In a comment on my last post, Robin pointed out that not all ceramic tableware is microwave-safe. She’s right, and plastic can also be a problem. If your utensils don’t have a label, you can use the following test for microwave compatibility.
From The Great Microwave Dessert Book by Thelma Pressman, p. 2:
Place a glass measuring cup filled with water in your microwave. Place the dish you want to test next to it, but do not allow the two to touch. Heat on high (600-700 watts) for one minute. [Note: Many modern microwaves use 900-1000 watts or more, so adjust the time accordingly.] At the end of that time, the water will be warm and the utensil should be cold. If the dish becomes warm, it means it is absorbing microwave energy and is not microwave-safe.
Yael asked for soup and stir-fry. I generally don’t make soup in the microwave because once you get above a certain quantity, it’s not practical. But here is a recipe from The Well-Filled Microwave Coookbook by Victoria Wise and Sandra Pressman. It serves 3-4 people and you can add other vegetables if you like.
Granny’s Basic Vegetable Soup (pp. 95-96)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
4 medium (1 pound) ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
4 small carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-wide slices
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups water
1. Place the oil and onion in a large bowl and microwave, uncovered, on HIGH for 3 minutes, or until wilted. Add the tomatoes, cover the bowl, and microwave on HIGH for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the mixture is soupy.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and microwave on HIGH for 20 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are tender. Remove the bay leaf. Serve right away.
I highly recommend this (non-kosher) cookbook, which includes basic instructions for cooking items like legumes and potatoes as well as exotic desserts, condiments, sandwiches, grains and more. I once used it to make a delicious pomegranate-quince relish. [Note: If you buy through the above link, you help to support this blogger.]
Mock Stir-Fried Rice (p. 193)
For two portions, cut about 1/2 cup fresh vegetables, including some bean sprouts and scallions, into small dice or matchsticks. Place the vegetables and a little oil in a bowl and wilt for two minutes, until soft, in the microwave. Stir in two cups cooked rice, sprinkle with water, and reheat until steaming, 3 minutes more. Lightly beat an egg and stir it into the rice to break it up. The steam cooks the egg right away without returning to the microwave. Serve hot.
My Sugat rice package had instructions for cooking rice in the microwave that worked for me, but I don’t have the package anymore. Wise and Pressman say to use the same amount of liquid and time as for stove-top rice, but to expect it to boil over.
You may enjoy these posts on microwave cooking at CookingManager.Com: