Thursday, 23 January 2014

Irresistible fried food, not necessarily is bad for you (Philips)

I loved watching I Dream of Jeannie when I was a kid and would play make belief that I had her powers.
I was amazed watching her clean up her house and set the table with a gourmet meal fit for kings, in a blink of an eye.

A mother of 3 energetic children, would truly benefit from a genie. Imagine waking up every day to a clean house and buffet breakfast. What more could one wish for?

Reality bites

But my life is far from the scenario above and involves a lot laborious hours (labour of love). All that I can achieve in a blink of an eye, is some shut eye. My house may not be spic and span and the food served is most certainly limited in variety, but we make do with whatever it is that I can manage.

Food served may be simple and sometimes just consist of a dish or two, but I try my best to ensure it's nutritious and packed with wholesome goodness. I am always searching for kids' approved, easy to prepare and healthy meals. The choices weren't many because my kids are very hard to please and they tend to stick to the tried and tested food. Unfortunately for me, this meant they liked everything fried while I hate frying because it's  messy and dangerous too-chances of getting hot oil splatters on my hands and face.

Furthermore, fried food (like the infamous french fries) is widely regarded as among the most notorious of nutritional villains. But, does that mean you must shun away from it? I don't, because I have found a good way to enjoy these fried food.

Behold, the Philips Viva Collection Airfryer that can fry, bake, grill, reheat and roast. My solution to serving food that is crispy on the outside and tender inside.

Now I can fry so many types of food with minimal mess and oil. Which, is not only good for my family but the river too. Deep frying, apart from being 'dangerous' for me was also wasteful because I don't like to reuse oil which was used to fry my food and discarding the used oil was always a big issue (flushing it down your sink hole or drains is not recommended).

I received this demo Airfryer from Philip in a bid to change my opinions on fried food (which it has) and how it could help me prepare easy, fuss-free, mess-free and quick food. What intrigued me the most was its promise to cook food with very little oil/fat. Some recipes featured in their recipe booklet, asked for as little as 1 tablespoon of oil! This is made possible thanks to its Patented Rapid Air technology which combines hot air with grill component to 'fry' food. Using less oil also means that the Airfryer offers a healthier alternative to deep frying, up to 80% less fat to cook food. 

Crash test dummy-my journey to airfried food

Like a mad scientist I began doing my research, googling everything there is to know about this little gadget that was sitting boxed up in my living room.
I wanted to make full use of this opportunity presented to me and cook as many dishes as possible before it was boxed up and sent back to Philips.

With a toddler in the house, it's hard to predict how the day will fan out, so I always cooked whenever she was napping. This meant cooking very early in the morning and always reheating the food before serving it (fried food losses its crispness when reheated). But with the Airfryer, I am able to serve freshly fried food to my family in matter of minutes.

The food result may be similar to baking in an oven but with less energy consumption, quick and lesser utensils to wash afterwards.

With the Airfryer, I would do all the necessary prepping while she naps, store it into the fridge and chuck it into the Airfryer just minutes before it's serving time. It's so pleasing to watch my kids enjoy hot cooked homemade meal after school. Cleaning up is also breezier because lesser oil used means, lesser scrubbing required to remove grease of my tableware. Even cleaning the Airfryer is fairly easy as it has only two components which needs to be washed each time - the basket and the pan.

I will be sharing 3 recipes (one each issue). All these recipes will have one thing in common, they were made with a toddler in mind and I will be using the Airfryer to cook these.

Today's recipe: Fried Garoupa (fish)

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes 

The ingredients:

2 Fillet, de-boned (using a tweezer) and cut into squares
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

The method

Preheat the Airfryer to 185'c (which takes about 5 mins)
Rub oil and salt on the fish
Once preheated, carefully place a baking sheet on the airfryer's basket and fill it up with the fish. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. You know the fish is ready when it flakes easily.

This is the best feature, i.e the Airfryer quietly does its work without any supervision and announces with a "DING!" once your food is ready. Which gives me the opportunity to spend some quality time with my baby while the food is cooking, at the same time!

Serving suggestion:

For my toddler

I served the fish with some steamed broccoli and garlic infused butter.

To make the butter you'll need:
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 clove garlic, minced

Heat the garlic for 15 seconds and mash it with a spoon. Add butter and heat for another 10 seconds in the microwave. Drizzle this butter onto the fish and steamed broccoli, and serve immediately.

For the whole family

I turned the rest of the fish into spicy sambal curry fish to be served with hot roti (chapatti) for dinner. Since the fish was already fried, this dish took just minutes to prepare and if your airfryer comes with the additional cake pan, you could cook it in the airfryer itself. That is a real time saver.

What is Airfryer

Key Features
  • Patented Rapid Air Technology - combines hot air with grill component to 'fry' food
  • In-built time - lets you set cooking times of up to 30 mins
  • Adjustable temperature control - cooks food at steady rate up to 200'C
  • Food separator accessory - lets you cook multiple food items at th same time without mixing the flovours
  • Integrated air filter - reduces vapours and odours
  • 30 minutes timer with auto shut-off
  • Product dimension (W x H x D) 287 x 315 x 384 mm
  • Capacity 800gm
  • Weight appliance 7kg
  • Cord length 0.8 m
  • Voltage 230v
  • Ready signal and temperature light
  • Cool-touch handgrips
Retail Price
  • RM1,190

Other wonders this little gadget can do

Grilled Salmon
The basket could only hold two medium sized salmon and takes about 15-20 minutes to grill these at 180'C (preheated). Overlapping salmon is not recommended as you won't get the crispness and will end up with unevenly cooked salmon. Trust me, I've tried.

Life Simplified note: Thanks to Philip's Airfryer, I am able to serve freshly fried food every time with a little advance planning and prepping. Life is so much simplified with these wonderful small kitchen appliances.

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts

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Disclosure: I was not paid in cash to write up this recipe but received an airfryer from Philips

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