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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Men who cook food to impress women's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, July 17th, 2010
8:59 am
Sunday, November 8th, 2009
9:45 pm
Maple Cinnamon Bread Pudding
8 large eggs
1 quart milk or 2 cans light coconut milk
1 c. sugar or 2/3 c. agave nectar
1 c. maple syrup (plus some for drizzling)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon

1 1-lb loaf of bread torn into bite sized pieces

Whisk everything together in a large bowl to blend and pour over bread. Let stand for about an hour at room temp, stirring occaisionally. Pour into a greased/buttered/sprayed 13x9x2 dish. Bake t 375F
for approximately 40 minutes, until puffed and golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
7:32 am
Blog worth knowing about
I have never met John Taylor, but we have had friends in common for decades. I do have a copy of his Charleston Receipts cookbook and it is a great one. He writes about the whys and wherefores of the recipes and the history and culture of the cuisine.

Reading the blog this morning made me think y'all might enjoy it, too.

Sunday, October 4th, 2009
11:10 pm
Miso Glazed Salmon

Miso Glazed Salmon

4 Servings

1   tablespoon sesame seeds
2   tablespoons miso paste *
2   tablespoons mirin
1   tablespoon soy sauce
1   tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 ¼   pounds center-cut salmon steaks, cut into 4 portions
    hot pepper sauce

Position oven rack 3-4 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray.

Toast sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

Whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and few drops of hot pepper sauce in a small bowl until smooth.

Place salmon fillets, skin-side down, in the prepared pan. Brush generously with the miso mixture.

Broil salmon, until opaque in the center, 6 to 8 minutes.

Plate the salmon and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds

* The recipe that was the basis for this called for white miso (and it is quite good that way) but I think genmai miso gives a much deeper flavor.

10:50 pm
Great Mushroom Quiche Experiment
Originally posted to my journal on Sept. 26:

When I made mushroom quiche last weekend, the finished product was little wet. It was cooked through, but there was extra water present. Granted, that could have been from the double Gloucester cheese, I used, but I was a little concerned that I hadn't cooked enough water out of the mushrooms.

As I considered possibilities, it occurred to me that already dried mushrooms might be worth a shot. But, when I went to my grocery store and had a look, my choices were pretty limited. Shiitakes at $3 for half an ounce or creminis at $4 for half an ounce. And it looked like I'd need 2 ounces. Chuck remembered that he's seen a large container of dried mushrooms at CostCo, so he picked them up on the way home Wednesday. It was 8 ounces of mixed morels, Brazilian caps Ivory portabellas, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

I looked up how to use dried mushrooms and everything kept telling me how to rehydrate them before use. One site said that using hot water would let more flavor out into the water so I should use that water to make broth or as a base for sauce. I also read that using cold water would take longer to rehydrate them, but they would keep more flavor IN the mushrooms.

I didn't rehydrate them before I used them. I wanted them to be dry, after all, so there wouldn't be soggy crust under my quiche.

Instead, I allowed the milk in the quiche mixture to do the rehydrating.

I dumped about 3 ounces (since I have a gracious abundance) into the crust, sliced some fresh basil leaves and sprinkled them over and grated a chunk of Jarlsberg and some hard cheese I no longer remember the origin of and about 2 ounces of Gorgonzola. Then I mixed 3 eggs with 1.5 cups of milk and poured it over the top. And I had too many mushrooms. The milk didn't cover them. I was afraid that the bits sticking out would stay dry, so I poured more milk in to bring the level up. I put the whole thing on a cookie sheet, covered it with foil and stuck it in the fridge.

Yesterday afternoon, I put it in the oven, at 325 F, uncovered, at 5:00. At 5:50, the crust was brown and the cheese was gorgeous.

When I'd poked the bits of mushroom that were sticking out of the cheese a little bit, they were springy and I felt pretty secure that everything had turned out well. And I was right. Next time, I will cut them up more, as they were a little tough to cut. But, the flavor was great and it was NOT soggy.

So, now I have a new trick.

This was loosely based on my original quiche recipe of 8 oz crab meat, 8 oz grated Jarlsberg, 3 beaten eggs in 1.5 c milk in a crust with 1/3 tsp ground cayenne sprinkled on top and baked at 325 F for @ 45 minutes.
11:37 am
Introducing myself
My name is Kitty.

I am happily married to a man who cooks for me pretty frequently. We have recently realized that when one of us is tired of cooking (or just uninspired), the other usually is, so we eat dinner in restaurants about once a week for the fun of it, rather than because we aren't inclined to eat at home.

We are pescetarian, so you won't see me posting many recipes for chicken or red meat. Chuck, my husband, loathes the smell of animal fat and I don't care to participate in the corporate farming that is most of the American food industry. While I can buy local grass-fed chickens, beef, goat and pork, I really don't see any particular benefit to it, so there is no reason to inflict it on my sweetie.

We like good food and are willing to experiment. I'm looking forward to conversation here.

Current Mood: hopeful
Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
6:27 pm
Steam punk
Steam punk - there's a word.  It's another word that I hate while simultaneously  liking its mainstream meaning.  Kind of like...  organic, foot fetish and tax break (that last one is also an oxymoron).  I bought myself a pressure cooker!  It's the steampunk microwave oven!  I've been using it.  I've spent more time cleaning it than cooking with it because I keep scorching stuff which attaches itself to the bottom of the cooker like baked-on automobile enamel.  All comments, suggestions, and smart remarks are welcome.

So stuff I've made so far (asterisks denote full or semi failures, pluses represent eventual success, no marks means first time go!)

Apple sauce ***+
Apple jelly (actually a serendipitous discovery!)
Apple upside down cake *+
Couscous stuffed zucchini (yum!)
Improved couscous stuffed zucchini (yum yum!)
Chicken couscous
Pot au feu (boiled beef dinner that is supposed to cook all day in about 45 minutes)
Salmon with curry and spinach* (still came out edible, but scorched to the bottom of the cooker)
leeks for tarte au poireaux (leek pie?)
mashed potatoes
boiled water

I've also used it to sterilize canning jars.

I've heard that with a little creativity and some copper tubing, you can use it to make gin.

Tonight, I'm going to try Guinness beef stew (in 30 minutes).  Stay tuned...

x-posted to myown eljay
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
10:58 pm
Confiture de groseilles de bar le duc
For culinary specialties, the Lorraine is not really that famous.  I mean, in France, the competition is stiff what, with the Bourgogne and all...  Commercy has its Madeleines, Nancy has its Macarons and all the wonderful confections they've created with that citrus fruit knows a bergamotte.  Verdun is famous for Dragees (like jordan almonds) and, believe it or not, exploding chocolate bombs!

I've known for some time that the configure de groseilles that comes from Bar-le-duc is famous.  I've known for some time that Alfred Hitchcock wouldn't stay in a hotel that wouldn't serve it to him for breakfast.  Up until a week ago, I'd never tried it so I went to a special effort to procure some to try out on my vacation.

Keep in mind that this is a kind of red currant jam (or preserves).  A currant is a berry that's about the size of a large pea.  Someone at some time or other got the bright idea of removing each individual seed from each individual currant with a goose quill and making jam  out the intact, seeded fruit.  The ladies who perform this task are known as Epipineuses.

My curiosity was revived because I was toying with the idea of sending some to one of my LJ friends as an unusual gift, but I realized, I don't know what it's like, I've never had it myself.  So, I trapse into a boutique here in the area and ask about it.  Sure enough, they stock it.  It comes in a jar about the size of a typical jar of salmon eggs (fish bait).  The volume, about two espresso cups full (what, 4oz. maybe?).  The intact fruit look something like fish eggs and that's not the only reason why it's sometimes referred to as 'French caviar'.  I expected it to be expensive, maybe double what a typical jar of quality jam would cost.  When I first saw the size of the jar, I was taken aback.  When I learned of the price, my pride was the only thing that kept my jaw from dropping.  Granted, I paid boutique price for it, maybe I could get some cheaper if I made a day trip to Bar, but that little jar set me back 15 Euros (what's that $20?).  I went for it anyway, you only live once right?

So, I packed it down to the Med for my vacation, painstakingly picked out some choice multi-grain bread for toast and waited for an appropriate morning to sit down with my MSU, a bowl of cafe au lait, and my gourmet bread and jam.

So, what do I think?  Well, first off, I may be simply boorish, but It's probably not worth what it costs.  That's to say, for what they put into making it, I totally understand why it costs so much, it's just that flavor-wise, it's not really better than the jelly that the MSU and I make from the currants in the garden by removing the seeds with a juice extractor.  The only thing it has going for it is the texture and aesthetics of the whole, preserved fruit.  Well, there's always the snob factor if you're into that kind of thing.  It's a work of art, visually speaking.  Taste-wise, it's a little too sweet in my opinion.  It's 60% white sugar where most jams and jellies are made with no more than half.

So, in short, if you have the means, pick some up (once) but don't expect to be overwhelmed by the ambrosia of the gods.  Unless, that is, that I'm simply wrong, which happens more often than it should.

x-posted to girl_bait ljgourmet francophiles
Sunday, February 24th, 2008
6:17 pm
Quick and easy harissa
I posted a recipe for couscous the other day and began to become concerned for anyone who cannot procure harissa to serve with it. Goofing around in the kitchen, I came up with this substitute that is based on readily available ingredients:

1 tbs red pepper flakes (like they serve with pizza in America)
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

Cover the red pepper flakes in water and let them soak for about an hour (I did this in a demitasse espresso cup)
Drain. (I used a tea strainer)
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Add olive oil if necessary to obtain a pasty texture. Ideally, everything should be pureed or otherwise pounded to a pulp but if you're going to mix it into a broth to serve with couscous, save yourself the trouble. Let it sit as long as possible to develop the flavors.

This isn't the real thing, but it's pretty close. This demi demitasse produced by this recipe is probably enough for four normal people or one couscous dinner. I don't know how long it will keep, but I think if you keep it in a jar covered in olive oil, it will keep a very long time.

Harissa is mixed with some of the broth from couscous (stew) and served on the side as a condiment. It's also good in Spaghetti sauce. I've known people of Tunisian descent who eat it on toast in the morning.

Harissa will not put hair on your chest. It removes it.

x posted to veggie_diaries and my own LJ.
Saturday, February 23rd, 2008
12:24 pm
Crock pot couscous
Here's a vegetarian (and I think vegan but who can be sure) recipe for couscous that you can make in the morning and have for dinner:


1 Large yellow onion roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced or crushed
3 or 4 carrots in 1/2" diagonal slices
1 or 2 turnips or swede (depending on size) peeled and cubed (3/4" cubes)
1 large potato peeled and cubed (3/4" cubes)
3 or 4 stalks of celery in 1/2" diagonal slices
2 or 3 zucchini, mostly peeled, in 3/4" chunks
1 cup or so or can of cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
about 4 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp of dried mint or double for fresh
1 tbs salt or more to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or enough to singe your hair (to taste)*
Water to cover


1 cup med. grain couscous (aka moroccan pasta, bulgar, etc.)
1 cup water
(butter, oil, salt, depending on cousous grains)
1/4 cup rasins (preferably white)(optional)

Put all of the "stew" ingredients in the crock pot in the order listed.
Cover with water.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When it's done, prepare the cousous in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Soak the rasins in warm water and add them to the couscous (if desired).
Serve the stew over a bed of warm cousous.

Typical couscous has chicken and / or lamb and / or merguez in it and nothing prevents one from transforming this into a regular couscous recipe except that the variety and quantity of vegetables I've listed will pretty much fill any normal slow cooker. Alternatively, one can prepare the meats on the side which some argue is a more authentic way of preparing couscous anyway. I was shooting for a vegetable dish here and the slow cooker leaves the vegetables not quite as done as they would typically be served in a normal couscous, a fact that I find quite agreeable.

*If you're making this for children or people who don't like spicy, just add a dash or two of cayenne and prepare a harissa sauce to serve on the side. Mix some harissa (or red pepper if you can't get it where you are) with the broth from the vegetables and add it to the individual plates as desired.

x-posted to veggie_diaries and my own journal phrench_phried
Friday, December 7th, 2007
9:05 am
Christmas money
After about 12 years and an estimated  4387 Espressos or espresso-based beverages, My DeLonghi espresso machine is kicking the bucket.  I bought it on clearance at Sears for about $100 which was a lot of money to me back then.  I think it's fully amortized though.  Actually, it's still funcioning fine and I think it could be fixed if I could buy the requisite part.  It's the gasket that goes between the filter holder and the machine.  It pisses hot water all over everything any time I try to make an espresso.  Where as those 4 bars of pressure used to make a cooridinated and well-rehearsed assult through the precision selected and ground coffee rendering that sweet sweet nectar, now it's total chaos.  Some portion of those 4 bars of pressure is making a forced retreat only to be ejected onto the countertop.  A dicipline problem.  Hardly acceptable.

To repair or not to repair, that is the question.  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to procure the appropriate gasket and repair the aged espresso machine when it is already weary and requires a step-down transformer to use in France since it works on 110V or to put it to sleep and invest a couple hundred quid in one of those new-fangled jobbies.

There's a Promotshuuuuuuuuun going on!

The thing is, I don't think I want to be married to their high-tech bar-coded beverage system.  I want to at least have the option of grinding my own beans.  On the other hand, this machine does tea and hot chocolate (flavored) and tons of other stuff that I'll never use.

This requres further thought.

x-posted to my journal
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
8:33 am
Ummm, no thank you
I guess Wegmans was having too easy of a time moving the $450 a lb. truffles.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007
8:25 am
The good thing about end of summer
is the sales you can get on outdoor cooking gear. The bad thing, waiting to be able to use them.

I LOVE barbeque. Grilling is also a great way to cook but I don't use the two interchangeably. Grilling is a direct heat/high heat method of cooking. It makes good steaks, tenderloins, chicken bits, fajitas and amazing asparagus. Barbeque is low heat, long time and smokey. It's primarily for big fatty cuts of pork, beef brisket and ribs from either animal (though I prefer pork) Oh! and the occasional smoked chicken.

The problem was the size of my "Q" rig. I had a very nice Brinkmann water smoker. It could make some amazing meat but just not very much of it. I was pretty much limited to half a brisket, a pork butt or one chicken. Everything else was just too big.  This becomes a problem when you think about the time investment. Assuming I'm working on some pulled pork, I'm looking at an hour prep on the day prior and a solid 9-10 hours of tending the fire. See, here is the catch... that's the amount of work involved to make 1 lb of pulled pork (average yield of a 4-5lb butt) or 10 lbs. of pulled pork. So if I'm going to put in ~10 hours of work, I might as well have a party or enough pork to last me through the winter.

So when Gander Mountain kept dropping the price of their Char-Broil Silver Smoker and over the weekend we picked it up. It's in the garage in pieces and hopefully this weekend it will be ready for a run... I might have to get a rack of ribs, just because I can.
Thursday, October 4th, 2007
4:01 pm
A Crock
I want to become a crock pot / slow cooker god.  The other day I made split pea soup using this recipe. I got up about 45 minutes early for work, threw everything in the cooker and at 7PM there was dinner.  I made some croutons.  The Marital Support Unit was quite pleased with the outcome (she said it was a tad too salty).  The polliwogs scarfed it down without complaining.  I got to thinking....

The crock pot is a pretty cool way to cook as long as everything doesn't turn out soggy and tasteless like my Mom's beef stew.  First of all, I don't have to do any real cooking when I get home from work.  Secondly, since drinking and cooking seem to go hand in hand with me, I'm less likely to become inebriated before I even sit down at the table (I'm not a 7AM drinker yet). 

The problems are many:  First, all of the recipes I find say say hi for x-hours or low for x-hours and my cooker has three settings, hi, med, and low.  If you arrive at the moment when dinner is supposed to be dinner and it's not yet, it's hard to catch up when stuff has been cooking all day.  On the flip-side, I also tried to make ribs one time and I ended up with bare white bones floating in a kind of ultra-fatty barbecue-flavored soup.  A little experience has lead me to believe that the three settings on my crock pot are actually:

nuclear meltdown, normal, and pilot light / placebo. 

After five or so attempts, I'm just starting to maybe get the hang of this but not really.  I'm wondering if there's a standard temperature for high and low crock pot cooking and if I could measure mine....

The second but far from the last problem is finding good recipes.  I really wanted to make tasty bean dishes from actual beans, the kind you put in bags that you throw and stacks of cans to win crappy stuffed parrots that were assembled by Chinese child laborers, not the kind that was put in a can by an underpaid union worker with a room temperature I.Q.  It seems like the vast majority of bean dishes I find on the netz call for pre-cooked, pre-canned beans.   Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it?  I want recipes that are Martha Stewart fantastic and not just of the soup-esqe order!

The other problems are probably minor and will surely work themselves out with practice.  If you love your slow-cooker, I'd sure like to hear your crock.
Saturday, September 29th, 2007
2:27 pm
Is anyone else watching Top Chef?
I was just curious since I was watching a rerun of Episode 7: Guilty Pleasures and as I watched the QuickFire Challenge I thought of the PERFECT entry and I thought it might be a fun intellectual exercise to discuss what we would lay out if faced with these tasks.

The challenge in question was; within 45 minutes create the ultimate "mix-in" for Coldstone Creamery's vanilla ice cream. Watching some of the wild things they came up with made me realize that depending on the depths of the pantry, I would give someone a crushing.

Mascerate a fairly large amount of dried cherries in Herring cherry liqueur (a cherry brandy) or something similar. Take some walnuts, blanch them for twenty seconds or so, just enough to get out the REALLY excessive tannins. Drain, toss with a tiny bit of salt and pop em in the oven (watching them relentlessly). Start a small amount of sugar up in a sauce pan to make a light (in color and flavor) caramel. Dump the walnuts in and stir to coat, pour em out on a Silpat and try to get them as close to individually separated as I could so they could cool. Take an immersion blender to the cherry mixture, heat and flame the mixture, set aside to cool. Start chipping on a block of the darkest chocolate I can find and sift to get out the dust but make no effort to uniformity. I want pieces ranging from mini-chip size up to fairly large chunks. At the last possible moment mix the chocolate pieces and the candied walnuts in with the cherry mixture.

Assuming I could execute it as well as I think I could, I'm betting it would beat peach cobbler.
Friday, September 28th, 2007
11:28 am
As simple as it gets
We just got a Wegmans in Harrisburg and last night I finally got around to the dry aged, prime NY strip steak. Since we are trying to lose weight, my wife and I split the steak but the flavor made up for it. We had rain so I couldn't go 100% Fred Flintstone on it but a cast iron skillet that's been heated until it almost glows produces a very nice sear indeed. I seasoned the steak an hour before cooking, let it come up to temperature for the last half an hour. I added a little olive oil and unsalted butter to the skillet and gave it 4 minutes and 30 second per side and a 5 minute rest. It was a textbook perfect "rare" that was devoured so quickly that I have no pictures.
Thursday, September 27th, 2007
12:40 pm
Adapted from "Moosewood Cookbook"
Preparation time: 10 minutes to prepare; 20 to 25 minutes to bake
Yield: About 8 servings
Read more...Collapse )
9:37 pm
Potato and Zucchini au gratin
This is how I sliced the tip of my finger off with my new Mandoline. Until I did that, the dish was vegetarian. Seriously (although I did, seriously cut myself through misuse of the mandoline slicer) This is a good dish and it's mostly easy.

Approximately 3 zucchini
Approximately 8 potatoes
Approximately 2 tbs of olive oil
Approximately 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Some herbes de provence (or other blend, but I recommend that it has at least some basil in it)
Salt and Pepper
about a cup of grated Emmental, Comte, or Swiss
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of sour cream

Begin with about three Zucchini and and about 8 potatoes depending on their size and the size of the dish you want to make. I wash and peel the Zucchini leaving stripes of skin (preferably zucchini skin, not human skin) in place (for looks really) and peel and slice the potatoes; the thinner the better (that's where the mandoline truly shines). Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with olive oil and spread the chopped garlic around in the oil. 'Shuffle' the potato and zucchini slices and arrange them in the casserole dish.see photo oneCollapse )
Potatoes actually take a long time to cook in the oven so I've found that the easiest way to deal with this is actually the best even though it feels like cheating: Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and microwave it for about ten minutes while you preheat the oven to about 375 degrees. You can, of course, skip the microwaving but it makes it go faster, assures that your potatoes will be done, and reduces the risk of burning the cheese.

Salt and pepper the veggies and generously sprinkle on the herbs. Mix the cream with the milk and pour it over them. Cover the casserole with the grated cheese and bake it at 375 for about a half hour, much more if you skipped the microwave step.

VoilaCollapse )

This is a great side dish or a light dinner all by itself.

Wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, or dry Riesling
Saturday, August 25th, 2007
12:35 pm
Drinking chocolate
I don't like the word, but I guess that's what you have to call it to distinguish between bar chocolate and hot chocolate. Here, we are talking neither about hot cocoa nor bar chocolate. Back when chocolate was a new thing, all chocolate was drinking chocolate so people would have simply called it "chocolate". It's about the oldest way to have chocolate and if one is truly into chocolate, done right, this will put you on the floor.

I make hot cocoa from cocoa powder pretty often and I've been known to experiment with its strength and what I put into it for sweetener. Chocolate that you can drink is a different experience though because the cocoa butter in the chocolate makes it so much more complex and rich.

I'd had it before in a couple of high-end restaurants but never took it seriously until a visit to Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. They make their own drinking chocolate product which you can sample at their shop for $4.50 or buy in a can and take home. Lots of other companies make preparations for drinking chocolate, but how hard, thought I, could it really be?

A lot of room for experimentation exists and I intend to continue to experiment with reckless abandon, time permitting, but here's something that I think works pretty well:

I started with 20 grams of dark chocolate, in this case, Poulain Noir Extra (47%). I chopped the chocolate and put it in my little stainless milk-steaming pitcher then melted it under the milk-steaming head of my espresso machine. I started with the valve just cracked open so as not to put chocolate all over God's green Earth. I stirred it a little to make sure that it was totally melted and smooth then added 5cl (2fl oz.) of 2% milk and steamed and frothed the ensemble under the milk steaming head. This gives me a concoction that is roughly 1/3 chocolate, 1/3 water, and 1/3 milk. My espresso machine is old and I think it lets too much water through when steaming. I was shooting for an espresso-sized serving but I got a watered-down 2 expresso-sized servings. I usually put a dash of Cayenne on top (it's very traditional). The whole one or two servings (depending on your steamer and how greedy you are) should have about 130 Calories.

If you don't have an espresso steamer or you don't want to deal with the mess, you can do this in the microwave, but it's not as good and you're in danger of scorching the chocolate: In a coffee mug, put the chocolate and about a tablespoon of water. Microwave on high 30 seconds, stir, microwave on high another 20 to 30 seconds. Stir well until you obtain a chocolate syrup. Now add the milk, stir, and microwave another 30 seconds. Here, if you want to, you can just drink it cool, skipping the final microwaving. The Ancients usually took Chocolate cold, I recommend trying it both ways. If you want the froth effect, take a wire whisk that's small enough to fit in your coffee mug and spin it between your palms like a Mayan trying to start a fire with a stick. After about 30 seconds, your milk should be fairly frothed.

I find that, using the microwave method, I end up with a little chocolate residue of un-melted un-dissolved chocolate. Not the end of the world, but a detractor to the overall presentation.
Friday, August 24th, 2007
10:47 am
The De Buyer Mandoline
The one that's simply called La Mandoline

I bought a De Buyer Mandoline. I paid 120 Euros for it at an outlet store. It was an impulse buy because I live fairly close to the De Buyer factory and really didn't take the time to research and find out if I was getting any kind of good deal at all. I'd been thinking about getting one for awhile and had just returned from vacation which put me in a spending mood.

Even though cutting a variety of julienne / crinkled vegetables looked fun, I wanted it mainly for two things: An adequate method of cutting french fries, and a quick way to cube cooked red beets. Well, for the first part, the mandoline is great. You can make french fries that range from small and thin to tiny and skinny and it's quick and effortless. One caveat: it can never cut the very last slice, it... ejects it, or kind of. If it gets to the point where the slice is too thin, the food grabber can't push it through the blades. As for cubes, I think I've been had. The only place where De Buyer has published that the mandoline can dice food is on the outside of the mandoline box. There's no directions on actually making it happen. If it were theoretically possible, it would involve re-slicing each julienned slice perpendicular to the first cut but like I said, the pusher has to be higher than the blades. In short, I think it's impossible and I'm a victim of false advertising.

Am I happy with the mandoline? I don't know yet. I admit that it's very high quality, professionally constructed equipment. It makes short work of any slicing you'd want to do in huge quantities. The blades are like razors. Everything is dishwasher safe. So far, however, I don't think it was worth the layout of 120 Euros.
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