I recently moved and, in the course of packing, went through the process of cleaning out my kitchen cabinets. I was particularly focused on weeding out small appliances.
I like a lot of clear counter space for working, and when there’s an Instant Pot on your counter, it sure doesn’t feel “small.” Because most of my small appliances don’t get daily use, I relegate all but the essentials (espresso machine and toaster) to the pantry. I keep it pretty lean, but in nearly 20 years in one place, one tends to accumulate at least a few items that don’t deserve a spot on the moving truck. Packed away on a back shelf I found a breakfast sandwich maker I’d never used and an electric skillet that I received as a wedding gift. I parted ways with both.
One appliance I had no question about was my air fryer. You know, this machine-of-the-moment isn’t truly “frying” at all? You know, it’s really just a small convection oven, right—but I don’t care. I bought one for my office and became so obsessed with it that I ended up buying the exact same one for home. Just about everything I’ve thrown in it has been incredible.
And I do mean everything. I’ve put ravioli in there, and meatballs, salmon, taquitos, empanadas, hand pies, tater tots, chicken tenders, wings and pork chops. I also created the most delicious Air Fried Garlic Butter Pork Bites. Needless to say, the air fryer secured a spot in my new kitchen, the bread machine and vacuum sealer, on the other hand, did not.
Air Fried Garlic Butter Pork Bites
- 1 ½ lbs. Kowalski’s naturally raised bone-in center cut pork loin rib chops
- 1 Tbsp. Kowalski’s extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns
- ½ tsp. Kowalski’s granulated garlic powder
- ½ tsp. Kowalski’s granulated onion powder
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. Kowalski’s Hungarian paprika
- 2 Tbsp. Kowalski’s garlic parmesan butter
- optional: chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
Cut pork chops from the bone; discard bone. Cut meat evenly into bite-sized cubes between ½ -¾”. In a large mixing bowl, toss pork with oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, sugar and paprika; toss to coat. Working in two batches, place pork cubes in a single layer in the air fryer, with space between each piece. Air fry in a preheated air fryer at 400 degrees F until pork is opaque, dark golden-brown on the edges and cooked through (about 4–5 minutes per batch). In a medium mixing bowl, toss hot pork bites with butter. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.