Creative Ways to Dress Up Your Food Using a Mandoline
By Mandolines.com Staff
One of the main reasons that most people purchase a mandoline is because it makes the task of food preparation so much easier. Using a mandoline makes it simple to slice and dice and allows all levels of cooks, from the professional chef to the family cook that just needs to get a quick meal on the table, to easily cut up vegetables, fruits and other foods into uniform pieces for many different types of dishes. But, one of the best aspects of using a mandoline is that in addition to making your job in the kitchen easier, it also provides creative ways to dress up your food and makes it look like a professional chef has been hiding out in your kitchen!
Using a mandoline provides uniform slices of food that make the food look good and also allows it to cook more uniformly. Hot dishes, such as stir-frys, stews and casseroles are dishes that benefit from using a mandoline. By uniformly slicing vegetables for stir-fry dishes, the vegetables cook evenly and look nice when they make it to the table. The same goes for using a mandoline to cut up ingredients to make a stew or casserole. As nice as these dishes look when using a mandoline cutting blade that makes straight edge slices, these dishes can really be dressed up if your mandoline offers the option of additional blades such as crinkle cuts or julienne cuts.
There’s nothing like a vegetable that has been crinkle cut to add a bit of pizzazz to a dish. And even if all the vegetables in a stir fry dish, stew or casserole don’t lend themselves to using a mandoline to cut them (because they’re too soft or too small), even a few select vegetables that have been sliced using these unique blades can really dress up a dish and make it look more appetizing and professional.
Another creative way to dress up food using a mandoline uses just one type of food – the potato. No other food is more aptly suited for using a mandoline than the potato. Potatoes can be sliced in a variety of thicknesses using a regular cutting blade to make French fries, potatoes au gratin or even very thinly sliced potato chips. But if you want to get more creative when using your mandoline, just grab a few potatoes and put in the crinkle cut blade, waffle cut blade or julienne cut blade (if your particular model comes with them) and start slicing away! How exciting to be able to easily slice your own crinkle cut fries or waffle fries! Just using the julienne cutting blades to make regular French fries is a terrific way of using a mandoline because it makes the process so simple and the fries come out looking so perfect. In fact, you can even use a mandoline that has a matchstick cutting blade to make your own homemade potato sticks!
If you want to really get creative using a mandoline in the manner just described for potatoes, you can substitute regular white potatoes with sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, or other hard vegetables and turn them into delicious and nutritious “French fries”, too! Add a sprinkle of your favorite seasonings and pop them in the oven until they’re crisp and you not only have an assortment of homemade fries, but ones that look attractive, taste good and are good for you. You can find more recipe ideas in our article “10 Recipes Using a Mandoline”.
Of course, if you are looking to dress up your food using a mandoline, then consider using a selection of different cutting blades to cut up an assortment of fresh vegetables for salads, crudités, and other fresh dishes. Whether you are using a mandoline to make basic slices, julienne cuts or fancier crinkle or waffle cuts, the presentation of uniformly and professionally cut fresh vegetables will really dress up a meal. Using a mandoline is the perfect way to make healthy snacks and appetizers for yourself, your family or even a large gathering of friends and family. And, by setting the slicing blade to slice very thinly, you can even make attractive garnishes for dishes that look like they were arranged by a professional chef just by using a mandoline.
So, when you consider using a mandoline to help you make food preparation easier , consider also that by occasionally changing out blades or varying the types of vegetables you use for a particular recipe, you can keep your repertoire of meals creative, interesting and looking like you hired a professional chef to help you out in the kitchen!
Published: October 10, 2009
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