Instead of croutons, consider making these crisp little chorizo
bites to crunch up your salad. © Jonny Valiant
Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.
Before I had kids, I would never have owned a microwave. It was almost a point of pride that I didn't have one—so bourgeois. Cold coffee would've been poured down the drain and a fresh cup brewed—ah, the indulgences of single living—but now it's indispensable in the kitchen. Baked potatoes can be an afterthought, as can toasting nuts or melting butter. However, I do still finish off the potatoes in a toaster oven for five minutes to crisp the skin. And don't forget the obvious tasks that required lots of gas, electricity and time, like rewarming leftovers and sterilizing manky dish sponges. Mmm.
Recently, I've even used the microwave for more ambitious things, like making beef jerky and homemade vegetable crisps and chorizo chips, which are a crunchy cross between bacon bits and croutons. I've even crumbled the crispy chips and folded them into softened butter, which is amazing on baked potatoes (thank you, microwave X2) or pasta or spreading on crusty bread. They're pretty awesome in salads, which may be my favorite use, because they're salty, meaty and crunchy—and, because the fat has been completely rendered, they're surprisingly lean. SEE RECIPE »