The perception of lusting after something (or someone) brings up visions of people wanting a bigger house, a nicer car, beautiful jewelry, etc. Me? I lust over kitchens (their size, workability, durability), kitchen appliances (having fun while making the “mundane” of cooking go by quicker and easier), and tools (a good set of chef’s knives has me over-the-top happy).
Soooo, I’ve been noticing friends acquiring air fryers and boasting what great things they have cooked in them, the advantages of having and using an air fryer, and the health outcomes of the food cooked on air fry. I’ve been sitting on this “lust” for a while because this same feeling came over me when the Instant Pot craze was popular. I have friends that were raving about it so I gave it a try. After two or three uses, I realized the instant pot just wasn’t congruent with the way I cooked. It now lives in the “unused appliance cupboard” in the garage. Anyone wanting to liberate it from the cupboard, be my guest!
Enter the toaster oven/air fryer. Well now, that deserved a second look. Hubby actually encouraged this purchase because the unit had a variety of functions:
- Bake, Broil, Pizza, Roast, Toast, Bagel, Reheat, Warm, Dual Cook
- Low temperature setting to slow cook, braise, and more
- Dedicated functions for Dehydrating and Proofing
- AirFry function and presets take the guesswork out of frying wings, fries, nuggets, snacks, and veggies
He of course was sold when he saw that the unit had a specially engineered 1800-watt motor. Isn’t that just like a man/engineer? Our current toaster oven wasn’t exactly on its last legs albeit a little beaten up from years of use so I was cautious about replacing an appliance that still worked. Well, by the time I decided to buy this super-duper appliance, the model I wanted was out of stock… everywhere. Of course! However, after a few weeks of scouring every known source to us (avoiding the black market and guy with one in the back of his beat-up truck – LOL), we found one at Costco and it now sits on my kitchen counter.
What do I want to air fry first? French fries came to mind, but to be more practical, I had fresh asparagus in the fridge that would be a great veggie to try air frying. And here we are circled back to the recipe for this post – Air Fried Asparagus.
The process is easy to air fry asparagus in this appliance, but the pressure was on me to make it crispy too because hubby doesn’t like any vegetable cooked unless it is crispy. So here’s what I did….
Wash and snap asparagus. Dredge in egg and seasoned panko crumbs.
Place asparagus on the air fry rack.
After about 5-6 minutes, you have crisp-cooked asparagus! Be sure to check your air-fryer settings. The model I have tends to cook hot so I scaled back cooking time (after I burned the sweet potato fries). Oops did I just admit I tried making french fries first? Well, they were a failure and burned so just pretend I didn’t bring it up.
Drizzle with a little blue cheese dressing and crunch away! Consider serving these air-fried asparagus for appetizers too!
- ½ pound fresh thin-stalked asparagus
- ¼ cup panko seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, whisked
- Optional: 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking spray
- Optional: drizzle of blue cheese dressing
- PREP: set air-fryer to the vegetable setting. Line the drip pan with foil. Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- After washing and snapping the asparagus, roll it into the egg wash and then the panko crumbs. Optional: Add parmesan to the panko mix at this time if using.
- Carefully place each asparagus spear in the air-fryer basket in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- If your air-fryer has an automatic setting for vegetables, watch the asparagus carefully so it doesn't overcook. The automatic setting on my appliance for air-frying vegetables was for 4 minutes longer than was necessary for the asparagus to cook.
- When done, remove asparagus to a plate and serve. Add a drizzle of blue cheese dressing if you like.