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Favorite uses for your Mandolin?

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After borrowing my MIL's Martha Stewart mandolin to make dill pickle slices, I went out and bought a Benriner. It's fantastic---love the adjustment screws vs. the plates which jump around on cheaper models.

Just to make sure it doesn't get pushed to the back of the cupboard, what is your favourite use for your mandolin?

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  1. I've used mine to mainly chop potato into wither thin enough slices to make chips or to make thicker medallions that are uniformed in thickness. One dish I make involves using those medallions to make a dish that resembles a deconstructed hasselback potato.

    1. II use mine to make cucumber tea sandwiches, Julia's potato au gratin and Calabacitas - a south of the border dish with thinly sliced squashes and onion. Mine is an Oxo but I have a little plastic mandolin from Ming's Kitchen too. They were dueling Christmas presents one year.

      1. Cutting my fingers lol... shaved fennel salad has got to be the one thing I come back to my mandolin for time and again, shaved beet salad too

        1. I have an inexpensive one... Mouli,I think. It has 3 inserts for different cuts... 2 are double sided. Does 3 thicknesses of plain slices... from relatively thin to paper thin!?! Does a julienne and what I call a french fry cut. Have had it for years and STILL use the guard thingie... really sharp, for being probably $15 or so.

          I like it for slicing cucumbers for a salad or pickles. Wouldn't use anything else to slice potatoes & onions for gratin/scallop.

          1. I just have a V-Slicer from the fair, but I use it a lot. Most recently, for cole slaw (I like the cabbage really fine). Great for bread and butter pickles once I have "too" many cucumbers and zucchini. Can't make scalloped potatoes (or gratin or Jansen's Temptation) without it.

            Really like the fine julienne blade for zucchini that I am going to saute quickly, not as fine as grating, but fine enough to saute in about 1 minute. Also great for radishes, makes a really pretty addition to a salad with little red-tipped matchsticks.

            1. Removing tops of thumbs.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Peg

                I did that once, but I grew a new one. Now I have three.

                1. re: blue room

                  Some of us are all thumbs!

                  I wear a kevlar glove (got them on-line, search for hardware supplies) and haven't had a scratch - I even tried running my gloved palm over the blade (not recommended).

                  1. re: tardigrade

                    Saw the gloves when I bought the mandolin. Thought hmmmmm........

                  2. re: blue room

                    AHHH hahaha!! Too funny! lol

                2. Thinly sliced potatoes for a cream, garlic and Gruyere gratin. Takes a long time to do them with a knife, at least for me.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    Thin sliced potatoes, absolutely. Especially for a Spanish potato tortilla. Google Fine Cooking's recipe; it's fantastic.

                    1. re: roundfigure

                      Can't wait to do gratins and such. The blade on my food processor broke a while back and I've been slicing by hand.

                  2. Slicing beets & sweet potatoes for chips, sliced ribbons of summer squash (cut length-wise-- I layer them as I would pasta), just about anything into matchsticks (carrots, apples, salad turnips, jicama), sliced cucumbers & radishes and just about any other fruit or veggie that needs slicing. As you may guess, I use ours often (now that I have cut-proof gloves, haha).

                    1. I love this mandolin-appropriate zucchini & almond sauté: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/0...

                      1. I use my mandoline for:
                        Potatoes and onions for my dad's potato "casserole" which is just layered onions, potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper... so awesome
                        Fennel for my favorite raw fennel salad
                        Zucchini for zucchini "carpaccio"
                        Cabbage/Broccoli/Carrots for slaw
                        Veggies in general for large salads
                        Cucumbers for dipping

                        I use it a lot... and always with the guard because I'm terrified of slicing myself badly

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: kubasd

                          Those cut resistant gloves cost about $20 and are more than worth it; I keep mine right next to the mandolin.

                          1. re: walker

                            Hmmm.... definitely sound like they're worth it, I'll have to get a pair. That purchase will probably result in much more mandolining :)

                            1. re: kubasd

                              You really only need to buy one; it's for the hand you do the slicing with (it fits for left OR right hand).

                              1. re: walker

                                Ah yes, I was just assuming they were sold in pairs.

                                1. re: walker

                                  There are some on Amazon with cheaper prices than I paid at Chef's catalog; this one looks similar to mine and it's unusual in that you actually get TWO of them.

                                  http://www.amazon.com/BladeX5-Classic...

                          2. Don't throw away the cross cut add ons.They're fabulous for potato and other vegetable pancakes.

                            1. Like a few others here, I like it for removing those annoying fingertips.

                              1. Keep a supply of Wound Seal Powder on hand...I kid you not,it's fantastic for the bloody fingers you will have! Just finished slicing some potatoes for a potato gratin and I am nursing the bloody finger.
                                In the future I will stay with my FP.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Mother of four

                                  Sometimes the hospital ER uses Crazy Glue for superficial cuts. Not kidding! Didn't know about Wound Seal....

                                  This model comes with a large square guard/grip that you have to form a "bear claw" to use. Hoping that it saves the top 1/16th of my fingers. More worried about where to store it so that I don't jam my hands into it rummaging through drawers.

                                  1. re: applgrl

                                    I hang mine from a nail pounded into the inside of an upper kitchen cabinet door. Actually, I have lots of gadgets and charts hanging out of sight on the backs of cabinet doors. ,

                                2. So does the secret ingredient (blood & skin) enhance everyone's cooking?....LOL! I will proceed with caution!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: applgrl

                                    I hadn't even realized I was cut till I noticed rather "rosy" slices of potatoes on the cutting board. Of course, I had thought pehsaw to the food guard and was trying to slice bare-handed. Did slice, but it was the hand. Didn't feel moral to rinse off rosy potatoes, cook and serve to guests, so dumped the potatoes and changed the menu (after putting on a bandage).

                                  2. I like mine (I have 2) for everything everybody has talked about. If I fry potatoes I use it. If I want uniform and thinly sliced anything I use it. I do have a couple of pairs of the Kevlar gloves.

                                    1. LOVE my mandolines (I have three)! Uses?

                                      Potatoes for homemade chips & for scalloped potato & gratin dishes.
                                      Any other firm veggies to be used in gratins or tians or tarts, etc., etc.
                                      Onions for French Onion Soup or for pizza topping.
                                      Cucumbers for marinated cucumber salads or tea sandwiches.
                                      Firm tomatoes for pizza topping, etc.
                                      Firm fruits like apples & pears for tarts, tians, etc.
                                      My small "garlic" mandoline is priceless for making paper-thin slices of garlic for all sorts of applications, without having to use Paul Sorvino's "Goodfellas" razor-blade method.

                                      And for those of you cutting your fingers? SHAME ON YOU!!! There's a reason for the hand protector that comes with every mandoline. USE IT!!!!!!!!!

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                        My last thoughts before removing my fingertip: "It's time to start using the guar.......OH SH*T!"

                                        1. re: Bacardi1

                                          It goes beyond mere inconvenience. Those guards are often awkward and impractical. A good kevlar glove gives you much more control and can also allow for less waste. They're not expensive and very much worth it.

                                          1. re: eatingherselfalive

                                            I use mine for just about everything you can imagine and, yes, I have drawn serious blood a couple of times. Having the experience of gashing your fingertip does improve your technique and it has been a pretty long time since my second, more serious, slicing. I can no longer locate my hand guard, so I slice with enhanced caution now. The Kevlar glove sounds worth looking into, though it might be hard to grip and finely slice small cloves of garlic, in one of my favorite uses of my Benriner, with such clod-hoppers on my hand.

                                            1. re: punto

                                              If you buy the right glove and right size, it's not bulky. As for garlic, there are slicers things you can buy just for garlic and that would seem safer to me than using a mandolin for this job.

                                              1. re: walker

                                                Do you have any info re: garlic slicers? I am happy with the way the mandoline does garlic and have not had any slips so far since garlic tends to be soft enough to slice without pressing too hard.

                                                I am reluctant to buy too many single-purpose pieces of equipment, though I would be interested in seeing an example of the sort of slicer you describe.

                                                1. re: punto

                                                  I know what you mean about single purpose stuff. I always mince garlic .. here are some from Amazon that get good reviews:

                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-12021-Ga...

                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Hutzler-3718-Ga...

                                                  1. re: walker

                                                    Thanks again. The garlic slicers look kinda nice, but I probably will stick with either using a plain ol' paring knife or my mandoline. I guess if I were in a kitchen supply place where I could see them first hand, I'd probably lust after them and have to possess one. On the other hand, I will be looking into acquiring some Kevlar hand gear in the near future.

                                                    1. re: punto

                                                      When slicing garlic on a mandolin, I slice until a third of a clove is remaining and use that remainder for something else.

                                        2. I only use mine once a month or so, but for certain things there's no substitute. Well, short of a commercial electric slicer anyway. A few dollars very well spent indeed.

                                          The BEST for paperthin cuke slices when making sandwiches. Carrot disks nice and skinny so they aren't still hard when the other veggies are tender and perfect. Cabbage for coleslaw or sauerkraut, zip zip. Onions for soup, yep- fast, thin, and uniform, no tears.

                                          And potatoes, oh yeah. I made vichysoisse for 50 people; had to slice a whole bag of 'em really thin, plus the leeks & onions and it would've taken me well over an hour. Done in fifteen minutes. Scalloped potatoes, au gratins, potatoes Anna, sweet potato fries, all faster and easier than before.

                                          Next on my "to try" list is baby artichokes; they look lovely sliced thin.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                            My parents owned a deli when I was growing up. I think everyone who ever worked there lost a fingertip (or two) to the electric slicer, including me. We didn't charge extra if your sandwich had a little something special.

                                            1. re: silvergirl

                                              I always felt a deli slicer would be a boon to burglars... Remove your fingerprints in two easy steps, one for each hand. And the things are so sharp you don't even feel it until after the blood starts to flow...

                                              I lost the corner of my thumb once, years ago, along with about a third of the thumbnail. That was the summer I learned to play slide guitar. :>

                                          2. I use it very often in the following manner. When I want a snack but I don't want to consume a lot of calories, I slice up one vegetable and form a mound of razor-thin slices. Most often it's a cucumber or a carrot. (I think this is the best way to enjoy raw carrots, because they don't taste fibrous this way.) Then, I toss it with seasonings that I like. My favorite is Sichuan seasonings--ground roasted sichuan pepper, a little sesame oil, a little chili oil, Chinkiang black vinegar, and perhaps a bit of sugar. But there are infinite ways to season. Sometimes I salt the cucumber slices and drain the bitter liquid before seasoning.

                                            I don't use a guard or anything. I just throw that last 1/8 of the vegetable (which probably costs 5 cents) away.

                                            Try this and you may become addicted because it's so quick and tasty.

                                            1. Shredding cabbage for sauerkraut

                                              1. I love my Benriner! I use it for slicing cucumbers for Chinese cucumber salad, potatoes for gratins, onions for cole slaw, etc. I love how thin I can get things and how solid the unit is.

                                                But I really can't be strong enough in recommending kevlar gloves. It just takes all the worry out of using the damn thing. I got my pair at Lee Valley and they are machine washable and reversible for either hand, so you'll always have one available when the other is in the wash:

                                                Canadian site:
                                                http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/pa...

                                                US site:
                                                http://www.leevalley.com/US/garden/pa...

                                                The gloves are also handy if you shuck oysters. :)

                                                1. I'm totally paranoid so I always use the guard.
                                                  I also like it to slice apples or plums for those little tarts that look like roses.

                                                  1. I'd use my mandolin more often if it wasn't such a pain to clean.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: bmorecupcake

                                                      I just clean - or at least rinse off - mine immediately after use. And in the case of my cheap plastic one, all the parts are dishwasher safe.

                                                    2. I love making zucchini strips for pasta a la Smitten Kitchen. So delicious.

                                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/0...

                                                      1. My favorite use of my mandoline is to make Potatoes Terese, a dish I named for my wife.

                                                        • Slice peeled potatoes wafer thin (or waaffer thin, as we say in homage to Monty Python http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v29QfO...).
                                                        • Submerge slices in water to keep them from turning pink and to relieve them of some starch.
                                                        • Heat your oven to 450 degrees, turning on the convection fan if you have one.
                                                        • Drain and dry the sliced potatoes using a salad spinner.
                                                        • Toss slices with a moderate amount of olive oil, plus garlic (or even garlic powder or salt) salt, pepper and rosemary.
                                                        • Spread slices in a lightly oiled shallow pan (I use my beloved paella pans) and ruffle the top layer a bit.
                                                        • Pop the pan in the oven and blast until the top is browned.

                                                        You’ll know you got it right when the top of this pancake reminds you of potato chips, the middle is soft, and the bottom is crusty and yummy.

                                                        I have an Oxo mandoline, but my favorite is the inexpensive and wickedly sharp (ceramic blade!) mandolines made by Kyocera.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: deleomeyer

                                                          ....just a Thin....Mint......Waffer! LOL! Applguy and I share the same joke too!

                                                          I will try your Thin Potato Waffer recipe---I love convection!!

                                                        2. Root vegetables! I can slice fresh beets into consistent super thin rounds with a mandolin. Even my electric deli slicer can't do that!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            EGAD you reminded me I've forgotten to pick the beets at my MIL's house. I will do some pickled beet slices this year, since the "baby" beets won't be so baby-ish. Thanks for that!

                                                            PS how will I be able to tell the beet juice from my own blood..... :-0

                                                            1. re: applgrl

                                                              All it takes is practice, practice, practice......and keep the first-aid kit nearby in the meantime :)

                                                          2. Caramelizing onions.