The festive season usually goes hand-in-hand with great meals, but preparing all the family favourites and traditional dishes can be tiring and time consuming. A microwave can be a useful tool when it comes to smart and snappy ways to prepare holiday feasts. While most people know about the conventional uses for a microwave, such as reheating and defrosting, there is actually a lot more that microwaves can do.
Want perfect roast potatoes that are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside? Partially cook them in the microwave before roasting and have them ready in a fraction of the time. Need a veggie side-dish? Don’t bother with boiling – simply steam in the microwave, and add a bit of butter at the last minute for extra flavour.
Get the most out of your produce
Microwaving lemons and limes for 30 seconds increases the amount of juice that can be squeezed out of them. Have left over fresh herbs? Put them on paper towel and microwave to dry them out in minutes for storage. And if you hate handling garlic, heating it up in the microwave beforehand makes it a cinch to peel.
A microwave that has dual functionality in the form of a grilling element and convection heating ability can make an enormous difference to the speed and ease with which you can prepare food. From succulent roasts to delicious baked desserts, any dish that would ordinarily be cooked in an oven can now go straight into the microwave. Pick a microwave model with a large capacity and two shelves, and not only can you prepare family-sized feasts, but you can double up on the dishes that go in to the microwave, making it a perfect option for large gatherings.
Whip up a quick snack
Thinly slice root vegetables such as potatoes or sweet potatoes, toss with a touch of oil and microwave. In under ten minutes, you get crisp chips, without the deep-fried fattiness. These are great for impromptu gatherings or as party nibbles.
Don’t forget dessert
From moist cakes to steamed Christmas puddings, even cookies and shortbread, there are plenty of delicious desserts you can bake from scratch using a convection microwave. This website has some great ideas: https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/collections/convection-oven-recipes.aspx.
Another neat trick when the food prep is over is to microwave your kitchen sponges. Wet the sponge and microwave for a minute to sterilise the sponges and keep things in the kitchen germ free.
Seartec has a range of excellent Sharp microwaves that will transform your kitchen. The R-990N and R-960N are amongst the top choices in South Africa, with grill and convection capability, two shelves, a spacious 40 litre capacity and a powerful wattage of 850W, while still maintaining energy efficiency. Additionally, they are equipped with a humidity sensor, auto-defrost options and eight auto-cook menus that determine optimum cooking time based on food weight.