Air Fryer Ciabatta Bread Loaves

A few nights ago I found a Youtube video showing me how to make ciabatta bread from scratch that can be baked in an air fryer. So, D-UH, I was into it. Here is my first attempt. This picture shows the bottoms after I finished flipping and baking the loaves. The tops look just as beautiful.

I made the mistake of spraying the loaves instead of brushing them with melted butter. I won’t do that again. I didn’t like the finished tops as much, but I did like them. Another thing this recipe calls for is using a bigger than the basket size of parchment so you can pinch up a segregation wall in the middle so the loaves don’t proof and bake together as one square of bread.

Baked at 400* for 8 mins over parchment paper, and then the parchment came off to finish the flipped over loaves in the bare pan another 6-7 mins. When they came out they felt hard or perhaps a tad overbaked, but after a quick rest on a rack, they soften up nicely. I was pleasantly surprised. 🙂

Air Fryer Mac & Cheese

Made this one last night. It took way too long and too much futzing with it to get the elbow noodles to finally finish cooking before adding the toppings and finishing it. BUT, I have ideas on how to speed it up for the next time.

After 25 mins, the cheese sauce was like molten lava. But that was ok; I felt it would help the toppings bake up faster, and I was right. Look at those bubbles along the rim of the baking dish in the video below. Love that visual.

Air Fryer Mac & Cheese:
1 1/2 C: Elbow Pasta / Water
1 tub Black Diamond White Cheddar Sauce (my new fave product!)
2+ tbsp Dry Mustard
1 tea: Onion Powder / Paprika
S&P

Stir it all up and put the baking dish inside the basket. Cook it at 360* for about 20 mins, stirring often to pull the protein skin down into the sauce every 4-5 mins. Till and turn the noodles up from the bottom so it all gets an even cook overall each time.

When you hit the 20+ mark, taste the noodles to see where their doneness is. If you need more liquid to get them softer, add 1/4 cup of water or heavy cream. Continue cooking it another 5 mins. Before adding the toppings, make sure the pasta is el dente. And then, add:

1+ C Marble Cheddar, grated
1/4 C Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Bake the dish with the toppings about 4 more mins. The dish was super hot, so I pulled the drawer out and scooped the mac out with a serving spoon directly. I didn’t even bother trying to get that hot dish out of the basket. It wasn’t necessary to do so.

I will post an update to the time saving changes after I make this again next week.

Air Fryer Grilled Cheese

Made this one a few weeks ago, but I keep going back to it when I’m feeling lazy. This, and that great cheese toasts. Both are the ultimate lazy girl solo dinner.

Anyway, the trick to getting a good toast colour is buttering the bread on both sides of the bread. Sometimes I use mayo since it has a fat component in it already. Either will colour the bread nicely.

I typically cook this at 400* over a small sheet of tin foil for about 6-8 mins for a crispy exterior.

French Onion Soup Mac & Cheese

I saw this video from Sam The Cooking Guy making his version of this same dish, and thought, I can make that faster using canned soup. This was a lovely tasting change up on the classic pasta dish. One I liked enough to want to make again in the future.

French Onion Soup Mac & Cheese:
2 C Small Pasta
Salt

1 1/2 – 2 C Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 C Panko Breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp Dry Rub (of choice)

1 can Onion Soup, hot
1/3 C Pasta Water, reserved

Scoop the cooked pasta into a large bowl to mix with everything else, including some reserved starchy water from the pasta pot. Top with some green herbs or green onion chops, as well as some cracks of pepper.

Quick Butter Chicken

This isn’t my recipe, it’s Arron & Claire’s, and it’s a keeper. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s tasty. In short, this recipe gets the job done on nights where I am craving Butter Chicken and don’t have a jar sauce on hand in my pantry. Luckily, I stock all of the ingredients to make it when push comes to shove. 🙂

Quick Butter Chicken:
4 Chicken Thighs, bite size cubes
1/3 C Plain Yogurt
1 tbsp Garlic, minced (or 1/2 tea Garlic Powder)
1/2 tbsp: Garam Masala/Cumin/Ground Ginger/Chili Powder
S&P

Oil
1/2 C Yellow Onion, diced
30 g Cashews, rough chopped (opt)
3 C Passata Sauce

5 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp: Ginger, grated/Chili Powder/Cumin/Ground Coriander/Garam Masala
1/2 tea: Sugar (or a pinch of carrot, grated)/Salt

2/3 C Water
1 C Heavy Cream (18 – 35%)
5 tbsp Butter
1/4 tea Chicken Stock Powder

Mix the cut up meat in the yogurt mixture and rest it for 20 mins as you prep everything else. When ready, get your skillet heated up. After 3 mins, add some neutral oil and drop the meat in carefully in small batches. Brown the chicken to take advantage of the maillard reaction. All of that browning = flavour. (The meat will finish cooking as it rests in the hot sauce later.) Rest rest each browned batch in a bowl with paper towels set inside as you work.

In a bigger skillet, or a big pot, heat up some different oil and dump in the diced onion to soften. Add the cashews. Sautee for a minute before adding the passata sauce. Stew that together for 5 mins before adding the meat in. Stew the sauce another 5-8 mins to cook the meat through.

At the end, add the water, butter, heavy cream and chicken stock. When you’ve stirred it all together, plate some of the meat in shallow bowls off to one side, top it with a ladle of sauce, and drop the starch of choice (cooked rice, mash potatoes or naan bread chunks) over the sauce. Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired, topped with some chopped cilantro leaves.

Air Fryer Roasted Tomato Soup

Hands down, this is the best tomato soup I have ever eaten. I was never a fan of Campbell’s tomato soup, and I can only recall a few times I tried to make my own with mediocre to horrible results. The difference, for me, is the roasting of the vegetables.

In a bowl, I tossed quartered 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, one shallot, a glub of olive oil, S&P, 1 tbsp dry basil (rubbed between my palms), and three baby garlic cloves (the ones that tuck in between the full size cloves in a head of garlic).

I laid a sheet of tin foil in the basket and dumped the mix in to roast on 375*F for 15 mins. Look how gorgeous this turned out! * swooning *

While this cooled off a bit, I set up the cheesy toasts to bake in the air fryer for 8 mins. I had pizza cheese kicking about, so I used that on the top side after I buttered both sides of a sliced up Portuguese bun. All of these decisions were the right decisions. Look at the colour on that cheese when they were finished! Love.

I blitzed the mixture for five seconds alone before adding the chicken stock. I love rustic soups, so I barely ran it longer than 30 seconds, but if I were in the mood for silky smooth, I’d go longer to, say, 90 seconds or more. I would stop when I reached that texture.

And then I put it all together. I had a hard time resisting the urge to scarf it all down before I got the photos I wanted for this post. I was really hard to resist. I can’t stress that enough! 😉

 

Air Fryer Cinna Bun Bombs

Using a container of Pillsbury Dough crescent rolls, I made some cute cinna bun bombs that I filled and glazed. The husband ate them up! Here’s how I did it:

Cinna Bun Bombs:
1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, in tact
4 tbsp Sugar + 1 tea Ground Cinnamon

Unpack the crescent roll, but don’t unroll the dough. Cut the roll into eight pieces. Turn them on their side and push down on them to flatten them out to about 1 1/2″ discs. Shape the discs so they are round and flattened.

Drop each disc into a bowl of the mixed sugars and roll it around to coat the whole outside. Place the discs into the preheated air fryer basket to bake for 10 mins at 325*F.

When bombs are cooled off, make glaze and pour it over the tops. This is a quick set glaze, so you can pack it up within 20 mins for transporting.

Glaze:
1/8 tea Ground Cinnamon
60 g Powdered Sugar
15 mL Whole Milk (or 18% cream)

Optional: You can fill the bombs by making a deep cavity hole and piping your own pasty cream in.

Cake Mix + Soda = Soda Pop Cakes

I’m not a big fan of basic birthday cake, and by extension, cupcakes. But. I have to believe if you spice up a basic cake batter, I might try a portion should I be offered. I made half a box of yellow cake mix for the husband’s recent birthday, but I forgot all about flavouring it because I wanted to try futzing around with the icing in a can to make a galaxy looking effect for him. It wasn’t special beyond the icing effect which turned out ok. He liked what I was going for.

Anyway, back to the flavour matrix. There is a Youtuber who did a taste test on most of the above and she only deemed a few of them worth the effort. If you care, here is her full video.