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Seabass with ginger, steak with capers: quick and simple in the microwave.

Enthusiasts who yearn to Put their microwave ovens to greater use will find Sunset's new Microwave Main Dishes (Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, Calif., 1990; $7.95) full of ideas for fast, nutritious, even elegant meals.

Microwave cooking can save you time, but speed is not the only advantage. A dish prepared in a microwave will often retain more nutrients and have better color and fresher flavors than its counterpart prepared by conventional methods such as baking or steaming. Microwave cooking can also simplify cleanup most of the entrees in this book are cooked and served in a single dish.

If you've ever tried to make a favorite recipe using a microwave instead of a conventional oven, you're aware that very different steps are required to achieve similar results. This book introduces you to those differences with a brief review of the basics-including how microwaves work, factors that affect cooking times, techniques for even cooking, and information about which containers, materials, and tools work best in a microwave.

The 96-page Microwave Main Dishes presents more than 100 main dishes that make from 1 to 8 servings, with the emphasis on ones that serve 4 to 6. As examples, we've chosen a light seabass dish from the fish and shellfish chapter and microwave-browned beef steak from the meat chapter. Chilies, soups, and stews; egg, cheese, and pasta entrees; and poultry dishes are well represented in their own chapters.

Special features include microwave basics for eggs; meat, seafood, and poultry cooking charts; dinners for one; breads and snacks; and many useful cooking tips.
 Seabass with Ginger
Preparation time: About 15 minutes
Microwaving time: 2 to 4 minutes
Standing time: 3 minutes
 For a light, lean, and flavorful entree,
enhance seabass with orange and fresh
ginger. Chinese pea pods or buttered baby
carrots make colorful companions.
 3/4 to 1 pound white seabass fillets
each 1 to 1 1/2 in. thick)
 2 tablespoons orange juice
 4 teaspoons soy sauce
 2 teaspoons finely shredded fresh
 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange
 Fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs
 Orange wedges

Rinse fish and pat dry. To butterfly fish, cut each fillet in half horizontally almost all the way through; open fillets out flat. On both sides of each opened-out fillet, make crosswise cuts at 1-inch intervals; cut toward center of fillet, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch-wide strip uncut at center. Set fish pieces in a 9- by 13-inch microwave-safe baking dish and drizzle evenly with orange juice and soy. Sprinkle ginger and orange peel evenly over fish. Cover and cook in a microwave oven on full power (100 percent) for 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Fish should be opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test). If necessary, cover and cook on full power for 1 to 2 minutes longer, testing for doneness every 30 seconds.

Arrange fish on plates; garnish with cilantro and orange wedges. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 210 cal.; 38 g protein; 4 g fat; 3 g carbo.; 823 mg sodium; 82 mg chol.

Steak with Mustard-Caper Sauce Preparation time: About 2 minutes Microwaving time: About 7 minutes Standing time: 2 minutes

The lean, boneless steaks labeled cube steaks" or minute steaks" in the meat market are actually beef round steak-first cut into individual portions, then run through a mechanical tenderizer. The meat sizzles on a microwave browning dish; the dish is heated in the microwave before the meat goes onto it.
 2 cube beef steaks (about 6 oz.
 4 teaspoons prepared steak sauce
 2 tablespoons dry sherry
 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire
 1 tablespoon drained capers
 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
 Watercress sprigs

Brush each steak on each side with 1 teaspoon steak sauce. Set steaks aside.

Preheat a 2- to 2 1/2-quart or 10-inch-square microwave browning dish in a microwave oven on full power (100 percent) for 4 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together sherry, mustard, Worcestershire, and capers; set aside.

Using oven mitts, carefully transfer browning dish to a heatproof surface. Add steaks and wait until sizzling stops. Then turn steaks over and cook in microwave oven, uncovered, on full power for 45 seconds. Transfer steaks to a plate, cover loosely, and let stand for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, add butter to browning dish and heat, uncovered, on full power until butter melts, 25 to 30 seconds. Stir in sherry mixture and heat, uncovered, on full power until hot, about 45 seconds. Pour sauce over steaks and garnish with watercress. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 534 cal.; 33 g protein; 42 g fat; 5 g carbo.; 656 mg sodium; 143 mg chol.

Tips scattered through the hook include helpful ideas like these.

*To simplify stirring food in a covered casserole, cut a slit in center of the plastic wrap and insert a wooden spoon. That way, you won't need to remove or replace either the plastic or the spoon every time you stir.

* If the dish must stay tightly covered during cooking, remove spoon after each stir and patch the slit with a small piece of plastic wrap.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Oct 1, 1990
Previous Article:Baked potatoes stuffed with good things.
Next Article:Smooth soups.

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