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Microwave Meals

Many of us use the microwave only for reheating already prepared meals. The microwave can be a great summertime tool as an alternative to using our large ovens. This month, we make use of this handy appliance by making hot wings and several other favorites. Take a new look at your microwave: utilize it to the max and make short work of time in the kitchen.

HEAT’S ON HOT WINGS
3 lbs. chicken wings
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Louisiana hot sauce (or your favorite)
1 stick butter or margarine

Cut off tips and separate wings at the joint. Arrange in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and raise one corner to vent.

Microwave on medium-high 7 to 10 minutes. Microwaves vary, so check for doneness every 2 or 3 minutes, rotating the dish and cooking longer if needed.

Melt butter or margarine and add remaining ingredients to make sauce. Heat in microwave-safe bowl just until bubbly (about 3 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside. Drain chicken on paper towels and toss with the sauce. Great served with bleu cheese dressing for dipping. Serves 6.

MICROWAVE POLENTA WITH MUSHROOM RAGOUT
1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3-1/2 cups water

In a 3-quart microwave-safe casserole, combine the above ingredients. Cover tightly and cook on high for 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly. Cover again and cook on high until all the water is absorbed, stirring every 2 minutes. Allow to cool and slice into squares.

Mushroom Ragout
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 lb. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

Heat butter, oil, and onion on high in microwave-safe bowl for three minutes. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking on high 5 to 7 minutes. Pour over sliced polenta and serve. Serves 4-6.

PORK CHOPS AND SAUERKRAUT
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (32-oz.) can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 medium pork chops (about 1-1/2 pounds)

In a three-quart microwave-safe casserole, combine bacon and onion. Cover with lid and microwave on high for 3 minutes or until bacon is crisp and onion is tender. Stir in sauerkraut, apples, and pepper. Arrange pork chops over kraut. Cover and microwave on high for 8 minutes or until very hot. Rearrange chops and reduce power to 50%. Cover and microwave 20 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in center. Rearrange chops at least once during this time. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Coming Next Month: Scrumptious Salmon

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