Tip of the week
Gourmet uses for a microwave
Dry herbs. Microwaves can dry hardy fresh herbs—sage, rosemary, thyme, mint—in a flash. Place the herbs in a single layer between paper towels and zap them at full power for 1 to 3 minutes. They’re done when the leaves turn brittle.
Dehydrate citrus peel. Strips of citrus peel will dry in 2 to 3 minutes. Store them in an airtight container to have zest on demand.
Mellow garlic. Microwaving garlic for 15 seconds reduces its bite by preventing the formation of allicin, a sulfur compound produced when garlic is cut. A bonus: Microwaved cloves are “a cinch to peel.”
Dehydrate eggplant. To prep eggplant for sautéing or frying, toss cubed chunks with salt, then cover a plate with a double layer of paper towels sprayed lightly with vegetable oil. Spread eggplant out evenly and microwave 8 to 15 minutes, until shriveled. Transfer immediately to another towel-lined plate.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated
And for those who have everything…
Pure maple syrup is kid’s stuff. The new nectar of the woods is derived from the sap of a more parsimonious tree, and only 40 producers in the world have the patience to make it. Botanical Springs Birch Syrup is a fine example. “More savory than sweet,” it combines alluring flavors of molasses and citrus but tastes less suited for a pancake breakfast than for cocktails, a steak sauce, and dressings. The Massachusetts honey and syrup purveyor that makes it reports that birch syrup requires “quite a bit more sap” than its maple products. It also sells for about three times maple’s price.
$25 for 3.45 oz, botanicalsprings.buzz
Source: The Boston Globe