Home Chef Inspirations

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Nutrition on a Budget… on a Timetable: Reintroducing your microwave!

So, you’re sold on the concept that potatoes are a powerhouse of nutrition.  You also know that they are one of the greatest bargains in the produce section.  But did you know potatoes are terrifically convenient, too?  Whether the family favorite is mashed, roasted, or au gratin, your microwave  can revolutionize the way you prepare potatoes.

The secret is science.

1. Not poking the potatoes before they go into the microwave oven keeps the steam inside the potato and perfectly bakes them for mashing.
2. Drizzling potatoes with oil – which heats to a higher temperature than the water in a potato if cooked by itself – and sealing the mixture in a microwave-safe dish before cooking helps brown the potatoes for a tasty roasted-style side dish.
3. Placing a solid layer of cheese (including low-fat varieties) over sliced potatoes in a microwave-safe dish takes advantage of the fat in the cheese to cook the potatoes quickly in a classic gratin.
4. By adding a protein, such as chicken, beneath the potato layer you can create a complete meal. In this application the steam from the heating potatoes cooks the protein in such a way that the meat doesn’t come out “rubbery,” as was often the case with previous microwave cooking methods.

 

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