Once again I offer you a small collection of non-recipes, so simple that I wonder whether they are blog-worthy. The first two use the air-fryer, but you could make them both in a regular oven. It will just take a little longer, and maybe the texture will not be quite the same. The second two call for preserved lemons, an ingredient that is worth experimenting with. You can make your own, or buy a bottle, which is what I did.
INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #1
AIR-FRIED TORTILLA CHIPS
Excellent use for tortillas that are getting past their prime, and wave at you when you open the fridge… “Please, do something about us laying here in this lousy bag. We are not getting any younger…”
Grab a pair of scissors, cut each tortilla in four wedges, each wedge in two. That will make 8 pretty good size chips from each corn tortilla. Spray olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite spices (I like to use a combination of smoked paprika, cumin, and a very light touch of cayenne pepper). Season with salt. Put in the air-fryer set as high as it will go (mine goes to 390F). Fry them until golden brown and crispy, shaking the basket every few minutes. They should be ready in 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen absorbent paper, and serve while still warm, but they are great at room temperature, getting a bit harder then. Amazing how much better they are than those you can buy in bags. If you only need a small amount, the air-fryer is definitely your best option. A very efficient way to exercise portion control: don’t make a massive amount!
INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #2
AIR-FRIED ARTICHOKE HEARTS
You might be surprised to learn that I found this recipe in a vegan forum. I do have a pretty open mind when it comes to cooking, and vegan recipes can be quite creative and intriguing. Members of the forum were raving about it. Grab a bottle of oil-packed artichoke hearts. If you can only find those that come in a brine type solution, no worries. Simply drain the liquid well, dry them a bit, and coat them with a nice layer of olive oil. Place them in the air fryer basket, set to high. Fry until they get golden the way you like. Some bits will threaten to get charred. Those are good bits, embrace them.
I can only advise you to get more than one bottle going. These fried morsels are addictive, they shrink, and you will regret not frying a few more. Plus, leftovers are fantastic added to pasta, couscous, as pizza topping. You need these in your life. I imagine you can do them equally well broiling in a regular oven. Simple. But so very tasty…
INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #3
ROASTED VEGGIES WITH PRESERVED LEMONS
For this “non-recipe” I got a bag of those rainbow carrots, and cut them quarters lengthwise, then in sticks. Did the same with some zucchini. Added all veggies to a bowl, drizzled olive oil, salt and pepper. Grabbed 4 slices of preserved lemons, diced them (they are so soft they more or less melt as you cut them), added to the bowl, mixing gently.
Placed in a roasting pan and into a 425F oven. Thirty minutes later, they were ready to be enjoyed! Very nice lemony flavor, perfect side dish for a busy weeknight. Probably doable in the air-fryer also, but I was hoping for a bigger batch, with leftovers in mind.
INCREDIBLY SIMPLE #4
GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH PRESERVED LEMON MARINADE
Get a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slice them in half to make them thinner, and pound them slightly. Now get about 6 thin slices of preserved lemons and add to a small food processor with a few tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a couple of teaspoons of agave nectar. Process into a paste. Add to the chicken breasts inside a plastic bag, leave to marinade a few hours or overnight. Remove the meat from the marinade, grill about 5 minutes per side.
Pure citric flavor, that will also tenderize the meat slightly. It will be moist and flavorful, a combination not always easy with chicken breasts. This preparation reminds me of the whole-lemon marinade I blogged about in the past.
I hope you enjoyed my little collection of quick and easy recipes, they tend to become part of our regular rotation, in fact preserved lemons will have a permanent spot in our fridge. Right there next to the rose harissa…
ONE YEAR AGO: French Style Baguettes
TWO YEARS AGO: Sad Times
THREE YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooker Carnitas Lettuce Wraps and Paleo Planet Review
FOUR YEARS AGO: The Making of a Nobel Reception
FIVE YEARS AGO: Fennel Soup with Almonds and Mint
SIX YEARS AGO: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin
SEVEN YEARS AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta
EIGHT YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme
NINE YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken