T-Fal Actifry. It’s actively used in my kitchen. Makes fries with one tablespoon of oil!!!


I can’t stop using my T-Fal  Actifry.  After getting this as a gift from my husband who tends to drive the health movement in our house (his

T-Fal Actifry
T-Fal Actifry getting ready to make hashbrowns

late night snack is Greek Salad!!) I threw out my deep fryer.  We made our first batch of french fries with it and they were admittedly good.  The do taste slightly different than deep fried french fries because they are not saturated with oil.  They have a nice flavor and get just enough crisp to them.

Now the biggest reason I like this kitchen appliance is it versatility.  It comes with a magnificent cook book filled with all in one meals that are super tasty and convenient to make.  I love being able to throw the ingredients into the actifry…set the timer, walk away and come back to have a complete meal.  It is easy to clean and the convection cooking and rotating arm cooks meals perfectly.  It is endorsed by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The recipe book is fantastic.  It was well thought out and the recipes tested.  They are tender, flavorful and I just love this machine.

See the Actifry in action cooking up my weekend morning hashbrowns: Actifry Video

Some of the recipes we have tried include:

Madagascan Beef Tenderloin (garlic, ginger, tenderloin beef, tomatoes, baby potatoes all cook up in 40 minutes)

Spicy Thai Chicken Curry (ginger, chili pepper, green pepper, zucchini, coconut milk, corn starch, curry paste, cilantro done in 18 minutes)

Baby New Potatos with Garlic, Tomato and Shrimp (recipe name pretty much covers it, ready to eat in 31 minutes)

French Fries (25 minutes)

Sweet Potato Fries (30 minutes)

Hash browns (20 minutes)

Fresh Chicken Wings ( NO ADDED OIL – 35 minutes)

The only drawback we found is we bought the introductory version which cooks 2lbs maximum at a time.  Had we known how much we were going to use and love it we would have bought the family version that cooks 3lbs at a time.  This does not pose as much of a problem when making a side dish, but when making a stir fry as a main course the portions can be a bit small.  Although so are our kids right now, but the capacity will need to grow as they do.

Many outlets carry the Actifry (Sears, London Drugs, Walmart).  The cheapest I have seen the 2lb version on sale for has been at Sears (albeit I had to get a raincheck and they never did get any in stock<– insert frown here)

We ended up getting ours at Walmart, but better deals can be sourced online and usually at anytime (not waiting for the next sale)

Here is one option:
Buy 2lb T-Fal Actifry Online

Substitution Ingredients – Don’t panic all is not lost!


Ever find that with great vigor you decide to tackle a new recipe only to find part way through it you over estimated your supply of ingredients?  You are knee deep in your lemon meringue pie only to discover that you are out of cream of tartar.  Don’t sweat there is a solution.  Alternate ingredients that save the day for all your cooking and baking needs.  I found this great list in a magazine many moons ago and I refer to it often in my cooking endeavours.

SEASONINGS

1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs = 1tsp  crushed dried herbs

1 tsp lemon juice = 1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp  dry mustard = 1 tbsp dijon mustard (wet mixtures)

1 tbsp prepared mustard = 1 tbsp dry mustard + 1 tsp each vinegar, cold water and granulated sugar (when flavour and volume are important let stand 15 minutes)

Dash of hot pepper sauce = Pinch of cayenne or hot pepper flakes

2 tbsp soy sauce = 1 tbsp worchestire sauce + 2 tsp water+ pinch of salt

1 tbsp worechestire sauce = 1 tbsp soy sauce + dash each of pepper sauce and lemon juice + pinch of granulated sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar= 1 tbsp red wine vinegar + pinch of granulated sugar

BAKING

1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tbsp all purpose flower = 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (for thickening)

1 tsp cream of tartar = 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (for stabilizing egg whites)

1 cup sifted cake and pastry flour = 7/8 cup of un-sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup un-sifted all purpose flour = 1 cup + tbsp sifted cake and pastry flour

1 egg = 2 egg yolks

1 egg in batter (for muffins and other quick breads) = 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 cup additional liquid that is used in the recipe

ALCOHOL

For sauces and gravy – 1/2 cup dry white wine = 1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup of red wine = 1/2 cup of beef stock

1 cup beer = 1 cup non-alcoholic beer or 1 cup stock

DAIRY

1 cup buttermilk = 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup; let stand for 5 minutes

1 cup plain yogurt = 1 cup butter milk

1 cup 2% or whole milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk + 1/2 cup water

1 cup sour cream = 7/8 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

For icing:  1 cup whipping cream = 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/3 cup butter (doesn’t whip)

SUGAR and CORN SYRUP

1 cup granulated sugar = 1 cup packed brown sugar

For muffins and other quick breads
1 cup granulated or brown sugar = 2 cups icing sugar

For dessert sauces
1 cup light or dark corn syrup = 1 1/4 cups granulated or packed brown sugar + 1/4 cup more liquid in the recipe

GRAINS and CEREALS

For coating
1 cup dry bread crumbs = 3/4 cup cracker crumbs or 1 cup crushed corn flakes

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs = 1 slice of dry bread

Sushi – Go brown without a frown – tip for cooking brown rice


My understanding is that the benefit to brown rice is higher fiber due to the husk.  Lets admit it a carb is a carb…albeit a healthier one….   But we’re all for improvement right?  baby steps.

So how do we make a brown sticky rice that doesn’t taste and feel like you dragged your tongue through a dirt pile?

A lovely gentleman at an Asian market (that also sells prepared sushi) told me I basically could not afford a rice cooker (must have been looking really high class that day) but cooking the rice in a pressure cooker will seal the deal.  He mentioned it took several attempts and trial and error, but they perfected it.

He told me to use 1100 ml of water for 800 ml of rice.  Cook it at a safe pressure for between 15 – 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it cook while cooling for another 15-20 minutes.  Well I have a pressure cooker that Dexter could cook an entire head in so it took a little tweaking, but worked fabulously in the end.  The technique may vary from pressure cooker to pressure cooker.

It kind of pops the rice like a kernel of pop corn would when cooked.  You still get the benefit of the husk, but the inside is exposed and light and fluffy…not crunchy or coarse.

No sushi is complete without the seasoning.  Now don’t go an dump seasoned rice vinegar on it and expect it to taste good.  Here is a little formula for seasoning your sushi rice:

Sushi Seasoning

1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

(this mixture is for 4 cups of rice – adjust for the amount of rice you are cooking)

Mix ingredients (I warm them slightly in the microwave to speed things up) until the sugar and salt dissolve.  Slowly drizzle the mixture into the rice.  Remember not to “stir” the rice, but cut through it with a flat spatula.  Try to fan the rice while cutting into it.  (Ha…I use a little desk fan on my high bar pointed at the bowl)

Also if you want to cut back your rice intake try making cones (temaki) vs rolls (maki)  they require less rice keeping your ratio of healthy ingredients to carbs much closer.  A great video that helped me get the temaki technique down can be found at this link:

How to hand roll Temaki

Happy Sushi Making!!!!