Slicing Made Simple with a Chef’s Mandoline

Slicing Made Simple with a Chef’s Mandoline

 Slicing Made Simple with a Chef’s Mandoline – Not being the most enthusiastic chef, I am always looking for ways to cut corners at mealtimes. I see the importance of preparing meals from fresh ingredients and am happy to uphold that belief. However, the slicing and chopping required for some meals are particularly time consuming and mundane, to the point that certain tasty options may be avoided.

Thankfully, I have been introduced to the OXO Chef’s Mandoline. Mandolines are used to slice ingredients (particularly vegetables) quickly, efficiently, and uniformly. They allow you to slice much more quickly than with a knife, cutting down your preparation time to a minimum.

Slicing Made Simple with a Chef’s Mandoline

The OXO Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline can create up to 21 different cuts. It features thickness settings in 0.5-mm intervals, straight and wavy blades, and built-in julienne and French fry blades. The indicator window shows each setting from above, so you can prep like a chef without needing professional knife skills. For safety you have a handy spring-loaded, wide-rimmed food holder to use whilst slicing, this is for safety and to protect your fingers as the Japanese stainless steel blades are particularly sharp.

Used to prepare all manner of firm vegetables, for example, slicing potatoes for dauphinoise, celery, parsnips, and swede for a hearty casserole, cutting courgette ribbons, and slicing ginger or garlic can all be done with ease. Choose the right blade; in seconds, a carrot will transform into silky ribbons for a salad, brussels sprouts into shreds for a stir-fry and a lemon into virtually transparent slices for a cocktail garnish. Making gratins, slaws, and French fries, mandolines are tremendously versatile.

Beetroots are particularly good vegetables for slicing, as they cut cleanly and hold their shape.

As well as adding consistency and finesse to high-end dishes, mandolines are a great everyday bit of kitchen kit. Vegetables for a stir-fry can be chopped and cooked within minutes and they also make light work of shredding cabbage for coleslaw.

As well as the classic potato dauphinoise another all-time favourite in our household is your basic roasted, herbed potatoes. So, we have a recipe to share for you to try at home:

Sliced Herbed Potato Stacks

Sliced Herbed Potato Stacks

Ingredients

Servings

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

12-24 small tender thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped leaves

1garlic clove, minced

1 3/4 pounds small waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold or German Butterball)

2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

A standard 12-cup muffin pan; a mandoline.

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Brush muffin cups all over with butter. Line bottoms with parchment-paper rounds. Arrange 1-2 small thyme sprigs in the centre of each round. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon butter into the bottom of each cup.
  • Add chopped thyme and garlic to the remaining butter in a saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Using mandoline, slice potatoes crosswise into very thin rounds (less than 1/16-inch thick), placing them in a large bowl as you work. Pour herb butter over and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat well.
  • Divide potato slices among muffin cups, layering overlapping slices to create a circular pattern. Lightly press the centre of each to make it compact. Drizzle any remaining butter and seasoning from the bowl over the top.
  • Cover the muffin pan tightly with foil and place it on a baking sheet. Bake until potatoes can be pierced easily with the tip of a knife, about 35 minutes. Remove foil; invert a rimmed baking sheet over the pan. Turn, lightly tapping on the counter, releasing potatoes onto the sheet. Rearrange any slices that may have fallen out. Using a metal spatula, carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing down. Discard parchment.
  • Increase heat to 425°. Uncover cakes if needed. Bake until bottoms and edges are golden and crispy, 25-30 minutes. Carefully turn cakes, thyme sprigs facing up.

Poppy Watt

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