Microwave Cooking: 5 New Ideas for Family Meals

We had so many requests for “more microwave cooking” that we planned this special family feature in response. We’ve also included unusual recipes which will be microwave favorites, too.

VEGETABLE RISOTTO

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 4 shallots
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter or margarine
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper

Cut peppers in half, remove seeds, chop into 1 cm (½ in) cubes. Chop celery and shallots. Put butter in microwave dish, microwave on full power 1 minute, remove from oven, add peeled and chopped onion, mix well. Return to oven, microwave on full power 1 minute. Add rice, wine, water, and crumbled stock cube. Return to oven, microwave on full power 13 minutes, add peppers, celery, shallots, saffron, parsley, salt and pepper. Return to oven, microwave on full power 2 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

STUFFED PEPPERS

  • 2 large green peppers
  • 15 g (1/2 oz) butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stick celery
  • 220 g can salmon or tuna
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds. Place peppers in basin of cold water, microwave on full power 6 minutes or until peppers are just tender; drain. Place cut side up in shallow dish.

Combine butter, finely chopped onion, finely chopped celery and parsley in dish, microwave on full power 1 to 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add well-drained salmon or tuna, mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of the cheese, season with salt and pepper; mix well.

Place mixture into peppers, sprinkle evenly with remaining grated cheese. Microwave on full power 3 minutes or until cheese is melted Serves 4.

STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS IN CREAMY SAUCE

  • 3 whole chicken breasts
  • 300 g can creamed corn
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 bacon rasher
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon french mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 45 g (1½ oz) cheddar cheese

Remove skin from chicken breasts. With small sharp knife, gently remove chicken meat from each half of each breast, giving 6 pieces. Place chicken bones in microwave dish, add water, microwave on full power 6 minutes. Reserve liquid, discard bones. Using a sharp knife, cut a deep pocket in fat side of each chicken breast.

Combine in bowl 4 tablespoons of creamed corn, finely chopped shallots and chopped bacon. Place a couple of teaspoonfuls of corn mixture into the pocket of each chicken breast. Place filled chicken breasts in shallow microwave dish. Pour 1/4 cup reserved liquid over chicken, microwave on full power 6 minutes. Drain liquid from chicken and reserve.

Combine leftover filling (if any), remaining corn, cream, mustard, and drained liquid from chicken, in blender, blend on medium speed 1 minute. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle grated cheese over, return to microwave oven, microwave on roasting 4 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

SWEET AND SOUR PORK CHOPS

  • 4 pork chops
  • 450 g can pineapple pieces
  • 1 small red chili
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) piece green ginger
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • salt, pepper

Drain pineapple pieces, reserve syrup and make up to 3/4 cup with water. Slice shallots diagonally; peel and grate ginger; finely chop green pepper; remove seeds from chili and chop finely (wear rubber gloves while doing this as chili will burn the fingers).

Combine soy sauce, tomato sauce, brown sugar, crumbled stock cube, cornflour and vinegar in small glass bowl. Place chops in a single layer in a glass casserole dish, microwave on full power 8 minutes: turn chops over and microwave a further 8 minutes on full power; remove from oven, drain off excess fat.

Place sauce mixture in oven, cook on full power 3 minutes, stir well with wooden spoon, microwave on full power a further 3 minutes. Add chopped vegetables to sauce, pour over cooked chops, return to oven, microwave on full power a further 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

CRAB MORNAY

  • 200 g can crab
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons french mustard
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt, pepper

TOPPING

  • 4 tablespoons packaged dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Put butter in microwave dish, micro wave on full power 1 minute. Remove from oven, add flour and mustard, stir until smooth, microwave on full power 1 minute. Remove from oven, gradually stir in milk, cream and wine, stir until smooth.

Microwave on full power 3 minutes, opening door and stirring after every minute. Add finely chopped shallots, parsley, drained and flaked crab, salt and pepper, combine well. Spoon evenly into four individual dishes, sprinkle topping evenly over crab mixture. Microwave on full power 2 minutes. Serves 4.

TOPPING: Combine all ingredients.

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