A Man, a Can, a Microwave: 50 Tasty Meals You Can Nuke in No Time

David Joachim, Author Rodale Press $15.95 (43p) ISBN 978-1-57954-892-6
Bound in the kind of thick, stain-proof pages usually employed for preschool boardbooks, this cookbook dumbs down basic recipes to inventive new lows. The Men's Health magazine team responsible for the similarly silly A Man, A Can, A Plan again explain how to microwave canned food into something approximating dinner. Rather than saute or simmer, readers are instructed to""dump"" and""nuke"" ingredients, as in a recipe for Sweet and Sour Meatballs, which requires a can of crushed pineapples, a can of sloppy joe sauce and a pound of frozen precooked meatballs. Other recipes not for the faint of heart include Slab O' Ham with Redeye Gravy (essentially microwaved slices of canned ham in a coffee/pork sauce gravy) and Hot Slam Dunk, a dip that calls for mayonnaise, sour cream, canned artichoke hearts, spinach and a few other ingredients to be microwaved together for several minutes. (The authors award""Extra credit"" to those who pour the mixture into a hollowed-out loaf of pumpernickel.) Nevertheless, despite its frightening culinary intentions, there's a nice sense of fun in this cookbook, and a few decent ideas to boot. Why not microwave chocolate syrup, whole milk and vanilla extract together for Liquid Bliss? It's a reliable, no-brainer way to make hot chocolate. And there's nothing nauseating about the canned yam-based Sam-I-Am Casserole--butter and brown sugar mask a variety of sins. While this might make a great (gag?) gift for the newly independent frat guy or confirmed bachelor, it's hard to imagine any but the hardiest kitchen-phobes making frequent use of this book, especially when it's so easy to just order in.
Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
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