According to the EXIF data of the photos in this post, I cooked this dish on December 3, 2010, a Friday, between 1:00 and 1: 30 p.m. The girls would have been away in college then and their father would have been at work.
That means it was a day when I had all the time to experiment, and experiment I did — prompted by the discovery that there was a way to brown meat in the microwave and that I already had the perfect pan for doing it.
I’ve always had a number of ceramic cookware. I loved that they can go into the oven, the stovetop and microwave. There was one that had a bottom different from that of the rest. Textured, black with small white dots. It wasn’t until that day that I realized that that bottom served a special purpose — browning food.
I prepped the ingredients for a microwave pilaf. Two sausages (the casings were discarded), carrot, peas and sliced mushrooms.
The microwave browning skillet was preheated before the sausage meat was spread in it. Into the microwave oven went the skillet where the sausage meat fried in its own fat. The carrot cubes and sliced mushrooms were added and back into the microwave the skillet went to brown the mushrooms and carrot cubes too.
Because the microwave browning skillet was too shallow to cook pilaf in, I took a deeper microwavable bowl. I poured in broth, heated it in the microwave, added rice and dropped in peas. Salt and pepper were sprinkled in and the bowl went into the microwave for ten minutes.
With the rice still undercooked and wet, the browned sausage meat, carrot cubes and sliced mushrooms were mixed in. The bowl went back into the microwave and the contents were cooked for five minutes. With the microwave oven off, the bowl was left inside for another five minutes to allow it to rest and to give the rice a chance to fluff up in the steam that had built up inside the bowl.
And there it was. Perfectly cooked rice, mushrooms and vegetables with a generous amount of browned sausage meat.
Microwave sausage and mushroom pilaf
- Microwave browning skillet
- Microwave bowl
- 1 to 2 smoky, garlicky sausages (about 100 grams)
- ½ cup cubed carrot
- ½ cup green peas
- 4 to 6 button mushrooms sliced
- ¾ cup long-grain rice (I used jasmine)
- 1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups bone broth
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Heat a microwave browning skillet on HIGH, uncovered, for one minute.
- Spread the sausage meat in the hot skillet and cook on HIGH, uncovered, for one minute.
- Add the mushrooms and carrot. Cook on HIGH for another 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Measure the broth into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for about two minutes on HIGH.
- Pour the rice into the hot broth.
- Add the peas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cook on HIGH for ten minutes uncovered.
- Add the sausage meat mixture to the rice.
- Mix lightly. If the mixture appears too dry, add a few tablespoonfuls of hot broth.
- Return to the microwave and cook, covered, for five minutes on MEDIUM. Leave in the microwave without removing the cover for another five minutes.
- Fluff up the rice with a spoon and serve.