Microwave magic?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Appliances, Cookware, Gadgets & Cookbooks' started by morning glory, Oct 20, 2017.

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  1. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    There has been some mention elsewhere on the forum about using microwaves (or in some cases not using them!). A lot of people who consider themselves serious about food scorn microwaves and state that they would never own or use one. There is a mythology that microwaves are only any good for reheating food or cooking ready meals. Is this a kind of snobbery or is it a misconception about the true potential of the microwave?

    Now, I am a huge fan of microwaves but I still feel I could use it for more things than I do. A few of the things I do use it for are simply magic:

    Cooking whole globe artichokes to perfection in a fraction of the time it takes to boil or steam them
    Cooking corn on the cob (ditto)
    Making bechamel sauce
    Melting chocolate or butter
    Steaming vegetables
    Popcorn
    Heating a lemon or lime to produce more juice
    Scrambled eggs (watched like hawk!)
    Speeding up proving bread dough
    Making treacle sponge pudding

    So - are you a fan of the microwave? How do you use it? If you aren't a fan, do you think you could be overlooking its true potential?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  2. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    Mark Jordan (Michelin starred chef) uses the microwave to make parmesan crisps, seen here in asparagus spears with truffle, poached free-range duck egg and hollandaise sauce. http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/asparagus-recipe-truffle-duck-egg-hollandaise

    img26710.1426x713.jpg
     
  3. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    ...and then there is Ferran Adrià’s forty-second sponge cake, which is made with an espuma gun and a microwave. And if you don't know who Ferren Adrià is then you should! :D
     
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  4. zuludog

    zuludog Active Member

    Location:
    Lancashire
    I have a microwave oven but haven't used it much, mainly for heating leftovers and convenience meals, but almost never for any proper cooking
    Perhaps that's because I was brought up on traditional cookers, and still treat a microwave oven as something of a novelty. It was interesting that if I wanted to heat up a can of soup or beans I would put them in a pan and heat them on the hotplate, whereas my kids would do that in the microwave

    Perhaps that will change now as I've finally got a universal plastic plate cover instead of struggling with an old soup dish, or even nothing, and often having to clean up afterwards

    I've tried scrambled eggs, but you're right, you need to concentrate well
    So with the above list and a search through YouTube I hope to do more
     
  5. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn (Site Owner) Staff Member

    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Reheating or heating for the first time (hot milk etc) is really all I use it for with the exception of corn on the cob (5-6 mins per cob).

    I honestly can't think of anything I use it for otherwise! I'm not a huge fan of them tbh.
     
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  6. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    Well that is the point of this thread! You re-iterate what so many people say. I'm hoping to change this and get us thinking creatively.

    Here is an interesting quote:
    Source: Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2017
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  7. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Location:
    Lafayette, LA. US
    Re-heating
    Defrosting
    Steamed Vegetables - Beautiful color retention and perfect texture
    Lemons and limes - something I learned fairly recently
    George likes to cook bacon in the microwave

    I really should do some research on microwave recipes. It is there - taking up counter space. It would be a good idea to get more use out of it.
     
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  8. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    I just discovered this: to peel garlic easily, microwave a clove for 12 seconds (might be a bit more or less depending on your oven). Cut the little tip off and the skin slips right off! I just tested this and it works a treat.
     
  9. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Location:
    Lafayette, LA. US
    :love: it! I will try today.

    :thankyou:
     
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  10. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Senior Member

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Oooh interesting....will have to try to remember that for next year when we harvest our garlic. I like to make a garlic paste and freeze it for easy use later, but peeling so many cloves of garlic is hard hard work.
    Wonder if it works on onions too?
     
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  11. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Über Member

    Location:
    Lafayette, LA. US
    @MrsDangermouse

    I have never made garlic paste. I would like to give that a try. Recipe please and :thankyou:.

    I do keep a container of roasted garlic in the fridge.
     
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  12. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    I wondered that - I peel shallots easily by covering in boiling water for 5 minutes.
     
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  13. MrsDangermouse

    MrsDangermouse Senior Member

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Peel garlic. Stick it in food processor and whizz with just enough oil (I use veg oil) to make a coarse paste. Freeze in ice cube trays then transfer to boxes/bags once frozen.
    Yeah that's what we did when we made pickled onions.....took ages tho so I'm on the lookout for easier ways ;-)
     
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  14. zuludog

    zuludog Active Member

    Location:
    Lancashire
    A thought has just occurred to me - have microwave ovens made bubble & squeak a thing of the past?
     
  15. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    :laugh: Not in this house. I have a recipe to be posted shortly which owes its origins to bubble and squeak! But you are right. The one rather important thing the microwave doesn't do is char or brown the food.
     
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