Question re: roasted garlic and microwave
I'm making garlic mashed potatos- the recipe in which you roast garlic and use the squeshy interior for the spuds. Can this "roasting" be accomplished in the microwave?
I don't want to heat the house up.
You can roast a whole head of garlic in the toaster oven in about ten minutes. Cut off the top of the head, spread a little olive oil, and bake in the toaster at 400.
You are not going to get carmelization in the microwave, I don't think.
You could mince it up and pop in the micro with your butter and milk, however. But the garlic taste will be sharp, not mellow.
Not without some modifactions, roasting garlic benefits from some steam, but the microwave tends to overheat the oil in the garlic.
I suppose you could try and use a microwave dish that is totally inert (the hard plasticy stuff from Nordicware and avon-laby style organization works pretty well) so that as little heat as possible is left to sizzle the oils. Of course you'd need to totally peel a whole bunch of cloves so that the water-to-volatile oil ratio is more favorable -- the dry outer layer that get all soggy in a oven roasting start papery and would burn in a microwave. I'd also NOT use full power, as I've found that slower longing microwaving tends to work better when you don't want a steamy "explosive".
Are you averse to using the range top? I've simmered peeled garlic cloves in oil on the stove and it comes out soft and "roasted" like it does in the oven.
I somehow once ended up with a plastic gizmo that was designed for roating garlic in the microwave (don't ask). It was shaped like a head of garlic, you opened it up and put a little water in the bottom, and put in the head of garlic (can't remember about slicing off top or not). The bottom of the garlic ended up mushy and the tops were dry/scorched (?!!?). I never tried it that way again.
I have a similar device but mine's terra cotta, not plastic. It works in the microwave and the regular oven, and it works pretty well. I even ran it thru the dishwasher a time or two (not supposed to) and it survived.
I like the ideas about pan roasting or simmering the garlic in milk, though.
You can also separate the cloves, leave the peel on, and toast them in a dry skillet. (This is a Rick Bayless technique.) Once they are browned on all sides, just peel and use like you would the roasted garlic cloves.