Slicing vegetables is far from the worst job in the kitchen. In fact, like gardening or ironing, it can be quit therapeutic. However if you are cooking in large quantities, are short on time or need to make sure your slices are of a uniform or specific size, there are a number of tools on the market that can save you lots of time and effort.
Mandoline Slicer, Hachoir and Planer
The mandoline slicer is one of the most useful and versatile vegetable slicer tools in any kitchen. It makes light work of slicing almost any vegetable and the uniform size slices it produces are neat and attractive. Dishes such as coleslaw, various potatoes dishes and some salads rely on a mandoline slicer for the best results. You can buy a basic mandoline slicer or if you do a lot of cooking you may find one of the more sophisticated versions useful as they offer adjustable slicing thickness settings plus grater and julienne attachments.
Hachoirs are most useful for chopping smaller, lighter items such as herbs while planers are most popular for cheese, but can often be used more creatively as a vegetable slicer. Think of paring thin ribbons of courgette or carrot for sophisticated looking salads. If you cook a lot you may find some more specialist items useful, such as bean, pineapple and strawberry slicers.
Like graters and vegetable slicers, the key to success with chopping and slicing gadgets of any kind is sharpness. The blade needs to be well-kept for safety and effectiveness. If your blade appears blunted, it’s time to replace the utensil.
Mandoline Slicer Recipes
- 2 onions
- 3 carrots
- 1 small white or red cabbage
- 1 dessertspoon of wholegrain mustard
- 2 large tablespoons of mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Use a mandoline to shred the cabbage thinly and use a coarse setting to grate your onions and carrots. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until they are well combined. Keep refrigerated and serve with barbecued meats.
- 1 kg potatoes (floury varieties work best)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 500ml double cream
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Peel the potatoes and slice thinly with a mandoline, then place in a baking dish. Grate the garlic cloves and add to the baking dish with some salt and pepper and the double cream. Mix until the ingredients are well-combined and gently flatten the top ready for baking. Cook for about 90 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and tender. If the cream appears to be splitting, reduce the oven temperature a little.