Good morning. Do you have an air fryer? Millions of Americans do and, as Christina Morales reports for The Times this week, the device may be supplanting the microwave and humble toaster oven as the nationâ€™s favored countertop cooking device, this yearâ€™s electric pressure cooker or 12-button blender. â€œThe air fryer,â€ one of the home cooks Christina spoke to for the article said, â€œis here to stay.â€
I donâ€™t have an air fryer, myself. Iâ€™m devoted to my regular oven, to my countertop toaster oven, to frying in oil on my stovetop, increasingly to the joys of the pressure cooker. But I may simply be, as ever, behind the curve of kitchen progress. For those whoâ€™ve joined the parade, perhaps for you, weâ€™ve got plenty of recipes: air-fryer chicken Parmesan; air-fryer French fries; air-fryer spicy chicken wings; air-fryer brussels sprouts with garlic, balsamic and soy; even an air-fryer cheesecake (above).
Let me know how those turn out. You might make a convert of me yet.
Itâ€™s not as if Iâ€™m immune to gadget cooking. Iâ€™ll be making pressure-cooker garlicky Cuban pork this week and, in a nod to a different kitchen fashion, this one-pan pasta with harissa Bolognese. You might prefer microwave steamed eggs, or a crockpot cake, some slow-cooker beef stew with maple and stout.
Cooking more traditionally, which is to say on the stovetop or in the oven, you should consider cheesy baked pasta with sausage and ricotta, or a zucchini and egg tart with fresh herbs. How about roasted vegetable burritos? The fettuccine Alfredo they used to serve at Elaineâ€™s in New York? I do love an herbed white bean and sausage stew.
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Now, itâ€™s nothing to do with amba or treacle, but I enjoyed the near-noir, small-town wit of John Straleyâ€™s â€œBabyâ€™s First Felony,â€ a murder mystery set in Sitka, Alaska. (Itâ€™s a series, and this bookâ€™s number 7 of 8 â€” not sure why I started so late in the string, but itâ€™s good.)
In The Times, Alexandra Jacobs wrote about Brian Coxâ€™s memoir, â€œPutting the Rabbit in the Hat.â€ In matters of prose, I think I prefer Jacobs to Cox.