Find out how to prepare dinner a candy potato completely within the microwave – very straightforward

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In the middle of the pandemic, I discovered that a burner on my stove had a gas leak. (2020, amiright?) With my oven prematurely retiring and an equipment shortage creating a long waiting list for a replacement, I began to rely on my other kitchen appliances to fill the void.

One of the things I learned: you can make a damn good sweet potato in the microwave. While it takes about an hour to bake a sweet potato, the microwave can do the job in under 10 minutes.

Preparing sweet potatoes quickly is a good trick, as these nutrient-rich potatoes can make a quick weekday side dish or even a main meal. (I love this laden veggie sweet potato recipe.) Then, Thanksgiving, when you’re tight in the oven while the turkey and green beans casserole cooks, you can microwave the sweet potatoes for your sweet potato pie.

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We asked chef Rebekah Ziesmer from Ready Set Eat, a recipe site that works with Conagra Brands, how to perfectly microwave a sweet potato. Here are her chef-approved tips:

Do not use the preset “potato” button on your microwave. This setting is intended for a stronger white potato. There is a chance that this will result in an undercooked or undercooked potato. Wash the sweet potato and scrub it well if you want to eat the skin. Then dry the potato completely with a towel. Prick the potato in several places with a fork. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Turn the potato over and place it in the microwave for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of your potato. You’ll know it’s done when you can stick a knife through the center with no resistance. Cut the potato in half and add a piece of butter. If you’re plant-based, you can use one of Earth Balance’s butter spreads. For a sweet and savory combo, add a little salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon, mash with a fork, and microwave for another 30 seconds. Like a crispy potato? Ziesmer recommends spraying an olive oil-based cooking spray such as the Pam Olive Oil Spray Pump onto your potato’s skin in front of the microwave. Five pumps around the sweet potato are enough. Or the kitchen recommends pushing a boiled potato under the grill until the skin is dry and crispy.

I also made sweet potato puree by forking the sweet potato meat out of the microwave-cooled potato and mashing it with a potato masher with butter and Maldon sea salt flakes.

What other side dishes have you perfected in the microwave?

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