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Air fryer is one hot small kitchen appliance

Do you know which small kitchen appliance is hot (pun intended) …Air fryers.

Walk down the kitchen section at any store, and you’ll see so many different models, sizes and versions with multiple features.

Why the popularity? Perhaps it is their ability to cook food quickly with the results being a crispy texture resembling deep-frying minus all the oil and calories. Perfect for health-conscious eaters.

They can be used to prepare an array of foods, even desserts such as fried Oreo cookies. Cleanup is a cinch as compared to deep fryers. The internet, with its plethora of air-frying cooking groups, contributes to the popularity of the device.

If space for yet another appliance is a concern, the combination air fryer might be what fits the bill. It integrates the utility of an air fryer with features of a toaster oven, broiler and convection oven.

When I went shopping for an air fryer, I originally thought, “Oh, why am I purchasing another gadget that will probably follow what happened with my hardly-used-bread maker. First, I stored it in the garage, thinking I might use it again…that never happened, so eventually I gave it away.”

That’s not the case here. I have been satisfied with the cooking results and have found recipes both online and in cookbooks that are easy to prepare, are healthy and have the texture and taste of many fried foods that I crave.

I purchased a combination air fryer for my parents, who were reluctant to use an air fryer. They have become fans and don’t use their traditional oven at all now.

In this article, found at https://cnb.cx/3UzpOnY, according to Nestle’s Adam Graves, nearly 60% of U.S. households own an air fryer. It also states, “In 2022, U.S. consumers spent nearly $1 billion buying air fryers, up 51% from 2019.” Perhaps this is not as much of a fad as some people might think given these numbers.

Complementing the growing interest in this cooking technique is the publishing of cookbooks dedicated to cooking with the appliance. Newly added to my collection is “I Love My Air Fryer Easy Recipes Book” by Robin Fields (2024, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, $17.99)

With 175 recipes, you’ll get the most out of your air fryer and create delicious dishes with minimal effort. The first chapter is an introduction to air fryer cooking, including how to choose just the right appliance to fit your needs.

The author writes: “Air fryers of at least 6 quarts are perfect for a family of four.”

Her recipes were developed and tested using this size with cooking temperatures between 320 and 400 degrees. You’ll learn what accessories to use to enhance your air frying experience. The recipes take 30 minutes or less using common ingredients.

“Use these recipes as a springboard, and always remember to let your creativity roam free in the kitchen,” she writes. “Season your dishes intuitively and swap out ingredients where it makes sense for your own preferences.”

Now, it is time get air frying with these recipes from the book.

For the recipe for Fried Oreos, go to https://bit.ly/4dUsaa3

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Cups: A creamy savory spinach filling meets a flaky phyllo shell in this simple and portable appetizer. (Photo by James Stefiuk)
Spinach and Feta Phyllo Cups: A creamy savory spinach filling meets a flaky phyllo shell in this simple and portable appetizer. (Photo by James Stefiuk)

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Cups

The headnote says: “A creamy savory spinach filling meets a flaky phyllo shell in this simple and portable appetizer. Cooked until browned and bubbling, each mouthwatering cup tastes as irresistible as it looks.”

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Serves 5

Ingredients:

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon salt

1 (1.9-ounce) package frozen mini phyllo shells

Directions:

Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, feta, spinach, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt until well combined.

Place 1 tablespoon of mixture in center of each phyllo cup. Place cups in air fryer basket. Cook 7 minutes, until cups are browned and spinach mixture is bubbling. Serve warm.

PER SERVING: CALORIES: 106 | FAT: 6g | SODIUM: 269mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 7g | FIBER: 0g | SUGAR: 1g | PROTEIN: 3g

Take full advantage of summer's freshest vegetables in Summer Vegetable Medley to serve alongside your meals. (Photo by James Stefiuk)
Take full advantage of summer’s freshest vegetables in Summer Vegetable Medley to serve alongside your meals. (Photo by James Stefiuk)

Summer Vegetable Medley

The headnote says: “Take full advantage of summer’s freshest vegetables by creating a bright blend to serve alongside your meals. This medley can even be made in bulk and frozen.

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini, cut into ½ -inch-thick slices

1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

4 ounces cremini mushrooms (also called baby bellas), halved

1 cup small broccoli florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees. Place zucchini, squash, mushrooms and broccoli in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes, then toss to coat.

Scrape coated vegetables into a 6 inch round baking pan, then place in air fryer basket. Cook 10 minutes, stirring twice during cooking time. When done, vegetables will be tender. Serve warm.

Freezer friendly: If you’re prepping this dish to freeze, reduce the cook time by 5 minutes. This will ensure that your vegetables do not overcook when you reheat them. Par cooking (partially cooking) will help remove some of the excess moisture from the vegetables and reduce ice crystal formation during freezing. To reheat from frozen, preheat the air fryer to 300 degrees and cook in a greased baking dish for 15 minutes, until warmed.

PER SERVING: CALORIES: 90 | FAT: 7g | SODIUM: 304mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 6g | FIBER: 2g | SUGAR: 3g | PROTEIN: 3g

Southern Dry-Rub Wings. Wings are one of the best air fryer dishes for beginners. They open your eyes to how truly crispy chicken can get without using a deep fryer. (Courtesy of James Stefiuk)
Southern Dry-Rub Wings. Wings are one of the best air fryer dishes for beginners. They open your eyes to how truly crispy chicken can get without using a deep fryer. (Courtesy of James Stefiuk)

Southern Dry-Rub Wings

The headnote says: “Wings are one of the best air fryer dishes for beginners. They open your eyes to how truly crispy chicken can get without using a deep fryer. These wings are seasoned simply, but you’ll be amazed at how deeply golden brown they get while staying juicy inside. Serve with raw sliced vegetables and your favorite dipping sauce.”

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pounds chicken wings, flats and drums separated

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon onion powder

1⁄8 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Place wings in a large bowl and pat with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

In a small bowl, mix salt, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, thyme, and cayenne until well combined. Sprinkle spice mixture on top of wings and toss to coat evenly.

Place wings in air fryer basket and cook 20 minutes, shaking basket three times during cooking. When done, wings will be browned and have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Serve warm.

PER SERVING: CALORIES: 452 | FAT: 29g | SODIUM: 754mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 1g | FIBER: 0g | SUGAR: 0g | PROTEIN: 42g

The sweet and sticky sauce infuses its flavor into Honey Lemon Pepper Shrimp while letting the seafood's natural taste shine. (Photo by James Stefiuk)
The sweet and sticky sauce infuses its flavor into Honey Lemon Pepper Shrimp while letting the seafood’s natural taste shine. (Photo by James Stefiuk)

Honey Lemon Pepper Shrimp

The headnote says: “The sweet and sticky sauce infuses its flavor into the shrimp while letting the seafood’s natural taste shine. Lemon pepper shrimp is a favorite of seafood lovers, and this recipe adds a sweet twist that makes it soar. For a spicy flair, try swapping with hot honey, which is infused with dried chili peppers and can be found at most grocery stores.”

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (see note below)

¼ cup chopped green onions

Directions:

Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest until well combined.

Place shrimp in mixture and gently toss to coat. Place shrimp in air fryer basket in an even layer. Cook 8 minutes, turning 2/3 of the way through cooking time. When done, shrimp will be opaque pink and C-shaped, and internal temperature will be at least 145 degrees. Serve warm, garnished with green onions.

Raw shrimp: This recipe calls for raw shrimp that have the shells and main brown veins removed. Don’t use precooked shrimp for this recipe; raw shrimp will absorb flavor as they cook, but precooked shrimp won’t. So make sure to find the uncooked variety, which appear gray, never pink.

PER SERVING: CALORIES: 110 | FAT: 1g | SODIUM: 1,132mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 12g | FIBER: 0g | SUGAR: 10g | PROTEIN: 14g

Avocado-Topped Sweet Potato Slices. The crisp slicesperfectly complement the nutty qualities of avocado for a satisfying meal. (Photo by James Stefiuk)
Avocado-Topped Sweet Potato Slices. The crisp slicesperfectly complement the nutty qualities of avocado for a satisfying meal. (Photo by James Stefiuk)

Avocado-Topped Sweet Potato Slices

The headnote says: “This recipe is a fuss-free version of the sweet potato toast so many have come to love in the past several years. It features thick sweet potato slices coated with a smoky spice rub. The crisp slices perfectly complement the nutty qualities of avocado for a satisfying meal.”

Hands-on time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-thick ovals

1 teaspoon salt, divided

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

2 medium avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees. Brush olive oil on both sides of each sweet potato slice. In a small bowl, mix ½ teaspoon salt, chili powder, paprika and garlic powder until well combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly on both sides of each sweet potato slice.

Place slices in air fryer basket and cook 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. When done, sweet potato slices will be browned and tender.

In a small bowl, mix remaining ½ teaspoon salt with mashed avocados and spread evenly on top of each sweet potato slice. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve.

PER SERVING: CALORIES: 225 | FAT: 13g | SODIUM: 628mg | CARBOHYDRATES: 25g | FIBER: 8g | SUGAR: 6g | PROTEIN: 3g

Recipes excerpted from The “I Love My Air Fryer Easy Recipes Book” by Robin Fields, reprinted with permission from Adams Media. Copyright 2024 by Simon & Schuster, LLC.

Photos by James Stefiuk

Stephen Fries is professor emeritus and former coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Conn. He has been a food and culinary travel columnist for the past 16 years and is co-founder of and host of “Worth Tasting,” a culinary walking tour of downtown New Haven. He is a board member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Email him at Stephen@stephenfries.com. For more, go to stephenfries.com.


Source: Berkshire mont

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