Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not Your Mother's Microwave Cookbook: A Review

I love reading cookbooks. There's a famous blog called 101 Cookbooks. I probably have more than 202 cookbooks.

Now that I have this blog, I can view my cookbook reading as an important and useful endeavor: I have to help the college cook or anyone who doesn't have much time, money, and so forth.

I recently inspected the newest book by Beth Hensperger.

She has written similar tomes on slow cookers and rice cookers. I really like her books because they are problem-solvers.

The reason I was interested in this one: what if the college cook has not yet gotten a rice cooker? Can you cook in the microwave? By cook, I don't mean Lean Cuisine or hotdogs.

There are lots of yummy sounding dishes: Coconut Chicken Soup with Bok Choy, lasagne, and others. Some of the yummy-sounding recipes--like one for black bean soup--involve mixing some ingredients and heating in the micro. The ones mentioned above involve multi-steps (add this, cook 2 minutes, add that, cover with wrap, add something else). You have to be very motivated to try this. Most college cooks of my acquaintance are too lazy.

So yeah, you can cook rice in the micro, but why would you, when it is easier to buy a rice cooker, which is MADE for cooking rice.

I did try one very easy recipe: Individual Veggie Tortilla Pizzas. All you have to do is heat your flour tortilla, add toppings, let stand, and cut in wedges. Easy.

So I made it. I discovered that my microwave takes twice as long as hers (do I need to replace?); I discovered that the tortilla remained kind of soft, so it was hard to cut. It was good...but was it pizza? No, it was not. In future, I will roll it up and call it a wrap. Do you need a cookbook for this recipe? Not really.

This book is good for ideas. I will try some more and report back. Sadly, the book doesn't come with the Search Inside feature that enables you to test-drive recipes.

So...please buy a rice cooker and then you can get her other book.

This one has a lot more recipes.

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