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Favorite uses for your Mandolin?

applgrl Aug 17, 2012 04:51 AM

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?

  1. MGZ Sep 1, 2012 10:34 AM

    Caramelizing onions.

    1. HillJ Aug 31, 2012 08:43 PM

      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
        applgrl Sep 3, 2012 09:17 PM

        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
          HillJ Sep 4, 2012 04:35 AM

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

      2. d
        deleomeyer Aug 31, 2012 10:00 AM

        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
          applgrl Sep 3, 2012 09:14 PM

          ....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. a
          amidalailama Aug 31, 2012 06:13 AM

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

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

          1. b
            bmorecupcake Aug 27, 2012 08:12 PM

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: bmorecupcake
              Bacardi1 Aug 28, 2012 07:06 AM

              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. d
              dianne0712 Aug 20, 2012 04:28 AM

              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. TorontoJo Aug 19, 2012 04:24 AM

                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/page.aspx?p=31215&cat=2,42407,33246

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

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

                1. r
                  rasputina Aug 19, 2012 04:04 AM

                  Shredding cabbage for sauerkraut

                  1. a
                    AlkieGourmand Aug 18, 2012 08:27 PM

                    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. eclecticsynergy Aug 18, 2012 07:04 PM

                      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
                        s
                        silvergirl Aug 19, 2012 06:30 AM

                        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
                          eclecticsynergy Sep 1, 2012 05:26 PM

                          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. Bacardi1 Aug 18, 2012 04:40 PM

                        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
                          s
                          sandylc Aug 18, 2012 08:41 PM

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

                          1. re: Bacardi1
                            eatingherselfalive Aug 28, 2012 10:46 PM

                            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
                              p
                              punto Aug 31, 2012 08:35 PM

                              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
                                w
                                walker Sep 1, 2012 10:06 AM

                                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
                                  p
                                  punto Sep 1, 2012 10:58 AM

                                  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
                                    w
                                    walker Sep 1, 2012 04:26 PM

                                    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-Garlic-Slicer/dp/B004NYB84Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1346541658&sr=1-1&keywords=garlic+slicer

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

                                    1. re: walker
                                      p
                                      punto Sep 1, 2012 08:30 PM

                                      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
                                        b
                                        bmorecupcake Sep 3, 2012 07:02 PM

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

                          2. c
                            Chazz27 Aug 18, 2012 02:42 PM

                            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. applgrl Aug 17, 2012 10:13 PM

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

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: applgrl
                                p
                                pine time Aug 19, 2012 08:19 AM

                                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. m
                                Mother of four Aug 17, 2012 08:38 PM

                                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
                                  applgrl Aug 17, 2012 10:12 PM

                                  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
                                    greygarious Aug 18, 2012 07:54 PM

                                    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. s
                                  sandylc Aug 17, 2012 08:10 PM

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

                                  1. s
                                    sr44 Aug 17, 2012 07:45 PM

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

                                    1. kubasd Aug 17, 2012 07:42 PM

                                      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
                                        w
                                        walker Aug 18, 2012 02:13 PM

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

                                        1. re: walker
                                          kubasd Aug 18, 2012 02:19 PM

                                          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
                                            w
                                            walker Aug 18, 2012 10:03 PM

                                            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
                                              kubasd Aug 19, 2012 06:21 AM

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

                                              1. re: walker
                                                w
                                                walker Aug 19, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                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. THewat Aug 17, 2012 07:18 PM

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

                                          1. eatingherselfalive Aug 17, 2012 06:29 PM

                                            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. e
                                              escondido123 Aug 17, 2012 03:19 PM

                                              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
                                                r
                                                roundfigure Aug 17, 2012 05:38 PM

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

                                                1. re: roundfigure
                                                  applgrl Aug 17, 2012 10:06 PM

                                                  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. Peg Aug 17, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                Removing tops of thumbs.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Peg
                                                  blue room Aug 17, 2012 10:01 AM

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

                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                    t
                                                    tardigrade Aug 17, 2012 09:49 PM

                                                    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
                                                      applgrl Aug 17, 2012 10:02 PM

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

                                                    2. re: blue room
                                                      yakittyyak Aug 31, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                      AHHH hahaha!! Too funny! lol

                                                  2. d
                                                    dkenworthy Aug 17, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                    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. k
                                                      kseiverd Aug 17, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                      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. mbe Aug 17, 2012 07:39 AM

                                                        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. b
                                                          Berheenia Aug 17, 2012 05:11 AM

                                                          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. Musie Aug 17, 2012 04:56 AM

                                                            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.

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