I got a shiny new mandolin as a gift awhile back, and up until now I’ve been a bit nervous to use it – I’ve heard so many horror stories about slicing off bits of fingers along with paper thin potatoes – but I wanted to make a potato gratin and the mandolin was there, just waiting for me to grab it. After I skimmed the user’s manual (deceptively thick, it had instructions in 16 languages) I peeled four potatoes and away I went. Wow – this thing slices so easily I was through those potatoes in like a minute, and the finger guard worked great so I avoided giving myself a trim. I put about three layers of potato slices in a pan with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese in between each layer, and added milk up to the top of the potatoes, covered the whole thing with aluminum foil and into the oven. Easiest potato gratin ever – and we all loved it, even the little guy once we convinced him to give it a try.
It turns out that the mandolin sliced the potatoes so quickly, easily and uniformly that I decided to use it on a red onion as well, to put in the roasting pan under a pork tenderloin. I just chopped the root end off, peeled the onion and sliced it up, in a fraction of the time it would have taken me with a knife. The next time I make up a batch of caramelized onions (one of my favorite things) it’ll be such a breeze. Suddenly I want to slice everything with the mandolin! I wish I’d have overcome my fear sooner – what a time saver in the kitchen.
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