Okay, this is not a review of my newest kitchen toy, the Actifry Express XL by T-Fal because I just got it and have only used it once to make french fries. This particular Actifry is brand new in Canada and it cooks food up to 30% faster than the previous machines. It is also HUGE. It looks like a big, black spaceship, which I like but, honestly, it's huge and you need to have a lot of space to store this baby. This one makes enough food to feed six though, so if you have a whack of kids, this one would be your best bet. It's got a nice, big digital screen so it's really easy to set the time and comes totally assembled so you can basically pop it out of the box, take out the bowl and the blade, give them a quick wash, pop them back in and go.
I will say that the french fries that came out of it were crispy and tasty and that I used less than a tbls of olive oil to make 750 grams of potato/sweet potato fries, so that is a good thing.
Are they as crispy and delicious as deep fried?
No, of course not.
Are they better than my oven fried french fries?
Not really, but they are just as good in a different way AND I use much more than 1 tbls of olive oil when I make oven fries.
I turned them into poutine and, for that, they were perfect. They were certainly crisp enough to stand up to the sauce and I could eat it without all the extra fat calories from deep fried fries so that I could concentrate all of my fat love on extra cheese curds and sauce instead. They also took on a nice shade of brown, which another thing I was worried about because nobody likes pales fries - we eat with our eyes, people.
I will try some more things in there and share updates via social media so, if you are not following me on Twitter or Instagram you are missing the real time updates on all of my kitchen and travel shenanigans, so do something about that.
Actifry Sausage PoutineYou can use leftover sausage or cook one anyway you like - grill it, fry it, roast it then slice it up and fry it until the edges get crispy. Hot Italian, Chorizo - whatever sausage you prefer. The amount of cheese curds you use per serving is totally up to you - use as little or as much as you like.
french fries (if you don't have an Actifry, use fries made however you make them)
1 or 2 cooked sausage, sliced and fried until browned around the edges (I sous vide mine at 141F for 2 hrs)
French Fries:750g of a mix of sweet potato and russet potato
about 1/2 of the green spoon included with the Actifry of olive oil
Cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into french fry wedges (I cut them on the thinner side as I had read that when the wedges are too thick, they don't work as well). Wash in cold water, rinse and then dry them thoroughly using a clean tea towel or paper towel.
Pile the fries into the bowl of the actifry, put about 23 minutes on the timer and start the machine. When it stops, open the top and sprinkle in a big pinch of maldon (or other coarse salt), shut the lid and cook for five more minutes.
It makes a noise but it's not that loud and I could totally ignore it as the fries were cooking. It sounds louder in the video than it did when I was working in the kitchen - less like sitting in the economy cabin of Air Transat than you would think.
Sauce:1 tbls butter
1 tbls flour
2 cups chicken stock
approx 1 tsp champagne or white balsamic vinegar
dash soy sauce (approx 1/2 tsp)
4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and after you add the flour, cook it, stirring the roux constantly, for a couple of minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and the vinegar, whisk well to make sure there are no lumps and simmer until the volume reduces by half. When it has reduced and is thick enough to lightly coat a spoon, add the splash of soy sauce, stir, cover the pot and keep warm on low heat.
Put a handful of hot fries in the bottom on a shallow bowl and scatter a small handful of cheese curds over top and ladle a bit of sauce over the whole thing. Repeat for another layer and add sausage slices on the very top. Serve.