Microwave as cooking tool, not just reheating tool

Tupperware SmartSteamerSo I’ve thought for quite some time now that my microwave was little more than a device to reheat leftovers, to thaw items from the freezer and to make popcorn. I’ve felt this way for many, many years. I’ve tried cooking in it and haven’t liked how certain foods have turned out (largely due to texture-based issues such as chicken seeming rubbery, etc.). However, a friend of mine has recently clued me into the fact that my microwave can be used for so much more and has likely been one of the lesser-used tools in my kitchen arsenal, going largely neglected for years.

I was complaining that whenever I cook rice to the instructions either on the stove-top or in my rice-cooker, I always end up with crispy, overcooked rice layering the bottom of my rice dish. It doesn’t seem to matter how much water or butter I add, nor does it seem to matter how long I cook the rice for or at what temperature. I mentioned I was almost ready to give up on rice altogether which would be such a loss, since it’s such a versatile food.

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A different type of breakfast/brunch

bacon-wrapped asparagusWhen I was trying to come up with something for breakfast for myself, I found that I was rather stumped. The last couple of eggs in the fridge had gone bad, so an omelet was out of the question (although I remember now that I do have some of that ‘egg beaters’ product in the back of the fridge which is likely still okay). I twittered my frustration, saying I had some asparagus in the fridge I wanted to use with cheese in an omelet but, alas, had no eggs.

Within minutes, a friend tweeted back, suggesting wrapping the asparagus in bacon and sauteing them in a pan. Brilliant! We had this at a sushi place just a week before, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it. The only problem was: I had no real bacon. All I had was turkey bacon that I had bought on one of my ‘health kick runs’ through the grocery store more recently.

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