I briefly considered the possibilities of an Actifry made by T-fal, but the overabundance of reviews and opinions on the internet offered confusion rather than clarity. I never know whether to believe internet reviews. Some people are always going to be ecstatic about a product, and some are always going to think that it is the worst thing ever in the history of everything. Without knowing any background of the people posting, I can't tell if what they say applies to me.
Besides, while I am not quite willing to cut oil out of my life completely, I do try to be mindful of exactly what I am asking my body to process. I am looking at food and recipes from different perspectives. Sometimes the full fat, deep fried, high calorie indulgence is the way to go, but what about people who really have to watch their intake of fat or salt or sugar or have allergies or sensitivities or just plain don't like something? They have to eat, too, and they should be able to eat tasty food right along with the rest of us. Given the number of recipes available for almost any dish, there is more than one way to make almost anything, so why not try it? (And try more than one variation or method, especially if the first attempt didn't turn out quite the way you had hoped it would.)
One of my favorite discoveries of a better way to do something is when I decided to try steaming ravioli rather than boiling them. I find the pasta in pre-made ravioli to be too thick, and I still haven't gotten quite organized enough to make my own. Somewhere I came across the recommendation of using wanton wraps instead. I boiled them the first time. They turned out pretty well as far as taste and texture, but the ravioli stuck together impressively once they came out of the water and were piled on a plate. Also, if I punctured one or didn't seal it properly (I have since learned that egg is far more effective than water), all of the filling ended up in the water.
The second time I made them, I decided to try steaming them in my handy dandy double decker bamboo steamer. Way better. Punctures and less than perfect seals did not cause any problems, and the ravioli only needed to be steamed for three or four minutes. An added bonus is that the steamer has two layers, so I could cook more than a few ravioli at once. The stickiness was still a bit of an issue, but a bit of oil or butter or using a bigger plate or several plates or adding the sauce of choice right away or maybe even a dusting of semolina (though that might interfere with the sauce) helps considerably.
|The finished rangoons and egg roll (on a special, snazzy|
plate made just for such things)
|Fried rice in matching snazzy bowl|
P.S. I also tried baking rangoon-shaped ravioli (i.e. using one wrapper per ravioli rather than two), and I think for them, steaming is better.