Here, I'll go first and ease the way: "My name is Diva and I have neglected my microwave."
More specifically, I should say, I have neglected my much desired combination microwave/convection oven. I was absolutely certain this device was going to change my life! Revolutionize my holidays! Leap tall building in a single bound! Ahem. At a minimum, I was certain I'd use it for more than popping popcorn ... I really haven't. My shiny, happy micro/convec does indeed lie fallow - relegated to only the most meager chores ... warming soup and zapping veggie patties. How very sad indeed.
Then again, let's be honest - most food cooked in a microwave sucks. Period. Granted, the microwave has cornered the market on reheating left-overs - and for that its indispensable. As for actual cooking I can think of only one area where the wave really shines ... squash. Its perfect for taming the squash beast ... be it spaghetti, butternut, acorn or what have you. Roasted squash is divine, to be sure, but when people are hungry and need to be fed, you simply can't beat the wave for a quick, easy squash dish.
Savory Steamed Acorn Squash:
- 1 large acorn squash, washed, seeds removed and quartered
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- an assortment of spices, including: nutmeg, paprika, curry powder, Chinese Five Spice powder, whatever you like
- Pure Maple Syrup
Now, I know the maple syrup isn't very Beachy ... but its delicious, and I only use a few drops. The sweet/savory combination of the shallots, spices and syrup really brings the flavor of the acorn squash to life. I vary the spices, depending on my mood and you really can't go wrong here so feel free to experiment! Microwave steaming yields a very moist and tender squash and the texture is just lovely. If wish to go the more traditional route, you can pepare the squash as above and roast it, uncovered, in your oven at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or so.
Last night, I served the squash with some really yummy baked pork chops ... and I'll tell you all about them ... tomorrow. Stay tuned!
So, have you been neglecting your microwave? Or have you bonded with it in a way I have yet to master? Curious Diva wants to know.