Cooking with a Digital Air Fryer

I purchased one of these at the Bedford auction a week or so ago. It only cost me £26 and I’m quite happy. I pulled myself together and decided that I would try it.

clip_image002

Last Saturday, I was invited by Gesine to her birthday lunch in a very nice pub and I had roast belly pork; the most gorgeous belly pork I have had for a long, long time the meat was tender and not over cooked but the crackling was absolute perfect nearly as good as in Denmark and I definitely could not fault it.

I bought a piece of pork that looked as if it had some nice crackling and I also bought a large sweet potato, as there was a recipe in the downloaded recipe book for “Sweet Potato Fries”.

clip_image004      clip_image006

Here are the two pictures of the pork joint. Apart from getting the timing slightly wrong by 5-10 minutes the Pork was great and the crackling even better. I was though surprised of how much liquid there was in the basket, as I had not added any.

clip_image008

The sweet potatoes only took 15 minutes and again a great success. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Now comes the cleaning of the basket/drawer, I have poured 1 pint hot water and detergent into the basked soaking both the raised platform and the lower plate. I am hoping that this will enable me to clean the basket correctly.

.

Breakfast

I came across this the other day when I was looking up how to make Bircher Muesli, and thought it might be of interest to my readers.

If you want to be fit for your daily work, job or household, you should get used to a rich, relaxed breakfast. that “heats up” the body function.

A good breakfast is varied and solid, not only contains nutritious things like bread. Butter. Egg and jam. but basically, also fresh fruit (or fruit juice) and vegetables (radishes, tomatoes, carrots or the like).

Milk in any form (muesli, drinking milk, quark, cheese) and, if possible, a slice of sausage or ham.

According to nutritional science, one third of the daily amount of food should be consumed with breakfast alone.

Nothing speaks against bringing a warm dish to the table for breakfast in addition to the hot drink – not even the lack of time, because there are enough options to conjure up something warm on the table in a very short time.

But even those who love a conventional breakfast have many options to provide variety. Different types of bread (whole grain or crisp bread), honey instead of jam, tea instead of coffee, cocoa instead of milk, quark instead of eggs these are just a few suggestions.

Bircher Muesli

Serves 2     –      Total Time: 30 Minutes

100g oat flakes
250ml milk
125ml cream or canned milk
2 grated apples
juice of half a lemon
50g sugar
1 tablespoon grated nuts.

  1. Pour hot milk over the oat flakes and leave to soak and cool
    for 15-25 minutes.
  2. Mix grated apples with lemon juice and add sugar.
  3. Mix the soaked oat flakes with the cream and the apple puree.
  4. Sprinkle the muesli with grated nuts and serve immediately.

Variations: Oranges (diced) or bananas (sliced) or use finely chopped dried fruit instead of the apples.
Sweeten with honey instead of sugar.
Whip the cream and sweeten, finally fold in as whipped cream.

For those who prefer firm flakes:

  1. Mix all the ingredients (bar the oat flakes)
  2. Add the oat flakes just before serving.
.

How to spot an uncooked egg.

imageI was cooking some eggs today and realised that I had binned the old
6-pack tray, so I had to put the cooked eggs (after they had cooled down) in with the uncooked eggs.
An easy way to recognise the cooked ones, would be to mark each egg (using a pencil) with a X on the top.

But you don’t really have to do that.

In case you did not marked the eggs, just take any egg and
spin it on your worktop, the egg that spins freely is a cooked egg.

Why do the uncooked egg spin so sluggishly?
That’s because of the yolk and white is laying loose inside the shell.

.

Croutons vs. Chips

I had ½ a stale white bread and because of our current circumstances with Covid-19, I didn’t just want to throw it away or feed it to the birds.

As I quite like to have a nipple when I watch TV, I decided to make some flavoured croutons.

clip_image002

  • Left over bread
  • Some oil (olive or sunflower)
  • Salt and flavouring (onion salt, Garlic salt, mixed herbs …)
  • Cut 4 slices, and cut the slices into 1cm cubes.
  • Placed ½ of the cubes in a pre-heated wok,
  • Drizzle some sunflower oil, salt and onion salt over the lot.
  • Turn heat down to half, and turn the cubes at regular intervals until the croutons are browned but not burned.
  • For the second half replace onion-salt with another flavour.

And there you have it, croutons instead of chips to nipple.

Cooking and Prep. time max 10 minutes.

 

.

Spinach Omelette with Fried (Finger) Soldiers

I really fancied something substantial that didn’t take hours to make. I happen to have some spinach and a little pack of pancetta. So here is a delicious spinach omelette with onions, pancetta and fried soldiers.

Preparation and cooking time 5-10 minutes

clip_image002

Step 1: Fry the pancetta and onion; when blanched add the spinach, lower the heat and leave until the spinach is wilted.

Step2: Mix 1-2 eggs with a little water (half an eggshell of water), salt, pepper and whatever flavour you want. Pour this mixture over the fried onions, pancetta & spinach. Cover with lid and fry on low heat for another minute

clip_image004

Step3: While Step2 is finishing, heat another frying pan, butter the bread and place buttered side down in the frying pan, when the first side is nearly done (approx. 1 minute) butter the other side and turn the bread over.

clip_image006

Step4: Cut the fried bread into finger soldiers and serve with the omelette.

clip_image008

Chicken Liver Pâté

I just didn’t believe I had not published my special Chicken Liver Pâté, so her it is.
Preparation and Cooking time: max 10 minutes

  • 50g Goose Fat (or butter)
  • 400-450g Chicken Liver (trimmed and sinew removed)
  • 1 large Spring Onion (approx 2cm) finely chopped
  • 1 large clove Garlic (finely chopped)
  • Salt and black Pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh Thyme (leaves only)
  • * The following are optional
  • 75-100ml Red Wine (or 75-100ml Chicken Stock)
  • 1-2 tbsp Brandy
  • 1-2 Bay Leaves (for decoration)
  • Some fresh Cranberries (for decoration)
  1. Remove the sinew from the chicken liver and halve the larger pieces
  2. In a mortar add the salt and cut the thymes into 2-3cm length, grind this and the salt will help removing the leaves of the thyme. Don’t overdo it. Then remove all the stalks and add the pepper.
  3. I prefer to use a wok as the heat surface is smaller but the cooking is easier to deal with
  4. Melt the goose fat in a pan over a medium heat; add the onion and the garlic; fry until softened, but not coloured.
  5. Add the herbs and fry for ½ minute
  6. Add the chicken liver and ensure it has been sealed all over, fry for 1-2 minutes constantly turning the liver so that it does not get brown.
  7. Now stir in the alcohol (or the chicken stock) and let it cook vigorously for 3-4 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated/boiled away.
  8. Place everything in the food processor and blend until smooth.
  9. Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and cover with cling film.
  10. Keep the pâté refrigerated
  11. Decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf when serving.

Rumtopf

A rumtopf is a tasty German concoction made with fresh fruit, sugar and rum.
It is a preservation method in which fruit is fermented in alcohol and eaten later as a topping for various desserts. The word “rumtopf” literally means “rum pot”.
The traditional way of making this beverage starts as early as the fresh fruit are available in spring / summer and ends with the last fresh fruit in autumn; today you can start it anytime because you can always get fresh fruit in the supermarkets. You can also use just one type of fruit e.g. plums.

Rumtopf is traditionally served during Advent or on Christmas morning.
Serve the fruits with its syrup (hot or cold) over ice-cream, cake, flan, puddings, or cheese cake, in an elegant dish topped with whipped cream or crème fraîche.
It can also be used as a side dish with any game meat.Strain the liquid and use the liquor for an after-dinner cordial or add two tablespoons of the strained liquid to Champagne for a unique and elegant cocktail or add 1 or 2 teaspoons of the liquid to a glass of white wine.

Rumtopf (rum pot) Recipe

Ideal fruits are:
Apricots (halves, pitted)
Cherries (any variety, pitted)
Grapes (sweet seedless red or green grapes are ideal)
Nectarines (halves, pitted)
Peaches (remove pits and cut in halves, quarters, or slices)
Pears (cored, peeled & sliced)
Plums (remove seed and half or quarter)
Raspberries (don’t wash). Raspberries will lose some of their red colour.
Red currants (removed from stem)
Strawberries (don’t wash, just remove stem & leaves).
Strawberries will lose their red colour.

Directions:

Wash and dry the inside of the Rumtopf.
Wash and dry the first chosen fruit.  (Don’t wash Strawberries and Raspberries.)
Remove any stems, seed and pits.
In a separate bowl cover the fruit with an equal weight of granulated sugar and allow to stand for one hour. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 3 pounds of sugar)
Place the fruit, sugar and any juices left in the bowl into the Rumtopf.
Pour in just enough rum to cover the fruit.
Weigh the fruit down with a clean saucer or plate
Cover the opening of the Rumtopf with plastic (to avoid evaporation) and place the lid firmly on top.
Stir daily until the sugar has dissolved then store in a cool place; away from heat and sunlight.

 Adding additional layers of fruit:
For each additional layer of fruit follow the instructions above but use only half as much sugar. (Example: 3 pounds of fruit and 1½ pounds of sugar.)
After the fruit and sugar has rested for one hour, gently add this mixture onto the earlier layer.
Do not disturb the original fruits.
Add more rum to cover the new layer.
Cover with fresh Saran or plastic wrap and the lid.
Throughout the summer, repeat the process for each new fruit until your Rumtopf is full.
Then allow the entire mixture to sit for another 4 to 6 weeks.
It is best after 2-3 months rest.