Air-Fried Plantains: An Alternative Dinner Starch

We try to have a balanced meal most nights, which means we have a protein, vegetables, and a starch. When we’re looking for something a little different than the usual rice or potatoes, we lean towards items like yucca or plantains. Last night, I made tostones, which is basically fried plantain. Although, my twist is that I used my beloved air fryer. (If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’d know I absolutely adore my air fryer.) If you don’t have an air fryer, don’t fret. You can do all the prep and pop them in the oven, too!

I’m definitely not an expert on plantains, but here’s what I know – Although plantains are technically a fruit, green plantains have less sugar and more starch. Yellow plantains are more ripe, which means they have higher sugar content and can be used in sweet plantain dishes. I had bought my plantains several days ago, so they were a bit more yellow when I got around to using them.

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To prepare the yucca, you’ll need to soften them. I’ve seen some people cut, peel, and boil it. In this case, the microwave is much easier.

  1. Cut off the ends and makes a few slices through the outer skin. The slices will allow the yucca to breath and release some of that steam. If you’ve ever made a “baked” potato in the microwave, it’s the same concept – you need to poke holes in the potato first.
  2. Microwave for at least five minutes. The skin will turn dark. Be careful when handling them because they will be HOT!20180906_19280720180906_193424
  3. Peel the skin off the plantains.
  4. Slice into one-inch chunks.
  5. Use a flat surface (I used a drinking glass) to flatten each chunk. Hint: If the plantain gets stuck to the bottom of the glass, carefully run a knife between the plantain and the glass.20180906_194055
  6. Place a single layer of flattened plantains into the air fryer.
  7. Spray the tops of the plantain and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  8. Set it to 400 degrees and cook for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Repeat steps 6-8 until all your plantains are cooked.

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Jake loves dipping the tostones in this mayo/ketchup dip. Just mix relatively equal parts of mayo and ketchup to your taste. I like to add a squirt of sriracha and sprinkle pepper on top.

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The main meal we had last night was steak tips. The tostones were the perfect side, along with some air-fried Parmesan green beans.

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Cheers!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

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My Air Fryer: Convection Perfection

As Seen On TV –

A few months ago, I decided to purchase an air fryer. Up until then, it was only one of those “as seen on TV” gags. I was sure no one had any use for it in real life. However, my husband, Jake, and I really wanted to start eating healthier. We tried all sorts of things. We counted calories, did intermittent fasting, cut down on meat, etc.

The air fryer was another one of those “things” on the list. It started to look appealing because advertisements showed fried foods that didn’t require the typical unhealthy amounts of oil and fat. As it crossed my mind with increased frequency, I started to notice the weekly Bed Bath & Beyond coupons I usually ignore in my e-mail. Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and searched for air fryers. I found one that had a decent number of positive reviews. Plus, I could use the extra 20% off coupon. I decided to go for it. I didn’t know if it was something I was going to like or use a lot, so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money. I ended up paying $76.49 for the Gourmia® Fryista 5-Quart Air Fryer in Black/Stainless Steel from Bed Bath & Beyond. I think this model may be a bit older and not sold anymore.

A breakdown of my costs:

Air Fryer……..$71.99 (after 20% coupon)
Shipping………..Free
Sales Tax………$4.50
TOTAL………..$76.49

 

 


What To Cook?

This is the best purchase I have made in a long time. I use my air fryer as often as possible (sometimes every night of the week). Now I wish that I had bought a nicer one with a digital display! I seldom use it to actually fry foods. I use it more so as an easy way to bake, sautée, and pan fry. Here are just a few of the foods we have cooked so far in our air fryer. The photos below include chicken wings, mini frittata cups, bacon, french fries, coconut shrimp, fried rice, tofu, and sweet peppers.

(By the way, bacon coming out of the air fryer tastes so much better than when it sits in its own grease on the stove. It is also much easier than trying to balance a baking sheet full of grease while taking it out of the oven.)

 

 

We’ve also tried jalapeño poppers, steak, bacon mac and cheese balls, and bacon wrapped scallops. Some other foods that I cook in the air fryer regularly are fish, kale, green beans, mushrooms, onions, and chicken. In fact, below is a simple weeknight dish I made. It has sweet peppers and onions cooked in the air fryer, as well as haddock with blackening seasoning cooked in the air fryer.

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Next on the list will be to try cookies, cakes, and breads!


Regrets Are For People Without an Air Fryer

Following Recipes

You’ll find a lot of air fryer recipes out there, but my advice is not to follow those. The air fryer is easy to set in terms of time and temperature, but I often just pull the basket out, shake the food around, and use my own judgment on if it’s done or not. I also find that I can cook most foods on the highest temperature (400°F). I convinced my parents to purchase an air fryer and they’ve had trouble getting foods to turn out right because they’re too reliant on following recipes to a T.

Less Dishes, More Relaxation

Overall, I end up needing to wash less dishes – YES!! Here’s how:

  • The grated basket comes right out of the base part and can double as a colander.
  • The air fryer is not always completely an oil-free endeavor, but most of the time I can get away with spray oil on the food when it’s already in the basket. This means no separate mixing bowl or utensils to cover the food with oil.
  • I’ll generally use the air fryer to cook multiple parts of a meal on a given night, so I don’t end up with multiple dirty pots and pans.

For The Love of Copper

We are a huge fan of copper. We have copper pots, pans, and baking sheets. Needless to say, the copper in our air fryer works well for us and is easy to clean.

If in another few months we continue to use the air fryer frequently, perhaps we’ll consider an upgrade and/or purchasing some accessories. I would love to get pan inserts or racks for double-layer cooking.


Hopefully this got you thinking about air fryers. Good luck with any purchases you make!

Sincerely,
Fu’d