I would say that, on average, the Mascot and I make fries about once a week. Sometimes “from scratch” and sometimes frozen (for convenience), but always in the oven. (I can’t even imagine having a deep fryer in the house and having to deal with all of *that*.)
We have had our eyes on the T-Fal Actifry for about a year and, after hearing positive reviews from friends and family, we were getting closer and closer to picking one up. I must’ve mentioned it a few (dozen) times, because this past weekend, my fella surprised me with the big white box of joy. I don’t think that I have ever been as excited about a small appliance. Yes, there was squealing and clapping.
Last night I finally had the chance to take my new toy for a test drive… er, test fry. (And I say “finally” like it has been more than two days.) I figured that we might as well go first-class, so I picked up some organic russet potatoes and a bottle of organic canola oil, and I told my fella to come alone and come hungry.
After I wrestled the unit out of the box and cleaned the cooking pan, I cut up the potatoes and got ready to have my world blown. For the sake of accuracy, I used my handy-dandy digital scale to check the weight of my perfectly even (ahem) potato strips, and, according to the book, I only needed HALF a spoonful of oil. (Note: a “spoonful” is determined by the included measuring spoon, not a teaspoon or tablespoon.) I threw the potato strips into the machine, drizzled the tiny bit of oil evenly over the top, locked it up, and set the timer for 32 minutes.
Of that 32 minutes, I would estimate that 28 were spent staring through the clear lid of the machine. It was mesmerizing. The potato strips turned and flipped and rolled and did their own little thing. It was like MAGIC. About halfway through the cooking time, little spots started to puff up and brown and it wasn’t long before they were all golden-brown and yummy-looking. All they needed was a little salt and we were ready to sample.
Oh. My. Goodness. They were good. Really good. Crispy outsides, tender insides, piping hot, and perfectly greaseless. I have made some good oven fries in my time, but nothing like this. It was hard to believe that they were (shhhh) healthy.
I think that this machine will be getting a lot of use at our house, especially when the mascot returns from camp. The recipe book that came with it has all sorts of ideas from curried tofu to a roasted pineapple dessert, but I can see us using it mostly for fries (regular and yam) and chicken wings, which I have heard are ActiFantastic.