Microwave oven favorites

There are two things that I love to cook in the microwave. Well, as it turns out, I cook almost everything in the microwave, except for noodles. But bacon and potatoes cook to perfection in the microwave.

For bacon you need this special dish that has raised ridges so that the bacon fat can flow away in the grooves between the ridges. And it spatters like crazy so you must cover it with a paper towel or you’ll really regret it. I cook it on high for a minute or so, then take out the dish and carefully pour off the grease and then back in it goes for another minute or two. Repeat until the bacon is nice and brown. It cooks very evenly with no rubbery areas like you get when you cook it in a frying pan. And there’s probably less fat since it’s constantly draining away.

I think that baking a potato in the microwave is the best and only way to bake one; I like the skin left on my potato, and I like it soft, not hard and chewy the way it gets when you bake the potato in the oven. But this is a recipe for satisfying that starch craving, not for presentation; the way I cook the potato is to cut it up into small pieces, like you were going to boil it, and put it in a covered glass bowl. Cook on medium heat for however long is necessary. Halfway through you may want to take the bowl to the sink and pour off any condensation that’s collected at the bottom of the bowl. It’s a careful balancing act; using the lid to keep the potato pieces in the bowl but slid slightly back so that the water can pour out. And while you have it out of the microwave you may as well stir the potato pieces so that they all get a chance to cook evenly.

When the potato is ready I jazz it up with cottage cheese. The best is cottage cheese with chives which my local grocery store sells. Spoon about 8 ounces over the potato pieces and smooth it over. Then either let it sit for several minutes until the cottage cheese is thoroughly warmed through or put it back in the microwave on very low and cook it gently for a few minutes.

Just that is ecstasy for the taste buds; cheese and starch; a match made in taste bud heaven.

I like to jazz it up a little more by sprinkling Parmesan cheese over the potato before I cover it with cottage cheese. And some freshly grated pepper is always wanted.

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