Culinary Lane cooking tips by Chef Mark Lane
Microwaving is the least understood method of cookery & can also be the most over used in my opinion. The main point to remember about microwaving food is that it removes moisture & dries food out. Basically, the microwaves from the appliance make the water molecules in foods vibrate, creating heat very quickly.
Definition of microwave cooking; Rapid heating by passing high frequency waves from a magnetron through the food or liquid to be heated. Water absorbs the microwaves very well, so food with a high-water content cooks more evenly. The cooking time is short and microwaves do not cause browning, so the food doesn’t develop flavours associated with other cooking methods, such as sautéing or roasting.
Here are a few simple tips to make your microwaving more successful.
· Don’t try to “cook” large items in a microwave as they cook unevenly & the processing removes too much moisture from the food.
· To keep moisture in food, try microwaving with a cup full of water next to it, it will mean the microwave heats more evenly & provides some moisture to the food you are reheating. This work especially well with bread & pizza products.
· You don’t have to cook on full power all the time. Try reheating food on a lower setting, e.g. 50%, this will take longer but be gentler on the food and it will retain more moisture
· Don’t use microwaves to cook meats as it is too fast and will always make the food rubbery, dry & tough. Reheat meat in the microwave but don’t heat on full power.
· Best to microwave with a cover, glad wrap, damp paper towel, as this will help retain steam and moisture.
· When reheating food Flatten out the food so there's less volume and more surface area. This allows the radiation from the microwave to be distributed more evenly.
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