Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kitchen Gadgets: A Cut Above the Rest

I got a new kitchen toy the other day. It's something that I've been wanting for awhile but it just wasn't high enough on the priority list. Well, the time had finally come and I'm very excited to finally add it to my cooking routine. The new gadget? A mandoline! I did a lot of research to find the right one and it boiled down to three different brands. One was through eBay, one was at on online store, and the other was at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The place that won was the store that gives out those handy, little 20% off coupons. If you live around a Bed, Bath and Beyond, your mailbox has no doubt been hit by all their flyers and coupons to entice you to come in and buy stuff. Their ploys worked for me! Well, that and the fact that I'd have to pay a shipping cost with the other two places.  

My mandoline of choice is the OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer. If you're interested in the details, you can check it out here: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=14640630. I used it for the first time yesterday and, of course, I had to slice up a potato.
That's always the first thing you slice when it comes to using new kitchen tools that cut, right? I had a giant sweet potato and thought it would be the perfect thing to try to cut. 

There are four blades included with the unit (a straight slicer, a crinkle cut slicer, large julienne and small julienne) and they are conveniently stored in the unit itself. Each slicing attachment has the ability to have it's height adjusted, too. I thought I'd try out the crinkle slice for the sweet potato and make some chips. Well, let's just say that the mandoline didn't like how big my sweet potato was. I tried it out with some regular white potatoes and it worked great though! 

The white potatoes turned out great!

The crinkle attachment worked, but the sweet potato
was so big and dense that it only gave me half pieces.
I had to have the height adjustment on the thickest
setting to even cut the potato!

Overall, I'm very happy with my latest choice of kitchen gadgets. I have to keep it in a box on a shelf because it's super sharp and I don't want my little guy to go exploring, but I plan on using it quite a bit. (I'm sure the next thing I'll try out is slicing some zucchini). I'd highly recommend a mandoline for anyone who wants uniform, quick cuts for cooking. Just be sure to always use the guard so you don't lose any fingers. My own personal lesson learned: definitely be sure to use fruits and vegetables that are less than 3 1/2 inches in diameter!  

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