5 Useful Things You Can Do With a Microwave to Keep Your Hot Pocket From Bursting
Microwaves don’t have the best culinary reputation. We associate them with frozen convenience foods and dull office dining rooms. However, this is very bad because an old scientific oven can save you a lot of time and effort.
While you can live without a microwave – I’ve been doing this for a year – it’s not what I would call “the best” experience. Below are just a few of the things I was missing when I worked without the microwave.
- Steam Artichokes: Artichokes are a lot of fun to eat. Dipping the leaves in aioli – or as in mayonnaise – and then scraping off the creamy flesh with your teeth is a tactile, enjoyable experience. Do you know what is not fun? Waiting anxiously for half an hour or more until they have a sweet pastime. Fortunately, Mark Bittman has a much faster way . Simply place the choke of your choice in a bowl with a little water, cover, and microwave for six minutes.
- Boil water: A watched pot of water is said to never boil, but if you put that water in a bowl or mug and put it in the microwave, it will boil within minutes, no matter who is watching. Depending on the size of your microwave, this isn’t a practical option for the amount of water you’ll need to make a whole spaghetti dinner, but removing some of them can speed up the process . I also used this whenmaking sous vide , adding small amounts of boiling water to the bath to help it reach the set temperature. However, it is very important to put some kind of stick (like a wooden coffee stirrer or chopstick) in the boiling vessel , otherwise you risk overheating the water and causing it to explode all over your microwave or worse, all over your face. …
- Toasted Pine Nuts: Toasted pine nuts are what makes pesto truly magical – cheese doesn’t hurt either – but they’re a little pricey, so great care must be taken not to set them on fire. As you’d expect, Alton Brown has a great way to unleash their nutty qualities without overcooking them: just put 1/2 cup washed salted pine nuts in a paper bag, fold the bag, and toss them up with a nuclear bomb for about a minute. Let them cool, give them some flavor, and cook for more, if necessary, 30 seconds at a time, until they are as fried as you like.
- Prepare the spaghetti squash. I discovered spaghetti squash when I was in my early twenties. While they don’t taste much on their own, the noodle-like strands of vegetable are the perfect base for just about any sauce, and you feel smug about increasing your plant intake. However, one drawback is that it can take up to an hour to cook in the oven, so a little planning and foresight is required. But as soon as I realized that they could be cooked in the microwave, my life changed for the better again. Simply cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves face down in a glass baking dish with about 2.5 cm of water. Microwave for 10 minutes or so until you can scrape off small strands with a fork.
- “Bake” potatoes: Baked potatoes are delicious, but can be kept in the oven for a long time. To cook everyone’s favorite steak in a few minutes, simply pierce it with a fork several times and microwave it for about seven minutes (for eight ounce potatoes). If you want crispy baked skins, simply coat a little oil on the hot potatoes and let them cook quickly. (You can also use this method to make double-baked potatoes much faster, which is very good news.)
The only thing I would not recommend for microwave use? Bacon. The people who cook bacon in the microwave are monsters.