02 Jan Special of the day: Meet the Mandolin, and Let the Slicing Begin!
Sometimes having the right tool in your kitchen cache makes all the difference in the world. Such is the case with the mandolin, the specialty slicer that allows you create uniform slices in no time and adjust for thickness as well as shape. Suddenly, French fries, potato chips, paper-thin vegetables and ribbons of fruit are a breeze to make at home.
Treat yourself to an after-Christmas indulgence and invest in a quality mandolin, and watch your recipe repertoire expand before your very eyes. Pizazz, downtown at 403 Central Avenue, has a sturdy German model made by Borner which allows you to slice, dice, chop and julienne safely, available in several bright colors to match your kitchen décor for $49.99.
Marvelous Margherita pizzas with thinly-sliced tomatoes, luscious vegetable lasagna loaded with superbly sliced eggplant, peppers, zucchini and onions, or skillfully assembled scalloped potatoes are all simplified with a mandolin on hand. Arranging an artful array of fresh vegetables for a composed salad is effortless with a specialty slicer, too. Any way you slice it, having a mandolin just makes cooking more fun!
This week’s Special of the day: Meet the Mandolin and Let the Slicing Begin! and recipes for Sweet Potato Chips and Beer-Battered Onion Rings. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Chips
(Makes about 30 chips)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Adjust mandolin to thinnest setting. Slice peeled sweet potato with mandolin to create thin slices. Arrange in a single layer on oiled baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt. Place in preheated oven and bake about 6 minutes until beginning to brown. Use spatula to turn chips. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about four additional minutes or so. Watch carefully so chips do not overbrown. Remove from oven and transfer chips to paper toweling to cool. Enjoy!
Beer-Battered Onion Rings
(makes about 30 onion rings)
1 medium sweet onion
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups beer
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. chili powder
vegetable oil, for frying
additional Kosher salt for seasoning
Heat 1 inch vegetable oil in large heavy pot over medium high heat until hot.
Adjust mandolin to medium thickness and slice onion into medium rings.
In shallow glass bowl or pie plate, whisk together flour, beer, salt and chili powder until smooth. Beer batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Use tongs to dip onion rings into beer batter and let excess batter drip off. Place in hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle hot onion rings with Kosher salt. Enjoy!
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.