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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Okay. I have my new microwave taking up a considerable amount of countertop real estate. So far, I've used it to melt cheese on wasa bread.

I know I'll use it to make vegetables, both fresh and frozen, and to reheat leftovers and defrost frozen things, and probably to make some convenience foods. My mom makes iced tea with hers, and that strikes me as useful as well.

I have a microwave cookbook (okay, I have two, but they're the same one - the one my mother-in-law gave me when I was first married, and the one she just gave me in honor of the new toy because in twelve years she forgot she already gave it to me. The only difference is that the new one is paperback.), but it's from 1987. Anyway, I'm not really a cookbook user.

Does any one do any sort of real cooking with them?


I've been known to make meatballs in them. I have a friend who loves nuked chicken breasts. I prefer my bacon nuked, but, well, bacon ;). Mostly I use to to reheat or to finish off things that have been cooked in the oven.

You're the second person who's said that bacon is better nuked.

And maybe my memory is faulty but...way back before I kept kosher and was living with my parents and their microwave (it was large enough to be a member of the family), we tried making bacon there, and we decided we preferred it pan-fried.

Granted that, so far as I'm concerned, this is all moot, has there been some sort of breakthrough in bacon-nuking that has changed this?

Before I kept kosher I preferred to nuke the bacon instead of pan-frying it because it made less of a mess. It also seemed to come out a little less greasy (= maybe more of the grease cooked out and stayed out?). But I liked the taste a little better with pan-frying.

I suppose it's personal taste, but it does seem less greasy, and perhaps not as overwhelmingly rich - it also doesn't shrink as much.

Other than reheating/melting cheese on top of things, I use mine for potatoes (I know they're steamed, rather than baked, but it's fast when it's just me).

My dad has had great success in cooking fresh fish in the microwave, though I haven't experimented with that much.

Oh, and it can be very good for melting chocolate, though I suppose that's more of a step towards something else, rather than actual cooking.

*Slaps forehead

Potatoes! How could I have forgotten those? I love nuked spuds - tons of flavor.

I like cooking stuff ending in Roni in it. Rice a roni, pasta roni. Makes a really easy side dish that you can just stick in and let cook while you are cooking the main dish and not have to keep stirring it.

Also really good for melting butter. My mother likes to cook eggs in it. She has something called an Egg-Wave and she says it makes a poached egg equivalent.

Plus the whole microwave popcorn thing

I use mine for reheats, veggies, melting butter or cheese, convenience foods (popcorn etc), and defrosting. I too have heard the tales of doing Real Cooking with microwaves, but I've never been sufficiently motivated to investigate. I mean, I have a perfectly good oven and stove, and cooking times with the microwave aren't that much faster for things like rice, meat, etc.

But it can be real handy for "hands-free" cooking while you're busy with other things. And I can often use more dishwasher-friendly containers in the microwave, as opposed to the pots or skillets I would use on the stove.

Making tea is a snap. Fill a mug with water, stick in teabag. Nuke for two minutes. TADA. Ready to drink

we use ours for just about anything you can think of that can fit in it to be cooked [kinda smallish]....

And I'll weigh in on the bacon discussion. We don't pan-fry or nuke ours anymore. We cook it in our George Foreman grill. It's perfect!

I rarely cook vegetables in anything else these days. It's very quick, uses very little water, and doesn't take up a burner.

Kafka's "Microwave Cooking" book is my standby. I know people who *swear* by her recipes for microwave risotto and polenta, but I don't really care for them in general so the question is moot. Her recipe for artichokes a la grecque is *fantastic*, and ideal for Passover.(fleisch, or parve if you use veg broth)

I reheat a great deal of coffee and defrost or reheat all kinds of things (I have a deep freeze). I use it for vegetable soup, because things don't burn. I don't care for bacon or potatoes from the microwave, because the former is less luciously greasy & salty, the latter not the right texture for me.

I guess I use it for about 3/4 the dinners I make, either for veg, to defrost, or to reheat e.g. spagetti sauce. If I were you, the microwave would be fleischig -- unless you have a lot of milk dinners.

Given that I now have *two* copies of the Kafka, that's a good thing, then. :)

One of the neat things about microwaves is, since you cook everything covered, and it's vented and the sides don't actually get very hot, it doesn't get "gendered" - it can be used for both meat and dairy. And it's also very easily kashered (eg, for Passover or in case of explosion)- one boils out a cup of water and wipes down the sides and top. I'd probably also cover the turntable with saran wrap for the duration of Passover.

Can I say how amused I am over having the bacon discussion here?

Most rabbis that I've spoken to on the issue of microwaves and Pesach suggest that you should get a separate turntable for Pesach. Covering it in saran wrap may or may not help...saran wrap left too long in the microwave sometimes gets pretty pliable, which is to say, it starts to melt.

I own a microwave due to gift rather than purchase, too, but I find it handy for reheating, thawing (esp. large chunks of meat), cheese-melting, microwave popcorn, cooking potatoes, steaming veggies, and especially melting or softening butter and chocolate for use in baking.

I wouldn't at all mind some advice on cooking fish (fresh filets, say?) in the microwave, though.