Recipe – Chicken Adriatica

 

A Tasty & Easy Chicken Recipe

For this recipe I combined elements of Italian and Turkish cooking and
flavors to produce  an Eastern Mediterranean dish.

Meat from 6 chicken thighs, sliced in thin strips

1 T  of flour

3 T of olive oil

¼ cup pine nuts

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 T fresh rosemary, chopped fine

3-4 cloves garlic, minced fine

½ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

½ cup white wine

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

½ cup crumbled feta

 

1. Slice the chicken into thin strips. Dredge chicken in flour.  Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan  or skillet.  Sauté chicken  for 5’ on each side, letting it brown.

2. Remove chicken, to a small bowl. In same pan sauté the pine nuts, minced garlic and sliced  mushrooms for 5’, stirring.  Add wine to deglaze – scrape any brown bits from the pan. Add rosemary & tomatoes, mix, and reduce heat to simmer

3. Return chicken to the skillet, mix. Place the sliced onions over the chicken mixture. Cover and simmer for 30’.

4. Remove from heat, mix onions into chicken. Add feta, mix and serve with rice or pasta and a steamed vegetable.

 

Serves 4

 

Variations:

 

1.      Use chicken breast, reduce cooking time

2.      Substitute blue cheese or parmesan for feta

3.      Substitute yogurt for the cheese

4.      Use thin strips of lamb shoulder instead of chicken

 

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Experience Mexico Through its Food

The variety of Mexican cuisine

We’ve visited Mexico multiple times, and a large part of our memories revolve around food. My first visit was on spring break from the East coast in 1970 when we camped on the baja beaches and bought local seafood and shrimp to cook over a campfire. Each morning we’d walk into town for a breakfast of chilaquiles.Later visits took us to Mexico city and the Yucatan peninsula, where again, in addition to famous landmarks, we wandered the markets and sampled the food.  One unique evening I dined at a small restaurant that opened at 7:30.  No menu, instead, the waiter arrived with a tray of the evening’s fresh offerings.  I chose ‘the’ fish. Next I was asked how I’d like it cooked.  The waiter proceeded to the other 3 tables, took our orders to the kitchen, then set the ‘closed’ sign on the door.  An excellent, multicourse meal  leisurely followed.

Here are some typical Mexican dishes I created based on our experiences. (Note, Mexican markets provide numerous types of dried chilies and moles. If you can’t find these in your area, chili powder and paprika make an adequate substitute)

 

 

Pollo con cuatro pimientas (4 pepper chicken)

  • 1 T ancho chile powder
  • 1 large red pepper, cut into stirps, 1/2″ wide by 3″ long
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 t fresh black pepper
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 3 med tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Dredge chicken in flour, then heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or
skillet , and sauté chicken for 5’ on each side, letting it brown.

2. Remove chicken, then in same pan sauté red pepper and garlic for 10’.
Sprinkle with ancho chile powder, paprika and fresh black pepper, then add
tomatoes.

3. Return chicken to the pan, mix. Place the sliced onions on top of the
chicken mixture, cover and simmer 30’.

4. Remove from heat, mix onions into chicken.

Mexican Winter Chicken

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 3-4 jalapeno or serrano peppers (canned or fresh)
  • 3-4 dried ancho chiles, prepared (optional), or substitute 1 T chile
    powder and 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 turnips, diced
  • 1 large parsnip, diced
  • 1 quart chicken stock

Saute the chicken pieces in 2 T olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the peppers
and chiles and other ingredients except for the stock. Saute 5 minutes.
Remove to casserole dish. Add 1 quart stock. Cover and bake for 1 hour at
350 deg.

At end mix in 1/4 cup of water with 3 T flour.

Pollo con Pina – Chicken with Pineapple

  • 1 chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, diced
  • 2 zucchini, cut in thick slices
  • 2 cinnamin sticks or 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 T fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 t ground, dry)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced

1. Brown the chicken pieces in a skillet 5-10 min. (optionally, remove
kin). Add the onion, garlic and cinnamon and saute for 5-10 min.

2. Add zucchini, wine, chilies and oregano. Lower heat to simmer for 30′.

3. Add pineapple and simmer another 20′ or until chicken is done.

 

 

  • Famous Landmarks in Mexico City – Zocalo Despite its reputation as huge smoggy sprawl, Mexico City is well worth a visit of several days – exploring some of best museums in world, outdoor markets, great walking, easy access to outskirts by metro.
  • Images of Mexico’s famous landmark – Xochimilco Escape the big city crush and confusion by spending a day drifting the canals of Xochimilco and viewing the art of Diego Rivera.
  • Famous Landmarks in Mexico In Mexico City, alone, you’ll find numerous landmarks Chapultepec Castle and
    Park is famous from the US – Mexican War of 1846 and now hosts many museums, including the excellent Anthropology museum

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Recipe – Chilaquiles – Mexican Breakfast Favorite

 


Chilaquiles the Mexican Breakfast or Brunch Favorite Recipe

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast or brunch menu item. Stale corn tortillas are torn in quarters and usually fried. . Green or red salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles. This Mexican lasagna is then simmered or baked until the dish becomes soft. Various other items can be added, including queso fresco and/or sour cream (crema) Since chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch they’re a frugal use of leftover tortillas and salsas.

Basic Chilaquiles

1 dozen corn tortillas.

  • · 1 lb pork sausage, ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • · 1 cup chopped celery
  • · 1 green pepper, diced
  • · 1 small onion, diced
  • · 1 medium tomato, diced

Seasonings:

  • · 1 t chili powder
  • · 1/2 t cumin
  • · 1 t fresh oregano (or 1/2 t dried)
  • · 2 T fresh coriander
  • · salt and pepper to taste

1 cup grated cheese, (Swiss, cheddar or Monterey Jack)

2 cups chicken stock

1. Preferably, the tortillas should be day-old or stale, but if you must use fresh ones, let them sit out for several hours to dry out.

Tear them roughly into small pieces about 2″ across. Traditionally these tortilla pieces are fried until crispy, but I skip this step to keep the fat content lower.

2. Combine meat, celery, pepper, onion and tomato in a mixing bowl. Add seasonings and mix well.

3. In a deep baking dish or dutch oven, add a layer of tortilla pieces, cover with a layer of the meat mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Continue, until all ingredients are used up. Pour the chicken stock over the dish when finished and top with cheese.

4. Bake in a 350 deg oven for 30 min.

 


Green Chicken Chilaquiles

Ingredients

  • 2T olive oil
  • 2 chicken, breasts, boned, cut aginst the grain into 1/2″ strips
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • · 1 medium onion, diced
  • · 8 oz can of green chiles
  • · 4 T fresh cilantro, chopped·

8-10 tostado shells, or old, stale corn tortillas

12 oz queso fresco (or ricotta or feta)

Instructions

  1. Saute the chicken pieces in olive oil for 3’, then add onion and garlic
    and continue to saute for another 5’. Add tomatillos and chiles; reduce heat
    and simmer for 10-15’ until the tomatillos become soft. Turn off heat, add
    chopped cilantro, let cool a bit. (This can be made ahead and stored in the
    refrigerator.)
  2. In a large casserole dish build layers of broken tortilla pieces, the
    chicken mixture, and crumbled cheese. Bake in 350 deg oven for 30’

 


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Recipe – Tandoori Chicken

Not many of us have a standalone enclosed clay oven nearby, so some thought is needed to produce an Americanized
version of the Indian classic tandoori chicken

Start with 6-8 chicken thighs

Marinade

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 t – cayenne
  • 1 t – cumin
  • 1 t – turmeric
  • 1 T- paprika
  • 3 cloves – garlic, minced
  • 1 inch -ginger root, minced
  • 1/2 cup – parsley, minced

Garnish

  • 4 T- fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges

1. Combine marinade ingredients and mix in a blender or food mill or food processor.

2. Remove the marinade to large bowl, fold in the yogurt, then add to chicken pieces. Marinate for 1-2 hours

3. Place a double sheet of aluminum foil on the grill so chicken is not exposed to flames.

4. BBQ or grill for 45-60’ or until done (preferably in a covered BBQ), turning every 15 minutes, and basting with extra marinade. If using an oven – place chicken in oven proof pan, bake at 400 for 10′, then reduce heat to 350 and continue to bake for 45′ or until chicken is done.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and lime wedges. Serves 3-6, depending on number of courses – eg, 6 in an Indian dinner with many courses; 3 with a simple side dish and salad
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Tandoori chicken Tandoori chicken cooking on grill Tandoori chicken

 

Tandoori chicken cooking

Recipes – Quick & Easy Eggplant

  • Download royalty free images of Eggplant
  • Eggplants are native to southeast Asia and are produced in a variety of shapes and colors – the most familiar to Westerners is the oblong ‘aubergine’ colored fruit, or the long, tapered ‘Chinese’ or ‘Japanese’ varieties. The Turks have a special love for it, and a bride is said to be unfit for marriage until she knows at least 2 dozen recipes.Eggplant is on of the tastiest and versatile vegetables, but many people underappreciate it. It’s used in European, Middle Eastern , Chinese and Indian cuisines

Prepare the eggplant for frying or grilling

  • Cut into rounds or long strips:  1/2″ thick if frying, or 1″ if grilling. Some people find eggplants are bitter.  If so,  use this next step: place paper towel on a plate, sprinkle lightly with salt, add a layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with salt, then add more eggplant. Top with another layer of paper towels. Let this sit for about 2 hours, during which time the salt will extract much of the water in the eggplant. Then pat dry with additional paper towels and proceed to the next step. (Remember that paper towels compost easily!)
  • To fry eggplant, heat 1 T of oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat, then fry the slices for about 2′ each side until nicely browned. Fry the next batch without adding any more oil. This method of dry frying uses almost no oil, and is best for recipes where the eggplant is later layered with moist ingredients. Alternatively, use about 1 T more oil for each batch of slices to produce a richer result.
  • Or grill or roast the entire eggplant until its skin is almost charcoal for a unique smoky taste. The result is excellent for baba ganoush and other recipes calling for mashed eggplant. Usually the skin is discarded. Prick the eggplant with a fork several times before cooking, or you’ll discover how to turn an eggplant inside out! I’ve tested, savored and experimented with eggplants for years, discovering recipes in travels to China, India, Turkey and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Simple eggplant Appetizer

    This first recipe is simple, yet elegant and makes an eggplant starter or side dish:
    •1 eggplant sliced into 1/2″ slices
    •3 cloves of garlic
    •3 T chopped parsley
    •1 T lemon juice
    •1 T olive oil

    Fry the eggplant slices and arrange on a plate.

    Combine the other ingredients in a food processor [or chop extremely fine], then drizzle on top of eggplant slices. Can be served warm or cold.

    IMAM BAYILDI (The Imam Fainted)
    •Olive oil

    •2 medium onions, chopped fine
    •3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
    •3 medium tomatoes, chopped
    •3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    •Salt and pepper to taste
    •2 medium eggplants
    •2 teaspoons sugar
    •3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    This is one of the most famous Turkish recipes and varies everywhere – it’s always one of my favorites to order in the smaller Turkish Bufes.

    Cut eggplants in half, and hollow out the centers, leaving a shell of about 3/4 – 1″.

    Chop the extracted eggplant. In a cast iron skillet, heat 3 T olive oil over high heat. Add the onions and reduce to medium heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, chopped eggplant, salt, and pepper.

    Cook for 5′, stirring occasionally, then reduce to low heat and simmer for additional 15′. Toss in the chopped parsley.

    Stuff each eggplant half and arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup oil.

    Bake, covered, in pre-heated moderate oven (350 F.) for about 40 minutes, or until tender.

    Imam biyaldi can be serve hot, or cold with yogurt. Makes 4 to 6 servings depending on the size of the Imam’s appetite.


    More eggplant recipes:

  • Eggplant with red pepper in bean sauce
  • Eggplant with Mushrooms & Onions
  • Zucchini — Eggplant Casserole
  • How to cook vegetables on an outdoor grill
  • Eggplant with YuXiang sauce
  • Melanzane arrostiti
# Name ingredients nationality
194 Baked Eggplant EGGPLANT + ONIONS + RED PEPPER + PINE NUTS + PARSLEY
49 Chicken-Eggplant Stew TOMATO SAUCE + GARLIC +
CINNAMON + OREGANO + PARSLEY + THYME
Italian
47 Dry-fry Eggplant Parmigiana EGGPLANT + OREGANO Italian
148 Eggplant Canelloni EGGPLANT + POLENTA + CAPERS + GORGONZOLA + NONE Italian
192 Eggplant Lamb Casserole EGGPLANT + + LAMB Mideastern
173 Eggplant Lasagna EGGPLANT + FETA + YOGURT + PORK Mideastern
25 Eggplant Lentil Soup CARROTS + EGGPLANT + LENTIL + GARLIC + PARSLEY + PAPRIKA Mideastern
4 Fettucine w Eggplant & Sausage EGGPLANT + OREGANO + PORK Italian
191 Lamb Eggplant Stew EGGPLANT + POTATO + SAFFRON + LAMB
87 Moussaka Stew EGGPLANT + TOMATO + OREGANO + YOGURT + LAMB Mideastern
157 Ratatouille Nicoise EGGPLANT + CELERY + GARLIC Italian
174 Twice Cooked Eggplant EGGPLANT + CARROT + CUMIN Mideastern
Harvest - tomatoes & eggplant
Harvest – tomatoes & eggplant
Eggplant and other vegetables
Eggplant and other vegetables
Eggplant, cucumber peppers and tomatoes
Eggplant, cucumber peppers and tomatoes
Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables
Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables
Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables

Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables
Villagers sell eggplant
Villagers sell eggplant
Villagers sell eggplant
Villagers sell eggplant
Potatoes and eggplant for sale
Potatoes and eggplant for sale
Unidentified Hindu woman sells vegetables on the street
Unidentified Hindu woman sells vegetables on the street
Eggplant being stir-fried in a wok
Eggplant being stir-fried in a wok
Meze of leek pate, grilled eggplant and yogurt cajik,
Meze of leek pate, grilled eggplant and yogurt cajik,
Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce
Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce
Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce
Eggplant with Yu Xiang Sauce
Women selling eggplants and other fresh vegetables
Women selling eggplants and other fresh vegetables
Squash, eggplant and peanuts
Squash, eggplant and peanuts
Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables
Indian villagers sell eggplant and other vegetables
Eggplant and other vegetables i
Eggplant and other vegetables i
Summer bounty - Fresh vegetables
Summer bounty – Fresh vegetables
Fresh vegetables on a metal grid
Fresh vegetables on a metal grid
Fresh vegetables on a metal grid
Fresh vegetables on a metal grid
Summer bounty - Fresh vegetables
Summer bounty – Fresh vegetables
Harvest - tomatoes & eggplant
Harvest – tomatoes & eggplant
Eggplant and Peppers isolated
Eggplant and Peppers isolated
Montage - India Markets, food and people
Montage – India Markets, food and people
Montage - India Markets, food and people
Montage – India Markets, food and people
Potatoes and eggplant for sale
Potatoes and eggplant for sale
Women selling eggplants and other fresh vegetables
Women selling eggplants and other fresh vegetables
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Sausages, eggplant and peppers on the grill
Grilled sausages, eggplant and peppers
Grilled sausages, eggplant and peppers
Man sells eggplant
Man sells eggplant
Meze of leek pate, grilled eggplant and yogurt cajik,
Meze of leek pate, grilled eggplant and yogurt cajik,
Grilled eggplant
Grilled eggplant
Eggplant and other vegetables
Eggplant and other vegetables
Eggplant and tomatoes
Eggplant and tomatoes

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Spices Markets of the World

Spices make excellent souvenirs for many trips – for yourself or your friends. They’re light, reasonably priced and literally import the exotic flavors of your trip. Of course, it helps if you know how to use them, but even if you don’t, you’ll find but even if you don’t, you probably know someone who does, and spices make a great gift.

There’re rarely any problems with customs. The main hassles are raw food items like unroasted coffee beans (ie, only buy roasted coffee beans) or many air dried meat products like prosciutto. Educate yourself before your trip;
learn what the common spices look like in various forms. During the trip, ask the waiter about the flavors in dishes you particularly enjoy. You may even be invited by the chef to explore the kitchen.

Spices can be found in many tourist souvenir shops, but avoid these prepackaged bits, often 5 or 6 spices on a foldout card . They tend to be both old and expensive. Instead, find a local market, where business is more frequent. In Istanbul, the Egyptian Market on the Golden Horn waterfront is the exemplar. Some bargaining is expected, with minimal changes of 10% or so are common. Do ask for prices before buying though. Some spices, like sumak or cardamon are several times more expensive than more common ones. Familiarize yourself with the metric equivalents if you’re used to ounces. 50- 100g should be enough for most purposes (about 2-4 oz).

 

Turkey – Recipes

    • My favorite spices from Turkey are its many peppers — everything from mild paprika, to hot red peppers. Usually powdered, they’re also found in paste form, and if well packaged, these travel and keep well.
    • Saffron is available in several forms.  It’s not as good as Iranian orMoroccan, but much cheaper, and for simple rice dishes, or soups, you just use a bit more.   Watch out for ‘Indian Saffron’ — it’s just turmeric.
    • And there are now many different forms of Turkish Viagra — from powdered ginger to walnut stuffed figs.

India – Recipes

India was the source of the original spice trade, making the fortunes of many successful voyagers.
Today anyone can bring back a Prince’s ransom in delectable spices.

  • Cardamom is the fruit of Elettaria cardamomum, a member of the ginger family, which grows in the moist, tropical regions of Southern Asia
  • Vanilla beans
  • Cocoa pods
  • Tamarind
  • Nutmeg & Mace are derived from the apricot-like fruit of the evergreen tree Myristica fragrans. When the fruit is ripe, it splits in half revealing a deep red, net-like membrane that covers a brittle shell. The membrane is mace, the shell nutmeg.
  • Turmeric is a rhizome of the tropical herb Curcuma longa. It’s used in powdered form.
  • Coriander
  • Ginger is a light-brown rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale
  • Cayenne is made from the dried red skins of chili peppers
  • Cinnamon is the dried bark of an evergreen tree of the laurel family, Cinnamomum
    zeylanicum
    is native to India and Sri Lanka.
  • Asafoetida is the sap from the roots and stem of a giant fennel-like plant which grows wild in Central Asia. The sap dries into a hard, smelly resin and is usually used ground

Morocco

Cumin is the national condiment, found with salt & pepper on tables everywhere. Use either the seeds of this small
annual herb from the parsley family Cuminum cyminum, or the ground powder form. Popular in tagines.

Saffron – various qualities of saffron are widely available, prices vary accordingly.

Mexico Recipes

Dried peppers of all sorts are cheaply available everywhere. There’s no problem in bringing them back to the US, even with their seeds. In Mexico, both fresh and dried peppers are abundant, and the names change when a pepper is dried — anchos are just the dried form of poblanos. Chipotles are the smoky, dried form of jalapenos.

In many markets you can find moles – mixtures of up to 20 or more spices. These are excellent bases for sauces, soup flavorings, or marinades and I always buy several kilos – they’ll keep for months in the refrigerator.

Huitlacoche  is a fungus that grows on corn ears, producing big, swollen, deformed kernels, black inside with a silvery gray skin. It’s easily compared to truffles, with a delicious, inky mushroomy flavor, but it’s rarely available commercially. Sometimes you can find it in restaurants as Huitlacoche para Quesadilla.

China – Recipes

        • Ginger
        • Anise

Specific Spices:

  • Saffron  Absurdly priced in the US, saffron is affordable in many countries.   You do need to know a little about the differences. True saffron is made from the are the stigma (female organ) of the autumn
    crocus, or Crocus sativus, but other ‘saffrons’ are made from different flowers, sometimes even leaves.  Mexican saffron is one of these, it’s very cheap, but gives a completely different flavor (though quite good).   Turkish saffron is very good, but you need to use a loose teaspoon of threads where a recipe calls for a few threads of Spanish saffron.   In Morocco, several grades of saffron are available, in both thread and powdered form.  All are good value and reasonably priced.  Iranian saffron is some of the best I’ve found, but priced accordingly. In Turkey, you’ll also find ‘Indian Saffron’, but this is really Turmeric, a different spice entirely
  • Sumak Mostly unknown in the US, this is a common spice in the Mideast.  Use it to flavor grilled chicken or fish, or just sprinkle lightly on a salad of tomatoes and sliced onions.PepperDozens of choices, so try tasting them and choosing what you like best.  In Turkey, commonly red pepper, with some browns.
  • Pepper pastes (moles) also widely available.   In Mexico, both fresh and dried peppers are abundant, and the names change when a pepper is dried — anchos are just the dried form of poblanos.  Chipotles are the dried form of jalapenos.
  • Paprika  Good paprikas are widely available, with tastes varying from sweet to moderately spicy.
  • Cumin–The national spice of Morocco — found on most tables withthe salt and pepper.  Used in many dishes here and in India, Mexico, and the Middle East.  Available in both powdered and seed form. Roast the seeds to get a wonderful flavor
  • Coriander  The powdered form (made from the dried seeds)  very different from the fresh leaves and stems (also known as cilantro). Used in cultures throughout the world.   Use the fresh form in
    dishes that call for parsley!
  • Turmeric— The ‘poor man’s saffron’, this spice is basic to many dishes in the Indian subcontinent, up through China. It provides a beautiful saffron color, and a distinctive taste. In the US it’s most
    commonly found as a coloring agent in chicken soup.
  • Cardamom Another expensive spice in the US.  You can find green or black forms, or seeds.
  • Discover recipes using these spices

    More on markets, souks and bazaars

How to Cook Vegetables in Your Microwave Oven

 

Use your microwave more often

The microwave is underused for cooking from scratch. Anything that can be steamed, blanched or boiled, can be prepared faster and probably better in a microwave is an easy, quick and tasty way to cook vegetables. I’ll be showing how to cook fresh vegetables – frozen ones just need to use the directions on the package. An added bonus is you’ll loose fewer vitamins and other nutrients when microwaving.
Once microwaved, drain the water if any and the vegetables can be used directly, or as part of another recipe. For example, microwave potatoes [slightly underdone] for curried potato recipes. You can add a bit of virgin olive oil or butter. Or sprinkled with various fresh herbs like parsley, tarragon, sage, rosemary or thyme.Containers – I use glass only – either round bottomed, or flat bottomed. One big difference with microwave cooking is that size matters – so you need to experiment and adjust times and cooking levels. Also the wattage of ovens varies and makes a big difference. On my current microwave I do almost all cooking at 8 [of 10] and most vegetables cook in less than 5′. Times are for portions for 3-4 people. Microwaving also preserves more vitamins and minerals than harsher methods like boiling and steaming. So usually only 1/4 cup of water is sufficient. Also, we like our veggies slightly crunchy, so add time if you prefer softer.Cover the dish with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the topMost vegetables can be blanched in 1′ in the microwave

How to microwave fresh vegetables

asparagus Allow 2-3′ for skinny ones, 5-8′ for thicker ones. You may need to trim the ends to fit in the dish. For thicker stalks, you can peel the lower third and get more consistent results.
squash For large squashes, like acorn or winter, either use 1 or 2 large pieces, or cut into 3″ squares. 8-10′ is normal here. For smaller squashes, especially when you can harvest smaller ones fresh, just cut into 1″ slices and microwave for about 3′

corn Place the entire unhusked corn cob in the microwave and cook for about 8′ for 3 ears.

garlic Not as tasty as roasted garlic, the microwave is also handy for peeling garlic – just put the cloves in and microwave for 1′. The skin should then come off easily.

carrots  Cut the carrots into 2″ pieces and cook about 5′  A quick stir fry with garlic and lemon juice is one way to complete this dish.

tomatoes If you want to peel and seed tomatoes, pop them in the microwave for 1-2″ and the skins will come off easier.

parsnips These cook a bit faster than carrots

potatoes Large potatoes take about 8-10′; smaller ones, or medium ones cut into quarters take 5-8′

beets  Chop off the tail and stems of beets, but not too close to the main root body, and you’ll get less bleeding. Medium beets can be cooked whole. Try 8-10′ for 4-6 medium beets with 1/4 cup of water. After cooking, place them on a plastic cutting board [easier to wash] and let cool. Then you can peel them – often the skins will slip off. To serve just cut them into the size you want, add a t of butter and microwave for 1′

peas  Shuck peas from pods, or use snap peas directly. Cook for 2-3′

green beans  Cut off tips and string if needed, then cook 4-6′ depending on how crisp you like them
For really frugal cooks, collect the water used when cooking and keep it in a bowl in the freezer, then add it to your stock.

Here’s another example of combining microwave and traditional methods:

Asian Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half.
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts

Seasoning:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 T rice vinegar (can substitute white vinegar)
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 1 t peanut oil

Microwave Brussel sprouts for 5-8 minutes, with a 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the cooking dish.

Drain sprouts, add celery and bean sprouts and toss with seasonings.
Serve warm or cold

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