French Fries - cooked with no oil!
As Lekkerbekke we are obviously very interested in – no, obsessed with – kitchen gadgets. From tiny little cheese picks to fancy Sous Vide machines, we want it all! To our utter delight the kind folks at Philips loaned us one of the most innovative kitchen gadgets we have had the pleasure of cooking with – the AirFryer. We blogged about the launch here, and now we had a couple of weeks to experiment with it.
KFC Style Chicken
The idea is genius: a tool that makes food taste like it has been deep fried, but in fact using very little or no oil at all. Who doesn’t love the crunch of deep fried anything? Now, we have to admit that we aren’t big fans of frozen French fries, but McCain sent a few bags of frozen chips along with the AirFryer, so we just had to try them… Wow! Out of everything we ‘Air Fried’ those chips were some of the best. Light, super crispy and with the bonus of using no oil! The skinny cut variety was our favourite.
Spicy Crumbed Mushrooms
For a few weeks we ate ‘Air Fried’ meals all the time, everything from mushrooms, to fish, to chicken, to vegetarian meat balls – if it could be crumbed, it was ‘fried’! Woolworths recently launched a range of Asian inspired snack meals, and the spring rolls and potato balls were delicious cooked in the AirFryer, so are samoosas.
Salmon Fish Cakes
The key to making tasty food in the AirFryer is by crumbing it with well seasoned flower and/or bread crumbs and an egg wash. This way a crispy pocket forms on the outside, while the inside is steamed. We did sprinkle some of the dishes with some vegetable oil for that extra crunch, but really, it’s not necessary.
Very little to no oil.
Super crunchy results.
Heats up quickly.
Size – the basket is small. We only managed to make two portions of anything at a time. So if you’re planning on serving Fish and Chips, you’ll have to cook it in two batches. Perfect for a singleton, a couple or a mom cooking for the kids, but not for an entire family (unless you’re just serving French fries).
In summary we really enjoyed cooking with the Philips AirFryer, and wouldn’t mind giving it a permanent place in our kitchen. If the size of the basket was increased by half, we think this machine could become a fixture in many households.
Moroccan Style Lentil & Aubergine Veggie Balls
Makes about 12 balls
1 can Lentils, drained and rinsed
2 Cups Aubergine, diced (similar in size to the lentils)
1 Medium Red Onion, finely diced
1 Tbls Garlic, chopped
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
¼ tsp Clove powder
¼ tsp Peri-peri powder
½ cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
½ cup Pine Nuts, chopped
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
Salt & Black Pepper
Yogurt and fresh coriander as a side sauce, Season with salt and pepper.
How to make it
Rinse lentils and place in a large mixing bowl.
Fry aubergine cubes in a splash of olive oil until tender, add to lentils.
Fry onion in the same pan with some olive oil until soft and translucent. Add cumin, coriander, cloves, peri-peri and garlic and fry for about two minutes until fragrant. Add mix to lentil and aubergine bowl.
Stir in chopped coriander and pine nuts. Season well with salt and pepper.
Add eggs and bread crumbs and mix well.
Scoop out ¼ cup sizes of the mixture and roll into balls.
Dust with bread crumbs and allow to set in the fridge for at least half an hour.
‘Fry’ in the Philips Air Fryer for 10 – 12 minutes on 200°C.
Alternatively bake in the oven for the same time or shallow fry in oil until crispy and browned.
Serve with salad leaves and/or wraps and a yogurt coriander sauce.
- If your family really hates the idea of not eating meat, you can leave out half the Lentils and Aubergines and add an equal quantity lean beef mince.
- Try different flavour combinations – like Thai, using ginger, garlic, lemon grass and lime.
- Buy bread crumbs at the bakery section in the supermarket.
- Make the Yogurt & Coriander sauce by finely chopping a big handful of fresh coriander leaves, mixing it with plain yogurt and seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic.