Breathing into a paper bag is the only way I know how to welcome an air fryer into my kitchen. I’m just so darned “hyperventilating excited.” Nate bought me an air fryer for my birthday last month and I. Cannot. Control. Myself. It’s like I’m in the studio audience of a daytime talk show and every chair I sit on has an air fryer under it and I’m screaming and crying and getting my flat-ironed hair all frizzy. I’m not even sure how I’ve managed to settle myself down long enough to write this post. The air fryer is just that unbelievably amazing.
This life-changing appliance is super-easy to use. Once I plugged it in and read the manufacturer’s instructions as fast as I possibly could, I got to work finding a recipe because I just didn’t trust myself going it alone in the condition I was in. As you could imagine, I had ambitious dreams of whipping up some Cornish hens, hush puppies, and “fried” pies at all once in the tiny basket—winging it on my own without any cookbooks or fire extinguishers nearby. No, those dreams would have to wait until I could just simmer down. Instead, I decided I needed calm, soothing, authoritative instructions from another person somewhere on the Internet who had a recipe for General Tso’s chicken. So, I basically followed this recipe here from: Cooking Light (Andrea Nguyen).
Then, I made some stir fry vegetables in a skillet on the stovetop. They turned out pretty good too, so I’m including my recipe here below:
–One package of frozen stir-fry vegetables
–1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
–1 tsp. chopped garlic
–1 tsp. chopped jalapeño pepper
–1 tsp. sesame oil
–1/4 cup of honey
–1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
–1/4 cup of rice vinegar
Instructions: sauté the vegetables, garlic, and jalapeño in the sesame oil. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, and ginger. Add it to the vegetables and cook through.
I served those vegetables with the General Tso’s chicken recipe from Cooking Light—and some steamed rice. When we sat down at the table, I was practically bursting at the seams. I had so many questions: Would that chicken be golden? Would it be crispy? Would it be everything I hoped fried food would be, but without the indigestion?
The answer? Yes! A thousand times yes! Nate, Alex, and I were so incredibly happy. We made many, many mmmmm noises to let the air fryer know it did such a good job. We dreamed of all of the things we could put in the air fryer next time. That list included all of the frozen pizzas and burritos currently in our freezer for sure. It also included wild carnival-like fantasies of corn dogs, chicken wings, and Twinkies. We’re not sure if all of this food is supposed to go into the air fryer, but we can always dream.
I also dream that this appliance will become such a “thing” in our household that we’ll have sayings that we’ll make up to teach life lessons, like “If it fits in the air fryer, cook it.”
Here’s how that phrase might be used in an every day situation in our house:
Nate: That meeting the other day was just so boring! I could have done way more things than attend that meeting.
Me: Hey, if it fits in the air fryer, cook it.
Nate: What does that even mean?
Me: The answer to that question will come to you eventually.
Nate: I don’t think that’ll ever happen.
Me: Oooh. . . look… a crispy nugget from the air fryer!
Nate: Yes, but . . . (He gives up and eats, making “yum” sounds.)
Me: See? Now you know!
And just like that. Everything is better. The air fryer is a distraction from the perils of life. If it fits in the air fryer, cook it. Air-fry all of your troubles until they’re crispy and tasty and easy to swallow. . . .
Once we cleaned up from our meal, there was really nothing else better to do than to make up an ode to properly praise our newest and most favorite member of the appliance family in our home:
Oh, Air Fryer! Oh, Air Fryer!
You’re better than the washer/dryer.
I put food in.
I take food out.
It’s crispy and crunchy and makes me shout.
You make things golden without all the fat.
I’m a freakin’ superhero—nothing wrong with that!
I’m servin’ up food just crammed with taste,
Batterin’ up leftovers. Nothing goes to waste.
Oh, Air Fryer! Oh, Air Fryer! You are the one
Who makes my broccoli so much fun!
Your turn: Do you have a favorite gadget/appliance in your house? Which one is it? Or, if you have an air fryer, what’s the best or worst thing you’ve put in it?