Tuesday, May 30, 2023
HomeFashionIs microwave cooking about to make a comeback?

Is microwave cooking about to make a comeback?

On one of my experimenting nights, I started with something familiar: “roasted” potatoes with vegetarian chili. Microwave potatoes are famous for a reason. Ten minutes on high heat provides a chewy skin and fluffy interior. Also, you don’t need to run the oven for an hour. Chili is less exciting. Microwaving onions, garlic and spices in a little butter doesn’t feel right. Throwing in the beans and tomatoes and then stirring them for a few minutes isn’t nearly as satisfying as staring at the pan. The end product was fine, but without the time to spend a ton of spices, soften the onion and reduce the sauce, it also had a thinner texture and flavor. As much as I was concerned, my partner didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary – immediately reminding me of the fact that while he always thanked me endlessly for the meals, he probably didn’t fully appreciate the effort I put into them .

My second attempt was a more successful vegetable curry. I fear it will be a disaster because I know the magic of Indian food comes from layering flavors and giving them time to develop – microwave cooking eliminates both of those things. Also, the recipe only calls for a few tablespoons of curry powder and doesn’t mention anything in my well-chosen spice cabinet. Still, this meal is quick and easy to whip up. Served with yogurt and a delicious chutney, it’s a comforting mush. Again, no one noticed anything amiss except me.

Rice is another ingredient that has always done well in the microwave, so next I tried a recipe for “fried” rice and miso bok choy. It turns out that using the term fried is being generous. The reality is plain microwave rice seasoned with soy sauce and garnished with frozen vegetables. Still, again, it’s pretty good and easy to mix up while feeding baby and answering emails.

My final experiment was risotto. The microwave version took about 15 minutes instead of 50, and sacrificed some quality for convenience. The meal was sticky but not entirely unpleasant, I ate it while watching a TV show, if I’d been cooking a decent meal I wouldn’t have had time to catch up, which seems like a fair trade off.

While the experiments are generally positive, there are limitations. Microwaving for 15 minutes will never recover the rich flavors that come from putting the pot on the stove for an hour. I also miss the ritual of cooking. Staring at a glowing box and wondering “Is that ‘microwave safe’ bowl going to explode?” isn’t as relaxing as witnessing a pan, laden with melted cheese, crowned in the oven.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS