After cooking a lot more and watching more of the Food Network, it seemed a mandoline would make a great Christmas present for my wife. She has used it a few times already but I finally had reason to use it last week. Seeing is believing. Using the mandoline, I was able to slice 6 baby cucumbers in less than 2 minutes. It was incredibly quickly. Just wash the cucumbers and swipe them past the blade and chips start coming out below. Instead of having to get out a knife and carefully trying to cut each slice, the mandoline gives you uniform cuts perfectly. Instead of holding the cucumber vertically, it also allowed me to cut the cucumber the long ways and create ribbons that worked out even better for the cucumber salad bed I was making. There is no way I could have done that with a knife.
The mandoline I picked up is the Progressive International folding mandoline. It’s worked great and includes the ability to make thin or thick slices and julienne your cuts as well. I am going to have to try out making my own french fries.
If you don’t have a mandoline already, it could be a perfect kitchen accessory if you’re trying to include more fresh veggies or you cook a lot of from-scratch recipes. For $18, it was totally worth it to speed up the prep time and reduce the hassle of some recipes that previously required a lot of chopping.
Of course, the joke about a mandoline and its incredibly sharp blade is “it’s not if you cut yourself, it’s when you cut yourself…”. So, I paired my purchase of the mandoline with a pair of kitchen cut-resistant gloves. They just protect you from knicking yourself on the blade and allow you to cut various ways without having to try to make the gripper work.