Tool talk Mandoline
Any junk food addict will tell you that half the fun in eating French fries is the crispy texture of the fries, writes Rochelle Pinto.Updated: Feb 03, 2009, 15:43 IST
Any junk food addict will tell you that half the fun in eating French fries is the crispy texture of the fries. If cut too thin, they burn beyond recognition and if sliced too wide, they remain uncooked in the centre.
But that Mcdonald-esque even strips are almost impossible to achieve at home. Unless of course, you’ve been smart enough to buy a mandoline. It consists of an interchangeable board placed parallel to a set base, which has a blade at one end. The surface of the removable board has grooves of varied widths and sizes.
In the groove
By running a firm vegetable along the grooved surface and into the blade, the food item is neatly cut into identical pieces. The upper board can be adjusted for height, which will again increase the thickness of the slice. The mandoline juliennes in varying thickness, depending on the vegetable used. While it is most commonly used for juliennes of carrots, potato chips can be prepared in record time too.
The apparatus also has provisions for crinkle-cuts or waffle cuts, for those who prefer potato wafers to fries. If you’re trying to impress a dinner guest with your perfect presentation, the mandoline can be your best friend. Also since the blade is extremely thin and sharp, the effort required to slice the vegetables is minimal.
However, it is advisable to use a glove when using it as its sharp blade and slippery surface boards could lead to a kitchen disaster.
Also, the quality of the vegetable is important if you want clean slices. Soft tomatoes and fruits aren’t good candidates for the mandoline as the best part of the food would be remain a pulpy mess on the cutting board..