Yes, it also does chips!

fries

For the last meal prepared as part of the De’Longhi Multifry Challenge I’ve been taking part in, it only seemed right to do chips.

This multifryer hasn’t really felt like something to cook fried food – more of a worktop based cooker – but it’s likely that people buying this would want to cook fried food with the lower fat advantage the product boasts.

So I did the test with frozen fries. There was no oil involved and they cooked in quick time. I served mine with lemon and basil baked salmon, wilted spinach and cauliflower.

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Chart to show every ‘new cupcake’ ever mentioned

This is a fun infographic - Every food that’s ever been called ‘The New Cupcake,’ in one chart.

Amazingly there’s been 57 items that have been called ‘the new cupcake’. Crazy times indeed.

It was created by Slate which explains:

We searched news database Nexis for the phrase “the new cupcake” and tallied every instance of its use in English language publications, whether it was a writer declaring doughnuts “the new cupcakes,” wondering whether frozen yogurt was the “new cupcake,” or quoting someone else asserting that pie was “the new cupcake.”

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Vegetarian curry with squash and chick peas

veggieThe DeLonghi Multifry challenge is coming towards its end for me and this was the most ambitious dish I tried to date.

A vegetarian curry from scratch in well under an hour. The recipe app suggested this would take 55min but actually was a good bit quicker. The total cooking time was 25 mins and it didn’t take very long to chop an onion and a squash.

The ingredients list was fairly simple again – dried spices in the form of paprika, tumeric and curry – the chickpeas, onion, squash and garlic. All topped up with some veg broth.

It made for a substantial curry – something better suited for cold weather – but also pretty mild. If I made it again I’d definitely add some extra chilli and ginger to the mix.

veggie

Veggie curry

Overall verdict: Simple to create and tasty. Serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt, naan bread, basmati rice and a green salad for a filling veggie main meal.

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Chicken with potatoes, rosemary and garlic #multifrychallenge

“Well that was simple enough even for me. Delicious as well.”

chicken

Not-fried chicken


There you have it! That’s what passes for a positive review in my house.

The meal was indeed simple to produce. I was a bit sceptical about putting all the ingredients in raw with no preperation at all – no browning of the chicken, no chopping of the herbs or garlic and also no oil.
raw
The recipe from the De’Longhi Multifry Challenge app just advised to add them all to the cooker dish (no paddle) and switch it on for 50mins, stirring a couple of times.

But the results and response speak for themselves. The chicken was succulent, very much like fried chicken in fact. The potatoes roasted and the rosemary managed to scatter itself around the dish somehow….Served with a very lightly dressed green salad.

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Can you be too high-profile as a food blogger? French judge thinks so

Hopefully us UK food bloggers can file this piece of news from today in the ‘French oddity’ folder but…………

A French judge has ruled against a blogger because her scathing restaurant review was too prominent in Google search results.

The judge ordered that the post’s title be amended and told the blogger Caroline Doudet to pay damages.

Ms Doudet said the decision made it a crime to be highly ranked on search engines.

The BBC has reported.

Sadly the entire posting which cause the complaint has now been deleted – despite the judgement only being restricted to the title – but apparently it detailed poor service and the headline highlighted it as a ‘place to avoid’.

One of the most worrying things about the judgement was the fact the judge took into account the number of Doudet’s followers and apparently considered around 3,000 followers to be a significant number.

When websites, blogs, tweets etc. fall foul of the law in the UK, their following, reach and number of viewings the offending articles is also taken into account – but that’s when they have committed some sort of offence in order to assess damage.

In this case, there was no case put or tried. Under French law, a judge can issue an emergency order to force a person to cease any activity they find to be harming the other party in the dispute.

And Doudet has said she did not believe she will appeal because she did “not want to relive weeks of anguish”.

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Chicken curry as part of the #multifrychallenge

Tonight’s meal moved things on a bit with this week long challenge – a chicken curry. First thing to note from the recipe I used from the app provided is that it contains many fewer ingredients that I’d normally use for a curry – no individual spices, garlic, ginger or chillies.
photo (1)

And the method is a bit different from the standard browning of the meat, creating a roux etc. It all started with sauteing the onion and carrot on its own before adding pieces of floured chicken.

Just as I was about to add the chicken pieces, something occurred to me – no instructions about the addition of the curry powder. I’m guessing these recipes haven’t been roadtested much to date and these sort of details are easily missed so I went back to the flour dredging stage and added the curry powder there.

After the meat and the veg, the stock, cream and milk where added and all set to cook up for 20mins while the basmati rice cooked on the hob.
curry
The verdict: The chicken was beautifully cooked – very tender and moist but again, like yesterday, the sauce was a bit dry. I’m thinking this could be as much to do with the roadtesting of the recipes and am going to add extra liquid for future dishes. The dish cooks fast and hot and the paddle function prevents anything from sticking or burning. Personally, I thought it was too mild and think some more aromatics and spices would pep up the recipe in future.

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Paddling with asparagus

The seasonal veg cook-up continues with baked asparagus. Unlike last night’s courgette based dish, this recipe from the DeLonghi Multifry App uses what they describe as a ‘paddle’.

Basically it looks like this……

pan

And moves the food around in the cooking bowl. I was a bit worried when I switched on the oven that something had gone wrong as the paddle didn’t move but it seems it clicks into action as the food starts to cook rather than wasting its efforts on the raw ingredients at the start.

Tonight’s recipe also contained a reasonable amount of liquid as the asparagus first cooks in stock and then the paddle is removed while the Grana Padano cheese and breadcrumbs are added to brown it off in the last few minutes.

asparagusrecipe.jpg
But it all went a bit wrong. The recipe was supposed to look like this – delicate fronds of succulent asparagus gently coated in a cheese sauce.

But it actually looked like this…….

asparague

I think I can explain what happened. Basically I didn’t add enough liquid so that the cheese and breadcrumbs just clumped together but also, the stock I used was just too concentrated so it led to an overly intense flavour as well as the wrong texture.

Live and learn – tomorrow could be time to try out the cooker on some meat.

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Baked courgettes to start with #multifrychallenge

courgette

Courgettes with tuna

For the first meal as part of the seven day challenge for the De’Longhi Multifry Challenge, I’ve done something very NOT fried.

In fact there was no oil involved at all. It seems the name given to this piece of kit is somewhat misleading – it can be used as a workspace top cooker as much as a fryer.

Essentially it’s a cooking dish with a high powered element above and below.

imagesI choose this recipe from the app mainly because it was so simple – the courgettes are basically stuffed with a food processed mix of courgette flesh, tinned tuna, pine nuts and Grana Padano cheese. Baked for 25 mins and that’s it, a low cal simple meal.

I served them with a mixed salad and some seasonal Jersey Royals with parsley butter.

A few things to note on its first run out:

  • On the plus side, it’s really easy to clean with no messy attachments to worry about.
  • On the downside, it’s noisey. So are fan cookers but it was surprisingly loud for its small size.
  • I like the way the app recipes all come with a calorie guide – this dish just 127 cals per serving.

So first attempt was a success – I’ll try something a bit more complicated tomorrow.

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Getting set for some new tech kitchen wizardry #multifrychallenge

Kitchen gadgets, apps and cooking. They’re a match like…..well fish and chips springs to mind!

Bringing together some technology and some food always seems like a good idea so I’ve agreed to take part in something called the De’Longhi Multifry blogger challenge.

I get a special new cooker thing to try out, an app full of recipes and am putting aside some time to both cook and blog abut it right here.

I’m not much of a fried food cook, aside from the occasional Chinese stir fry, but was persuaded by the idea of this as it uses very small amounts of oil compare to conventional cooking with the promise of ‘air frying’.

It all looks pretty impressive in the promo video, as you’ll see.

So we’ll start tomorrow. I’ll tag stuff #multifrychallenge over the week if you’re interested in following and, if you’ve already tried out this way of of cooking, I’d love to hear about it.

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New bread making courses on offer in the north west

doughIf you fancy getting in on the whole artisan bread thing, there’s two three places starting in July offering ‘how-to’ courses from the not-for-profit organisation Cracking Good Food.

If you’re within striking distance of Flixton, Prestwich or Chorlton-cum-Hardy, the new classes could help your inner baking knead.

The organisers say:

Having successfully launched a new full-day bread class, Our Daily Bread, last week in Flixton, Cracking Good Food will return to the Girls’ School there for more baking on 12 July and 8 November (10am-4pm, £95). Cracking Good Food also takes artisan breadmaking to North Manchester for the first time on 7 June and again on 27 September, with a brand-new all-day course at Prestwich Arts College (10am-4pm, £95).

Cracking Good Food’s half-day Breaking Bread courses continue to run at Chorlton High School (the next programmed are 14 June, 13 September and 11 October, 10am-2pm, £55), and there is also a special Festive Bread session on 22 November (10am-2pm, £55).

CGF’s breadmaking expert Rob Tomlinson explains what happens there: “Our workshops are totally hands-on and participants come away with the knowledge of how to make organic loaves, aromatic focaccia, rye bread, delicious garlic naans, and even the perfect pizza base. The battle to restore decent bread to its proper place is gathering momentum. Join us!”

See www.crackinggoodfood.org for details and booking information for all the classes on offer and to find out more about Cracking Good Food’s community work.

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