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Microwave Gourmet Paperback – January 7, 1998


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About the Author

Barbara Kafka is the bestselling author of Roasting: A Simple Art, which won a Julia Child Cookbook Award, and Party Food. She writes on a regular basis for The New York Times, is a TVFN (Television Food Network) regular, and contributes to numerous food magazines. She lives in New York City and Vermont.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 575 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688157920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688157920
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Eileen G. on December 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book deserves all of the praise it has earned. In addition, the section on time-consuming (because you have to keep checking the steam bath) Steamed Puddings - fabulous, moist cake-like English desserts, including Chocolate, Pear, a spiced pudding, and Papaya - is invaluable, and my initial reason for buying the book. One might want to resist baking conventional cakes in the microwave, but cakes are included, and several I tried emerged exactly as promised. Frostings, too. In addition, there are reduction sauces that you can prepare in minutes, and beautiful soups - Caribbean Fish Stew, cream soups, and much more. The ingredients lists are refreshingly straightforward and do not demand obscure ingredients. Kafka has got microwave cooking completely figured out, she is generous with her know-how, she is an innovator, and best of all - offers great food in this very useful book.
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I make a point of distrusting blurbs by friendly (and probably compensated) colleagues and self-congratulatory comments on the covers of all books, especially cookbooks, where the criteria for quality are often a lot more objective than for fiction, memoirs, or criticism, for example. In rare cases, an especially strong or unexpected blurb can turn my head. With this book, the combination of distinguished cookbook author Barbara Kafka and front cover blurb source Maida Heatter combined with the very prosaic subject of the microwave has definitely turned my head. Ms. Heatter says `Don't even think about using a microwave without Microwave Gourmet'. Maida Heatter is rarely wrong about anything.
The microwave seems to be the iceberg lettuce of kitchen appliances. It is the device that many culinary writer / TV hosts love to malign, or at least ignore. Sara Moulton seems proud of the fact that she does not even own one. The microwave so prominently visible on Rachael Ray's set of '30 Minute Meals' rarely gets any use. Gadget king Alton Brown has, in about sixty shows I have seen, used it but once or twice. He at least did us the favor of explaining how it works on one occasion.
Some prominent culinary author whose name escapes me at the moment has said the microwave is good for melting chocolate, baking potatoes, and cooking bacon, and that's about it. That statement actually did me a favor, as I didn't even give it credit for doing those things. I regularly do baked potatoes and bacon in the microwave now. On the other hand, I have had a long history of failures and accidents with using my microwave, all entirely due to my misunderstanding its capabilities and limits. Using it to soften butter often leads to greasy messes.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
I recieved this book as a graduation gift from my aunt. This book, which I revere as a bible, saved me from eating endless meals of delivery pizza and spagettios. Some of the meals are a little too gourmet for a college student, but this book made me the most popular girl in my wing! I highly recommend it to any college student or anyone else.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tim Michael on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've had Barbara Kafka's "Roasting" cookbook for several years and will never part with it, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that "Microwave Gourmet" is a keeper, too -- but who would have thought that microwave brownies could be so GOOD?! That recipe alone is worth the price of the book. I can make a pan of fudgy raspberry-laced brownies in 20 min. start to finish (I've been known to make them during commercial breaks).
From a classic mac-&-cheese that my five year old loves (good-bye fake cheese packets!), to cakes, cookies, and preserves, from Szechuan green beans to her famous risotto, Kafka covers an amazing amount of culinary territory (did you know you can deep-fry in the microwave?). I still have to remind myself to turn to this book when I'm looking for traditional recipes, the ones I normally wouldn't micro-cook; but whenever I look up a dish or a main ingredient I always find something tasty and fast.
The Dictionary section at the back is full of useful information for the cook, and there are lists and diagrams of the cookware you'll find most suitable for the recipes as well. Kafka clearly explains how to follow any special micro-cooking directions (making a seal with cling wrap, for example). And as always, her great humor shines through.
I've only had the book about 2 months, so I've barely scratched the surface, but so far everything has turned out exactly as described. On my next trip to the states I plan to pick up some glass souffle dishes (I can't seem to find any in Taiwan that don't cost a fortune) so I can try out more of her recipes. Personally, I would never have the patience to experiment with a microwave recipe again and again until it came out right, but thankfully, I don't have to -- Kafka has done all the work, and I get to have all the fun.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By jeh@lava.net or John Hall on July 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
Introductory chapters excellent for understanding how this media works. Last sections alphabetic quick guide to cooking all sorts of things. Recipes are superb--and truly gourmet. Try her home-made mango chutney with home-made curry powder (seeds roasted in the microwave and all!!) As we say in Hawaii: "ONO!!" meaning "the greatest" or "excellent." Heartily recommend this book.
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