Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Last week my host mom left me at home without making me dinner. I wanted to cook something but couldn't figure out how to turn on the stove so I cracked two eggs in a bowl, nuked them in the microwave, and made egg salad. I'm not going to lie, it was kind of gross. And it brought up awful memories of last semester during finals when I pretty much existed solely on microwaved Bob's Red Mill 7-grain hot cereal.
So I'm curious. Is there anything better you can make using just a microwave? Not like canned soup or instant mac and cheese, I mean something approaching an actual meal. Can you make pasta in a microwave? Rice? Thoughts?
You can do it with a smaller bowl, if you have a smaller amount of pasta. Just don't set it in there for the whole time at once. Also, if you cover the bowl, it will cook faster (and contain overflow for a little bit).
I have mastered 2 microwave foods for bringing to parties as it's all I've really got here. One can be a meal in itself (corn salad) and the other is a dessert (rice krispy treats). The corn salad barely needs a microwave, too. And it's pretty delicious. Here are the original recipes with my college student commentary... Lily, look away, this is sure to be blasphemous.
Cilantro Tomato Corn Salad:
3 ears fresh corn in husks [yeah, right. canned corn, obviously not the cream kind, as basic as possible. I use 2 cans.]
1/4 cup butter [the butter that comes in half-stick packages was the greatest discovery ever.]
2 roma (plum) tomatoes [or whatever kind of tomatoes are at the supermarket and not bruised and gross. I think all I could find once was cherry tomatoes, and I approximated the size of 2 plum tomatoes. plum tomatoes are kinda small, so I would probably only use one globe tomato.]
1 jalapeno pepper [I don't use this, because 1- terrifying, and 2- good luck finding it.]
1/2 small red onion
2 cloves garlic [the garlic isn't a huge part of it, so you might get away with using a little bit of garlic powder for the taste. I use the cloves.]
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro [you kind of need to get this fresh because it's a huge part of the salad, but your supermarket is bound to have it as long as you don't wait too long in the day.]
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste [salt and pepper, a worthy investment.]
1 pinch salt-free lemon-herb seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash) [it's so little that if you don't have it, don't worry about it.]
Chop up the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and cilantro. The original recipe has a bunch of words for how finely they should be chopped etc etc but I have the cheapest knife in the world and it doesn't matter too much - as small as you can. Think about it logically - you don't want to be chewing on a huge chunk of garlic, but the tomatoes can be in bigger bits.
Drain the liquid from the corn - it's easy to do with the lid of the can - and put the corn in a big bowl. Melt the butter and stir it in. Stir in all your chopped up goodies. Stir in the salt/pepper/seasoning. Stick it in the fridge (it tastes better cold). Tada. This actually makes a lot. If you're only making it for yourself, for one meal, you probably want to only do 1/4 of the recipe. Then again, you can just keep it in the fridge for a snack.
Rice Krispy Treats
10 oz of marshmallows [that's one of the regular sized bags. I use mini marshmallows because they fit better in my bowl.]
1/4 cup of butter
5 cups rice krispies
This is basically the easiest thing ever. Stick the butter and marshmallows in a bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another two minutes. Stir until it's consistently smooth. Gradually add the rice krispies, stirring them in.
Here comes the college student dilemma. If you have a deep pan, you can just spread the mix in, press it out, and wait. Then you cut it into squares. If you don't have a pan, like me, you can make little rice krispy balls. I line up a bunch of plates and drop spoonfuls of the mix onto the plates in piles. Then I wait for them to cool a little (if you try to grab them too early it will just stick to your hands and not do anything). Once they are cooled a bit, you can take each lump and shape it into a ball.
You have to package them accordingly, so they don't stick together-- between layers of wax paper, on separate plates, or individually wrapped in saran wrap.
I'm hoping to expand my repertoire next year, so if anyone has any other microwave recipes that have been successful, please post!!
Last edited by sarah hayley on Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total _________________ "You know, the nazis had pieces of flair that they made the jews wear." -Office Space
Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Location: a spaceship bound for saturn
I cooked 2/3 of a recent meal in the microwave:
grilled salmon filets (frozen)
and steamed corn.
Both were of the prepackaged frozen variety (the corn came apportioned in little bags that you steamed it in) so I suppose that doesn't count as cooking. It made for a decent, pretty tasty meal, though, so neither my boyfriend nor I were complaining. The other 1/3 of the meal was prepackaged tomato risotto I cooked on the stove. Yummy.
In summary, it's really easy to cook in a microwave nowadays - even if you avoid the TV dinner style meals, you can get plenty of frozen or otherwise prepackaged food items that you can cook in the microwave and throw together for a decent meal.
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