The Microwave – My Best Friend

Defrosting tips

microwave ovenUntil LeKue came into my life my microwave was a limited tool used for reheating a cup of tea or bowl of soup. Now I’m learning to use my microwave to great advantage and my 15 year old microwave is my best friend providing me with tasty, beautiful and very nutritious meals.  

Today’s tip – Defrosting food in the microwave                                 from Lekue’s SHORTCUTS

Lekue Steamer
Lekue Steamer

Freezing is one of the best methods  for long term food preservation; it stops all biological processes. Frozen foods, once cooked and stored properly, have organoleptic and nutritional properties that are very similar to those held prior to freezing.

To defrost in the microwave, it is recommended that you do so in different phases, mixing the ingredients of the dish from time to time to ensure the dish is defrosted evenly.

Defrost in a covered container to prevent food from drying out; the retention of the steam will help homogenize the inner temperature.

One trick for defrosting individual pieces (one piece of raw salmon? slices of bread?): add 2 to 3 Tbsp of water to the steam case (under the tray), the food on top of the tray will defrost nicely.

Use a glass of water to aid in defrosting
Use a glass of water to aid in defrosting

OR.. place the food to be defrosted on a dish and cover with a microwave-proofed lid. Set a glass of water beside the dish. Defrost time will be slightly longer with this method, but it will keep the food from partially cooking. Reason?  It is the water temperature that will rise  – not the temperature of the food.

Defrosting food in the microwave is safe and fast. Bacteria do not have time to multiply – but the food must be eaten immediately after defrosting.

Always use microwave safe utensils and cookware and follow the directions of your microwave.

A New Use for an Old Friend

Using Lekyue’s Minute Cake Pans as Prep Bowls

Lekfue's Minute Cake Pans
Lekfue’s Minute Cake Pans

Thanks to one of today’s customers, we’ve found a new use for Lekue Minute Cake Pans.

They make great one-serving deserts.

I use them for cereal bowls carrying them through the house as I ready for the day.

Add a silicone lid and they become a containers for left overs.

Great children’s dishes.

 

Did you know. . .

A new use for your microwave

Your microwave can help you peel certain ingredients faster and easier. Put the ingredients in a LeKue Steam Case and cover with water. Heat in the microwave at full power (800 watts) as follows:

Steam Case serves 1 to 2 people
Steam Case serves 1 to 2 people

Chestnuts   1 – 1:30 minutes                                                                     Garlic 30-45 seconds                                                                                 Tomato 1 minute

And try using those chestnuts in this soup recipe:

  1. Drizzle olive oil in a saute pot.  Lightly saute 3/4 oz mushrooms, 2 peeled and quartered chestnuts,
    Chestnuts
    Chestnuts

    half a clove of peeled and sliced garlic. Salt to taste.

  2. Add 1 1/4 pt of vegetable stock, 2 tbsp rice. Cook at med. heat.

LeKue’s Rice Cooker

Advantages of the LeKue rice cooker

Lekue’s Rice Cooker is attractive and versatile

The versatile rice cooker
The versatile rice cooker
  • Saves time. No need to boil water first
  • Beautifully designed so that the water does not overflow – microwave stays clean
  • From kitchen to table. The simple practical design may be used as a serving vessel
  • Use for a wide variety of grains: couscous, wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat, etc.
  • Serviceable for any grains - even your morning oatmeal
    Serviceable for any grains – even your morning oatmeal

    Scientifically tested. The design is the result of research on cooking rice with microwaves

  • Dishwasher safe: made of 100% platinum silicone and plastic
For all types of rice and grains
For all types of rice and grains

Lekue’s Mini Pan – Plus

Multiple uses for Lekue’s Minute Cake Pan

Lekue’s Minute Cake Pan is great for that one serving of desert; their recipes easy and elegant.

Great for one serving deserts
Great for one serving deserts

But once these little guys are in your kitchen you’ll find other uses.  I carry one around with me in the morning grabbing bites of my morning muesli and fruit while getting ready for a busy day at Inner Oasis.

Great for small left-overs. Just cover with a 4 inch silicone lid from Charles Viancin and it’s sealed and waiting for you when it’s needed.

Silicone lids stick and seal
Silicone lids stick and seal

Any one with young children? Wouldn’t they love to eat from these bright pretty bowls?

 

Cheese Making Ingredients

You choose the best products for your cheese making

Inner Oasis has interested, intelligent customers asking great questions about Lekue products.

Cheese making requires fresh milk and an acid to separate the milk from the whey.

Usable milk:                                                                                                      fresh whole cow’s milk*                                                                                    goats milk                                                                                               sheep’s milk                                                                                           lactose-free fresh milk                                                                             skim or semi-skim milk                                                                              salt-free milk                                                                                              skim or Semi-Skim fresh pasturized milk                                                                                           *best quality cheese

Usable acids:                                                                                                    vinegar                                                                                                     lemon                                                                                                           lime                                                                                                           yogurt

Did you know that fresh cheese contains a higher percentage of water than aged cheese, and therefore contains fewer calories?

from Lekue/Alicia

Claire’s tip for flavorful cheese

Adding dry herbs

A visit from Claire, a great fan of LeKue products; One of her favorites is the cheese maker.

Easy, quick and delicious
Easy, quick and delicious

The recipe Lekue provides is simple and easy to follow, but Claire likes more flavor. Her solution:  adding dry herbs (chives, cracked pepper, perhaps a touch of oregano,) to the hot milk before you add your choice of lemon, vinegar or yogurt).  The heat helps to assure the herbal flavors are released and evenly distributed through your cheese.

Powering down to 800 watts

powering down to 800 watts is as easy as counting

Most of our microwaves are 1100 to 1200 watts.

Lekue’s recipes are for the 800 watt microwaves found in Europe (Lekue is from Barcelona, Spain).

To powerdown your microwave find your wattage located on an inside wall, or on the white edge you see when you open the microwave door.

microwave ovenEnter the cooking time and then press “power level”.  Next enter a number from 1 to 10 (10 will be full power that is 1100 or 1200 watts).

For example  8 would equal 880 watts for an 1100 watt microwave and 960 watts for a 1200 watt microwave.  5 would be 550 watts for an 1100 watt microwave and 600 watts for a 1200 watt microwave.

I have an 1100 watt microwave. I usually enter 7 (770 watts), cook for the suggested time and then add a bit more to reach my food preferences.   Once you find your spot and pattern you’ll never think about it again…it’s that easy

Myths and Legends

Common believes about microwave cooking – all FALSE

  1. Microwave cooking isn’t safe.”                                                             FALSE.  Microwaves emit low frequency radiation, often called non-ionizing radiation, such as radio or infrared waves. The World Health Organization endorse its safety.                                                            Source: http://www.who.int/pehemf/publications/facts/info_microwaves/en/
  2.  “Food cooks from the inside out.”
    Your microwave
    Your microwave

     FALSE: Emitted microwaves interact with the polar molecules in food, mostly water and fat, which begin to vibrate and generate heat, getting all the food properly cooked. Waves penetrate approximately 2cm deep into the food.                                           Sources:                  http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates,  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/microwave

  3. Microwave cooking causes loss of vitamins.”                                     FALSE: Microwaves do not have have the ability to change the molecular structure of food. Moreover, microwave cooking retains better the essential vitamins and minerals, especially the water-soluble vitamins (which are dissolved in water, such as vitamin C), as it is not necessary to soak the food in water to cook and it requires shorter cooking times. Sources:                                                                                                    Leskova et al. Vitamin losses: retention during heat treatment…  P.CVastells. Cocinar con microondas: una opcion cad vez mas habitaul para las nuevas generacions.
  4. It is dangerous to be in front of a microwave oven when it’s running.” FALSE: Waves cannot pass through the meal walls of the microwave oven. The door has a metal mesh with holes between 1 – 1.5 mm in diameter, while the wavelength of the microwave is 12 cm, so it is impossible for the waves to get through the microwave and it is completely safe for health. Source: http://Angel. qui.ub.es/mans/Documents/Textos/2013