Thanksgiving Countdown: Three Easy Sides
We show you how to make baby pumpkins and basil green beans - using your microwave.
I'm here to tell you a secret: your microwave is your friend.
Microwaves are a terrible thing for meat, but they're a great tool for tender-crisp green beans, firm but full cooked baby carrots and edible baby pumpkins.
I have two recipes for you that I promise no one will know came out of a microwave. Better yet, they're almost criminally easy yet look like fancy holiday food.
EASY MICROWAVED BABY PUMPKINS
Baby pumpkins are just as edible as the normal sized varieties. They're also just as tasty. Just hollow those suckers out and add a dollop of brown sugar and a dollop of butter.
- 12 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons of butter or margarine
- 6 baby pumpkins
Cut the tops off your baby pumpkins. Don't throw them away - these are your fancy garnish. Now use a kitchen spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings. If you want to save them for roasting, feel free. If not, throw the insides away.
Put three hollowed pumpkin bottoms on a microwave safe platter. More pumpkins will slow down cooking time and leave them unevenly cooked.
Microwave them for six minutes. Take them out, fill with one tablespoon of butter or margerine, two tablespoons of brown sugar and a dusting of cinnamon. Put the pumpkin lid back on top and you're finished.
If you have a low wattage microwave and your pumpkins come out a little too tough, just put them back in for a minute at a time. Check the bottom by poking tines into it. The fork times should slide nicely into the pumpkin's flesh.
Feel free to add some whipped cream and use these as a pumpkin pie substitute for dessert. Otherwise, serve them instead of sweet potatoes - or stuff them with your sweet potatoes for a fancy, edible presentation.
EASY MICROWAVED BASIL GREEN BEANS
Fresh green beans are great when microwaved. Most people boil out all the flavor or steam them into submission without adding spices. You can make restaurant style veggies at home in less than five minutes. Microwaving gives you a great texture, fast speed and a chance to glue spices straight onto the veggies.
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tsp salt
Mix the olive oil, basil and salt in a large, microwave safe bowl. Add the green beans and mix until they're well coated. Microwave for four minutes. Mix again and serve.