave-safe bowl.

Cover, and cook for 3 1/2 minutes on full powder, or until the pudding appears set when gently jiggled, and the top is sticky. Serve hot.

Microwave Baked Potato

INGREDIENTS
1 large russet potato
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3 teaspoons sour cream

DIRECTIONS
1.Scrub the potato, and prick several time with the tines of a fork. lace on a plate.

2.Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. When the potato is soft, remove from the microwave, and cut in half lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper, and mash up the inside a little using a fork. Top the open sides with butter and 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to the microwave, and cook for about 1 minute to melt the cheese.

3.Top with remaining cheese and sour cream, and serve.







No comments: