This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to what food people are obsessed with eating, drinking, and buying right now. Next up, contributor Emily Butler writes about her love for her Anyday Cookware.
Two weeks before back surgery, I bought some things I thought would ease my recovery. I started with a toilet seat riser. You never think you’re going to be the person who shops for something like that, but then you are. I ordered hands-free sneakers and a good robe. Lastly, I acquired a set of microwavable cookware from an outfit called Anyday.
I’ve gotten along for decades without a microwave, and that includes cooking school, stints in restaurants, a run at professional catering, and busting out meals for a family of five. However, after flipping through Cooking at Home (an ode to the ease of microwave cooking by BA contributor Priya Krishna and David Chang, who is also a partner in Anyday) I decided that while my spine healed, I’d give the appliance a shot. Now I’m in a serious relationship with the thing, and Anyday cookware is what got me there.
I opted for The Complete Set and received six microwave bowls of varying sizes, all of which are made of frosted glass. You might be thinking, “But I already have a dozen glass containers, not to mention a cupboard full of microwave-safe plates,” and that’s fair. Why buy one more dang thing, let alone six?
The answer lies in the lids, which, it turns out, are everything when it comes to microwave cooking. Anyday lids are rimmed with a silicone gasket and punctuated by a silicone knob that lets steam escape. This avoids explosions and spillages while retaining enough moisture to keep food juicy. No more laminating your food with plastic wrap. No more covering leftovers with dubious wet paper towels. You lift the knob to microwave your food. Later, you press the knob back down to create an airtight, stackable container for the leftovers.
The genuine food I’m able to coax out of my paltry, 700 watt microwave with this cookware is astonishing. Rice made in an Anyday dish is just as delicious as rice from my beloved rice cooker—it almost hurts me to admit that. Bacon is the bomb. Corn on the cob? Absolutely stellar. Microwaved salmon fillet: five stars. I nuked some chicken and, reader, it was good.
I will leave you with instructions for the French onion soup that I’ve been making since the eighties, now adapted for a 700 watt microwave. Thinly slice two sweet onions into the Anyday Large Deep bowl. Add three tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper. Throw in a bit of thyme, either fresh or dried. Cook covered (knob up!) for about an hour, during which time you may return to your sickbed, rising on the quarter hour to give the onions a quick stir. (Adjust cooking time downward for your almost certainly higher wattage microwave.) At the halfway mark, pour half a cup of dry white wine, one tablespoon of sherry and two cups of beef broth into a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer. When the onions have assumed a dark golden hue, add the liquid and cook covered, again knob up, for ten more minutes. Employ this time to make cheesy toast (using that Gruyère you’ve been hoarding since Easter) under the broiler. Ladle soup into a bowl, float the toast, and eat something marvelous before the next round of physical therapy begins.