The ultra-busy may dissolve gelatin in the microwave

Ask the Chef

July 06, 2003|By Jim Coleman & Candace Hagan | Jim Coleman & Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

Can I Dissolve Gelatin in the Microwave?

Man, are we too busy these days. This reminds me of the comedian who quotes the microwave directions on the back of a box of Pop-Tarts. It actually says to microwave those gourmet delights for three seconds -- yes, three seconds -- because who has time in their warp-speed lives to wait a minute and a half for them to cook in the toaster. So I guess if dissolving gelatin the old-fashioned way just doesn't fit into your hectic schedule, then yes, you can use the microwave to speed up the process.

To do it, put about four tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe cup and sprinkle a packet of gelatin over it. Let it soak for a couple of minutes until it is absorbed. Then microwave on high for about 25 to 40 seconds until hot, but not boiling. Remove the mixture from the microwave and stir until clear and completely dissolved. Let it cool completely before using as needed. Now while you are waiting for it to cool, you will remember all those things you have to do and realize you won't even have time to eat all day. Don't worry, you have just enough time to toss a Pop-Tart in the microwave.

Chef Jim Coleman is the executive chef at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, the author of three cookbooks and the host of two nationally syndicated cooking shows -- "A Chef's Table" on NPR, and "Flavors of America" on PBS. His wife, writer Candace Hagan, is a food writer.

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