“Do we really need it” she asked.
“Probably not” I said. “But, it might be nice to have”.
“I don’t know. From what I have seen, it looks like a lot of money to heat up some french fries” she replied.
“It does a lot more then that” I interjected. “You can do steaks, chops, chicken and stuff like that too. You can even bake a cake in one”.
“Yeah, right! I can just see me baking a little tiny cake in there. I have an oven for that”.
“It’s supposed to be a lot healthier” I said. “You don’t have to use any oil at all if you don’t want to”.
“We have a frier now. How often do we use it” she replied?
“Well, I’ll tell you why I don’t use it” I said. “Because it uses a whole bottle of oil which, after we fry up some potatoes or something, we have to strain and cool the oil, pour it back in a bottle, and refrigerate it until the next time we want to make more of our own french fries. It’s more trouble then it is worth”.
“Well, OK, I guess” she said. “If you think we will use it, go ahead and order one”.
And that is how this giant egg shaped thing ended up in our kitchen. Our new Air Fryer. And, as so often happens with many other new purchases, the first thing we did was find a shelf to put it on. And there it sat, intimidating both of us for a few weeks. Finally I dragged it out and, starting slowly, incinerated some frozen french fries and some onion rings. So, back on the shelf it went, coming out infrequently until I began to feel more comfortable with it.
Times have changed however, and as the recently installed commander of “the big kitchen”, I have become much more adventurous (adventurous, a word meaning that I will try irrational things because I don’t have a clue what I am doing). And the Air Fryer is one of those things.
As we have begun to come to grips with each other, I find that, like with so many other things, there is more then one way to get from point a to point b. For instance, the manual that came with the appliance says a chicken breast should be cooked at 360 for 10 minutes. My cookbook say do it for 12 minutes at 380. The fryer also has a pre set for chicken calling for 400 for 12 minutes. I for one love this as it says my guess is a good as theirs. It gives me the latitude to cook however I wish and see what happens. I have decided that the best way is to use the fryer in conjunction with an instant read thermometer. That way, I know where I want to get and can sneak up on it by slowly adding time. When done, I just adjust my recipe and the amount of wine I consume.
I also have another secret weapon. My wife always bought her herbs and spices on line. The prices were reasonable, she could buy in the quantities she wanted, and they were fresh. However, with each order, they would always throw in samples of spice blends for you to try, which went into a drawer and stayed there. I recently opened that drawer and was overjoyed to find such things as Barbeque Seasoning, Manzanillo Mexican Seasoning, Beef Brisket Rub, Mediterranean Dry Rub, and even something called Flippin The Bird Rub for chicken. I tried the chicken one last night and, although it needed some salt, I enjoyed a juicy, spicy chicken breast. Paired with an off the shelf rice dish, it made a delicious meal for one.
So far, I have made fried shrimp, kickin sticky chicken wings, a juicy burger, and now routinely do frozen fries and onion rings. And, I just found a recipe for a beef rollup using a flank steak, provolone cheese, pesto, roasted bell pepper, spinach, and some salt and pepper. I’ve got to try that one. I know I have frozen spinach in the refrigerator that I didn’t know what to do with, and a jar of roasted peppers in the pantry. Sounds like a plan. Now, stand back while I Fry Me To The Moon.