Microwave Cooking Basics

Classic Baked Potatoes Wash 4 (5-to 6-oz.) Russet potatoes, then cut a wedge out of each potato about 1/8-inch wide and 1-inch deep.  Place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, for 10 to12 minutes*. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave. Carefully make a slit in the top of each potato and fluff with a fork. Top with your favorite bake potato toppings. Makes 4 servings.  Watch the video!

Why it works:The key to a great microwave baked potato is cutting a thin wedge, lengthwise. This is done so the steam can fully escape from the potato, resulting in a dry and fluffy pulp

Basic Mashed Potatoes Wash 4 (5-to 6-oz.) whole potatoes into microwave-safe dish—do not puncture skin. Cover dish. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic.) Microwave on HIGH for 10 to 12 minutes*. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover and mash well. Stir in ½ cup each plain yogurt and low-fat milk, 1 ½ tablespoons butter spread, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a minute or 2 more to heat, if necessary. Makes 4 servings.  Watch the video!

Why it works: The microwave uses the potato’s own water to create steam. Approximately 80% percent of a fresh potato is water. When microwaved, that water turns to steam, creating a moist, contained cooking environment. By not puncturing the skin of the potato, more steam is retained inside the potato, allowing faster cooking.

Microwave Roasted Potatoes Wash 4 (5- to 6 oz) potatoes.  Cut into 1-inch cubes and place into microwave safe dish.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons small amount of olive oil over potatoes and sprinkle with seasonings of choice. Toss evenly to disperse oil and seasonings.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap. (If covering dish with plastic wrap, poke small hole in plastic.) Microwave on high for 10 minutes*. Use oven mitts to carefully remove from microwave.

Why it works:The microwave energy acts directly on the olive oil and raises its temperature to the heat levels found in a conventional oven. This causes the potatoes to slightly brown in the microwave oven. If using plastic wrap, poke one small hole in the cover, as a moist contained cooking environment is created, yet the pressure is lessened.

Microwave Potato Casserole Ingredients:  1 1/4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, very thinly sliced; 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced onion; 1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese; 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning ; 1/2 cup stock or reduced-sodium broth; 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard; 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Spray an 8-inch microwave-safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1/3 of the potatoes and 1/2 of the onions on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with 1/3 the cheese and 1/2 the herbs. Repeat layers, then top with the last 1/3 of the potatoes, layering potatoes so that there is a solid layer of potatoes with no gaps; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Stir together stock, Dijon and garlic salt and pour over the potatoes. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 20 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove dish from microwave; carefully remove cover from dish due to steam build-up and serve. Makes 6 servings.  Watch the video!

Why it works: The microwave energy will actually raise the temperature of the cheese to the same level as a conventional oven, causing the cheese and potatoes to slightly brown. If using plastic wrap, make sure plastic wrap is not touching any ingredients and poke one small hole in the cover as the air-tight nature of the seal may create too much pressure for the ideal cooking environment.