Friday, June 9, 2006

Helpful tips using Microwave

Hi, I found these tips which could help the process of cooking using Microwave...it saves a lot of time and it is easy.......Happy reading!
All the tips for cooking vegetables described here requires that your microwave be set to high power.
  1. Cooking Potatoes: Using Microwave you can cook potatoes within 5 minutes (minimum 5 minutes for 2 potatoes). Clean the potatoes in water. It is not necessary to peel them before cooking. Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe cover(you can use the cover which comes along with the potatoes when you buy it from grocery stores. Make sure these covers which have many holes else you cannot use it for cooking in the microwave. (It usually will have many holes when you buy it from the grocery store, because the holes are made to preserve the vegetables and help to last the vegetables longer). Also make sure your microwave is set to high power. Place the cover with potatoes for 5 minutes (if you are cooking 2 potatoes), else, for 8 - 10 minutes (if you are cooking 3 or more). Be careful while taking out the cover from the microwave after the cooking is done, because there are chances you might burn your hands because of the steam coming out of the holes in the cover.
  2. Peeling garlic: After seperating the individual segemtns of a whole garlic, place it in a microwave-safe plate or dish. Adjut the time for 20 - 30 seconds depending on the number of garlic segments. The garlic becomes soft and can be easily peeled. Mashed garlic adds more taste to the food.
  3. Cooking carrot: Carrot can be cooked the same way described above to cook potatoes. The difference being that, if you are using whole carrots, clean the carrot by grating its outer skin and wash it in water, cut it into half before placing it in the cover to cook in microwave. If you are using baby carrots, there is no need to cut it further before keeping it in the cover.
  4. Food cooks (and reheats) better in round dishes in a microwave.
  5. Salt attracts microwaves. Add it after the cooking, not before.
  6. To test whether a dish is microwave - safe: Place a glass measuring cup with 1/2 cup water in the microwave oven. Set the dish to be tested near the measuring cup, but not touching. Microwave on HIGH (100 percent) power for one minute. If the dish is cool or slightly warm to the touch, the dish is acceptable for microwave cooking. The water (in the measuring cup) should be quite warm or hot. If the dish is hot, do not use it in a microwave.
  7. Arrange food so that the thinnest part of the food (i.e. chicken breast, fish fillets) is in the center and the thickest part toward the outside. Fold under the thin edges of fish fillets and other tapered food to cook more evenly.
  8. Be careful to not overcook. Check food at the minimum time, then cook more if necessary. You can always add more cooking time, but like a food processor,once you pass the optimum time, you can't take the time away.

Hope you enjoyed your mashed potatoes!

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