Cooking seafood in the microwave - part 2

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Basic Techniques for Microwaving Seafood
Stirring
Poaching
Steaming
Opening Shellfish
Arranging
Microwaving Whole Fish
How to Microwave a Whole Lobster

Stirring helps small individual shellfish or cubes or fish cook evenly. Examples: shrimp, scallops, squid rings, oysters, or cubes of firm fish. Squid tubes are the ultimate convenience food and can be microwaved in 60 seconds. The tubes can be purchased already cleaned, ready to slice into rings for almost instant cooking.

Poaching hearty fish steaks in an aromatic liquid brings out the mostly delicate flavors. The fish is added to hot liquid and microwaved briefly, standing in the liquid afterward for a couple of minutes.

Steaming in parchment creates a mini-steamer, holding in the natural juices of the foods as they cook. This method retains a maximum of flavor and moisture of the seafood.

Opening shellfish is fast and easy in the microwave. Cover a plate of mussels or clams with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes.

Remove those that open; re-cover and continue to microwave the closed ones for 2-4 minutes. Discard any that do not open; they are probably dead.

Arranging seafood for the most even cooking is necessary for successful microwaving. Since seafood comes in various shapes, sizes and thicknesses, particular attention must be paid to placement in the dish. Fillets that vary in thickness should be arranged so that their thin ends overlap and the fish form the shape of a wreath.

Microwaving whole fish will ensure moist and succulent results. Small pieces of aluminum foil can be used to "shield" head and tail from overcooking. Put foil completely around, crimping tightly so no foil sticks out. The meaty part of the fish should not be covered with foil.

1. Quickly kill the lobster by inserting a large knife at the "X" mark on the back of the shell - or carapace - just below the head.

This quickly severs the spinal cord.

2. To keep the lobster flat while cooking it, inset a wooden peg, bamboo skewer or wooden chopstick under the shell from tail to head.

3. Place two (1 to 1 pound) lobsters in a 4-quart pot. Add cup white wine.

4. Cover with lid and microwave on HIGH 8-10 minutes, or until the shells turn red.

Simply Seafood Summer 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 08-23-95

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