Air Fryer Potato Fries with Sauce
Column and photos by Ali Carter, Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary
The weeks of stay-at-home mandates and favorite restaurants boarded up with “Closed Due to COVID-19” signs on their doors had an interesting impact on some families.
Many suddenly found themselves in the unfamiliar territory of preparing three meals a day, day after day, and some took on the brand-new adventure of learning to cook for themselves for the very first time.
It seems that unprecedented times and forced change swirled together to create more cooks in their kitchens, and a few minutes on social media reveals a current interest in cooking gadgets and simple recipes.
In particular, I noticed quite a number of posts throughout the months of April and May about people cooking with air fryers, and this inspired me to dig through our top pantry shelves and locate our little-used appliance.
After dusting off the air fryer and using it for a day or two, I remembered why it was tucked away on that top shelf, but I also recalled that it does a fabulous job when you want a batch of hot, crispy, homemade French fries!
FAST, CRISPY FOOD
An air fryer is a small convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air at high speed. This, along with the small space, produces crispy food in a fraction of the time it would take in a conventional oven.
This is good when you’re looking to cook something quickly and you want the food to come out crisp. However, the air fryer baskets are small … small, small. And this is not so good when attempting to use one to cook a meal that will feed more than a couple people.
In that case, you will end up having to cook in batches and this often feels time consuming and a bit frustrating to me.
Oh, but the French fries that come out of an air fryer are fabulous! Baked French fries are delicious, yet they do not have the same texture as the fried version.
While fries made in the air fryer are still not quite as indulgently gratifying as those deep-fried potatoes, they do come very close and use a tiny bit of oil comparatively.
Classic ketchup is always good for dipping French fries, but I have a love for creating sauces and a belief that the right sauce can make the best food all the better. Pair these fries with the sauce and you will have a culinary hit on your hands!