I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a kitchen skeptic. I see so many products, receive so many pitches and promotional pieces on the latest cookware and appliances that I put up a wall when it comes to new fads or trends. When I heard about T-fal’s Actifry, I took it with a grain of salt. But as Elie Krieger explained to me, and to quote her directly: “It really is awesome.” Then Ming Tsai talked about the Actifry and Emeril Lagasse talked about the Actifry and even David Lebovitz wrote about it.
And yesterday, my Actifry arrived at my door.
Actifry is a revolutionary, new and healthier way of cooking. It produces food with less fat and calories than traditional methods. For example, everyone loves French fries (or if you prefer, chips, frites or crisps) but nobody loves the deep fat frying that goes with it. Actifry allows you to make fries at home — with just a teaspoon of oil. Nothing else needed, which means no added fat or calories.
Now, I’ve seen the fry demos on TV. I’ve read a lot about how wonderful the food tastes, just like they came out of a deep fryer. Since I’m a skeptic, I decided my first use of the Actifry would be a twist on regular fries. I decided to do tater tots. I emptied a two pound bag of frozen tater tots into the Actifry and drizzled one scant little half tablespoon of canola oil. I closed the lid and pressed start.
Fifteen minutes later, I had hot, crispy, flavorful tater tots waiting for me! I tasted the first tot and was amazed. I decided to close the lid and let them go for another five minutes. They were even crispier and the aroma of just made potatoes filled my kitchen! I was so delighted I threw in a handful of mini corn dogs. This time, there was no oil, just the corn dogs as is. Minutes later, I had steaming hot corn dogs that were toasted on the outside and warm and tender on the inside.
Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to make the Actifry do a healthy dinner dish. After all, it’s categorized as a multi-cooker appliance. I took a pound of un-cooked, peeled shrimp and a handful of fresh snow peas and voila! Dinner was made with just a teaspoon of sesame oil. In the last minutes of cooking, I added low-sodium soy sauce and the results were fabulous — much less fat and sodium than take-out.
Since so many of us know we need to reduce fats and oils from our diet, the Actifry really is going to revolutionize our kitchens. It’s not exactly a cheap piece of equipment, but places like HSN allow for monthly flex-pays which millions of shoppers love to take advantage of. I will be demonstrating the Actifry as a representative for T-fal on HSN on Saturday, March 10 and I’m super excited. From now until next week, I’ll be creating healthy, low-fat, no-oil or low-oil recipes for everyone to enjoy.
So far, I’m thinking about a spring risotto (with peas and fresh herbs), saucy chicken wings and some kind of hearty and spicy jambalaya. Any other ideas? Let me know and I may just go on-air with your recipe!