My son gave me an air fryer last Christmas. I was skeptical about using it. But it turns out to be a convenient tool. I use it frequently instead of using my oven or dealing with deep frying oil splatters on my person. I started with the usual, frozen fries and egg rolls. But now I’ve ventured out to actually making recipes with the air fryer. Today’s test is crispy air fryer tofu. I made a simple marinade for this. Next time I will make a sauce to pour over these. But I set out to make crispy tofu and I would say the air fryer did it’s job well. Keep in mind, I have a large 5.8 quart air fryer, if you have a smaller one you may have to cook in batches. Hey, I actually made a vegetarian dish!
1 (16 ounce) block extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
chopped green onions for garnish (optional)
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Place heavy pan over tofu block to squeeze out excess liquid for 15 minutes. Discard liquid.
Cut tofu into bite sized pieces.
In a small bowl or Ziplock bag, place tofu pieces and add remaining ingredients for marinade. Let sit for an additional 15 minutes,
Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes on 380 F degree.
Add tofu blocks to your air fryer in a single layer. Cook for 15 minutes. Check around the 8 minute mark, and flip tofu blocks over.
Plate crispy tofu and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Do you need a quick side dish or even a main entree? Here’s a recipe even my vegetarian friends can eat. The sauce is not quite an Alfredo Sauce but has most the elements of one. I love how everything is cooked in one pot, because I like to cook, but I hate to clean up.
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook stirring frequently, until fragrant; about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in chicken/vegetable broth, milk and fettuccine.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally until pasta is cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add more milk if mixture is too thick; or more cheese if too thin.
Add Kosher salt and fresh cracked blck pepper to taste and garnish with chopped parsley.
Growing up, my parents made Chinese food at least 90% of the time. So you would think my blog would be mostly Chinese food recipes. Nope. Once I moved out and was left to cook on my own I enjoyed trying all sorts of new food types and trying new recipes. If you ask my kids, they will tell you I can eat Mexican food everyday of the week. It’s true. Pork carnitas is one recipe I love as it is not particularly hard to make. And if you get a large pork shoulder, it makes enough for a crowd or you have leftovers for days. This recipe makes at least 12 servings!
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3-4 pounds pork shoulder
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 white onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the pork shoulder with salt, then arrange the pork in the Dutch oven. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
Add the onion, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Transfer the pork shoulder to a large baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved cooking liquid.
Bake the pork in the preheated oven until browned, about 30 minutes. Drizzle more of the cooking liquid on the meat every 10 minutes, and use two forks to shred the meat as it browns. (Keep in mind, the objective of the final step is to get slightly crispy outside with a moist, tender inside.)
Serve the carnitas with warm, fresh tortillas and pico de gallo or whatever you like! I like to make mine into tacos.
Yes, it’s another chicken wing recipe from me. I can’t help myself. I just love trying out all different flavors of chicken wings. This recipe is fairly simple and for a change I had all the ingredients so, why not? If you like sweet and spicy, then you are going to love these wings. Best of all the spice level is up to you.
1 1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 20 pieces)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha ( or more if you like it really spicy, less if you can’t handle too much spice)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
green onions for garnish
sesame seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 F degrees and place metal rack on top of large baking pan. Be sure to use cooking spray on the rack so the chicken skin does not stick.
In a large bowl or Ziploc bag, toss chicken wings with oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place wings on wire rack and cook 45-50 minutes, until crispy and golden.
While chicken is baking, add honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, garlic and ginger into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer until the flavors meld and the sauce reduces slightly for about 10 minutes.
Transfer baked wings to a large bowl and toss with glaze.
Return to rack and broil for 2-3 minutes until glaze is caramelized.
It’s asparagus season here in California. I find myself buying asparagus every shopping trip now. But instead of making my usual grilled asparagus as a side dish, I wanted to add it into the main dish. If you love making quick dinners like I do then you are going to love this. Also, this recipe only requires a few ingredients which makes this even simpler. I have another variation of this dish ( Asparagus Beef ) where you make your own sauce, however this one is using a premade black bean garlic sauce which cuts the time in half and does the work for you. This serves 2-4 depending on your portions.
12 ounce sirloin or flank steak, sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for cooking, separated into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 pound of asparagus, sliced into thirds
1/2 red onion, sliced
2-3 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce (found at local grocery stores in your international aisle or Asian markets)
1 teaspoon sugar (this offsets the sharpness of the black bean sauce)
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
Add beef strips to a bowl. Then add cornstarch, grated garlic and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
Heat up wok or skillet on high heat. Swirl in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to coat wok or skillet.
Quickly spread the beef slices around the pan in an even layer. Let it sear for 15-30 seconds without stirring. Then give it a quick stir to sear the other side. The meat should be browned and no sticking should happen if you got the pan hot enough. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside.
Keep the wok/skillet on high heat and add one tablespoon oil.
Add in asparagus and onions.
Stir for about 10 seconds and cover, leaving the heat on high. Let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the cover. Add the beef back to the pan.
Add the black bean and garlic sauce paste, sugar and beef stock. Stir to mix well.
Let beef and vegetables continue to cook with the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is cooked tender.
I haven’t jumped into the Instant pot craze yet. I think it is probably because most my recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less anyway. But I do love having a crock pot! All you have to do is put all the ingredients in and set your temperature to either high or low and then set the timer and go about your day. My crock pot will even keep the ingredients warm after the timer has completed. So if you have other things going on or say, maybe you forget you had something cooking, (um, not speaking from experience) the “keep warm” feature will not make all your hard effort get cold and go bad.
I bought another one of those organic chicken packs that come with two breasts and four drumsticks. (Those organic chickens must look funny.) So I thought I’d pull out the crock pot and put it to use. If you do not have a crock pot, that’s quite okay. You can still use this recipe and put everything in a baking dish and bake at 350 F degrees for 50-60 minutes.
1 whole cut up chicken (or all thighs, all drumsticks or two breasts and four drumsticks pack like I used.)
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup lite soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1/4 cup ketchup (low sodium if you have)
1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro (whichever taste you prefer)
sesame seeds for garnish
Arrange chicken on the bottom of your crock pot. Do not season chicken with salt as there is plenty of sodium in the other ingredients. You can season chicken with pepper if you would like though. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, honey, lite soy sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, sriracha and parsley or cilantro. Whisk until mixed well.
Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.
Close with a lid and cook for 4 to 5 hours on LOW, or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH.
Remove lid and transfer chicken to a serving plate.
Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
I was originally going to make this recipe with chicken breasts. Then I discovered I actually only had chicken wings on hand. Oops. Good thing I did have a pack of thin cut pork chops. While I was hesitant at first, I am glad I made the substitution. Crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside and quite tasty from the garlic and cheese combination. If you are in a rush you will love that these can be prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes as well.
4 thin cut boneless pork chops (you can use thick cut or bone-in but remember to adjust cooking time)
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large shallow bowl combine Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and Italian parsley. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare pork chops by covering each piece in olive oil. Be sure the pork chops are well coated on both sides.
Individually dip pork chops into Panko mixture. Pat down on both sides to ensure even coverage. Place covered pork chops on non stick baking pan.
Bake pork chops for 15-18 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Garnish with reserved Parmesan cheese and Italian Parsley.