It was merely a few years ago that we lived in a world where kitchens weren't dominated by the convenience and versatility of air fryers, but now that we have them, we can't imagine cooking without these handy gadgets. From salmon to tofu and orange slices to boot, when it comes to air fryers, if you can dream it, you can achieve it. Lately, we've been dreaming about cheese crisps. Sure, we can just mosey on over to the supermarket and purchase a box of cheese crisps, but that's no adventure, and you may already have the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch in your air fryer anyway.
All you have to do is line the air fryer basket with a sheet of parchment paper to avoid a sticky mess, cut some cheese into the shape of your liking, and air fry them until they're as crunchy as chips -- et voilà -- you'll have a protein-packed snack with a satisfying crunch to curb your hunger between meals. You may be wondering, what's the difference between making the crisps in the air fryer versus in the oven? For starters, air fryers work twice as fast as conventional ovens, which makes them ideal for making cheese crisps in a flash. The heated circulation in air fryers facilitates even cooking for consistent texture and flavor, so you won't end up with a batch of half-cooked cheese crisps.
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Hot Tips For Air-Fried Cheese Crisps
The cheese you choose for this crunchy snack determines the flavor, texture, and overall vibe of the cheese crisps. A firm, low-moisture cheese is your best bet for high-quality cheese crisps. Parmesan, cheddar, and Gruyère are great selections for ultra-crunchy cheese crisps. Unfortunately, some cheeses just won't work for this air-fried finger food. The goal is to make them crispy, so fresh cheeses like mozzarella, feta, or ricotta, which contain more moisture, may not be suitable for achieving a proper crunch. Similarly, ultra-soft cheeses like brie or camembert take on a viscous texture when heated, which makes them ideal for dipping crackers and bread into, but not so much for a crispy treat.
Whether you make cheese crisps from shredded or whole slices of cheese is ultimately up to you. If you opt for shredded cheese, arrange the shreds closely together and lay them flat. Avoid stacking the shreds too heavily to prevent uneven cooking. Because shredded cheese is thinner, it might cook faster, so you may need to cook the crisps for a shorter period to prevent burning. A general guideline for cooking time and temperature for cheese crisps is about five minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can always open up the air fryer basket for a quick eye test to ensure they're not under or overcooked.
Adding Flavor To Air-Fried Cheese Crisps
Air-fried cheese crisps make for an excellent snack on their own, but you'd be surprised at how easily you can elevate this snack. Jazz up your cheese crisps by baking in your favorite seasonings, herbs, seeds, or nuts for added depth of flavor and texture. Garden-fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme impart an aromatic flair to the crunchy snacks, while adding everything bagel seasoning can provide a bold, savory dimension to the rich cheese crisps. Similarly, incorporating sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, or pine nuts can add texture and woody, nutty flavors for a more well-rounded flavor profile.
Once they come out of the air fryer, you can pair the cheese crisps with the smooth quality of your favorite dips. Salsa, guacamole, spinach-artichoke dip, or even a simple marinara sauce can complement their crunchy, umami goodness. You can also grind the cheese crisps into smaller pieces and use them as crouton alternatives for soups or salads, where they'll provide a decadent richness and textural contrast to a medley of earthy greens or a river of savory soup. If you like your morning eggs a little cheesy, shake things up by using the crumbled cheese crisps instead of fresh cheese to give a fluffy scramble a crunchy edge. Once you make these tasty air-fried treats, you'll never look at the potential of cheese the same again.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.