Many people unnecessarily limit their thinking about hot air frying recipes to being complete, “one pot” type dishes made all or entirely in the air fryer.
Thinking outside that box opens up a whole new range of dishes you can make. The hot air fryer can play a vital supporting role as your sous-chef — your kitchen assistant! It can save you a load of work and time, making possible many high quality foodie recipes even during a work week.
Need some mushrooms sautéed? Chop them up (chunks may work better than slices) and toss them in with a tablespoon of oil (or toss them first in that oil, if you have a basket-type) and let the machine do the job for you.
Paddle-type hot air fryers such as an Actifry can sauté onions for you (though sliced into rings works better than chopped.)
A glut of vegetables from a summer garden, or because they were on sale? Let your machine roast them for you — and then think of dishes to use them in. What a luxury to have roasted vegetables on hand as ingredients — roasted vegetables are a lot of work in themselves usually, leaving you no time or energy to then get on with a recipe!
I roasted the above three batches of veg separately — eggplant, tomato chunks and summer squash medallions — one evening, not sure what I would use them for.
Sometimes I will mix them with a jar of green curry sauce and serve over noodles or rice. Or you can add them to a tomato sauce, and serve over pasta.
By the next day, though, I had in mind what I wanted to use these particular roast veg for — I would try to build a “gourmet” pasta salad around them.
It worked, and turned out to be dead easy, because the machine had already done the hard part the evening before.
I wrote up the recipe and posted it here: Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
I’m always on the lookout for other things that air fryers are good at sous-cheffing for, so sing out if you know of any please.