Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kitchen tool of the week

The mandolin

When I was in high school all my friends played the guitar, they all had this cool "indigo girl" vibe, so I thought I would have a go at the mandolin. It turns out, music really isn't my thing, but this kind of mandolin I can play. . . .
So mandolins are used to slice and/ or julienne food. They are great not only for the recipe below, but when you are cooking big stir fry, and they will also cut this criss-cut. Be warned, don't buy a cheap one, I bought a cheap one and it didn't work well, so I took it back and bought this one at William's and Sonoma. Of course, a good old sharp knife can always do the trick, but like I said, the mandolin is much more fun to play!
Last nights dinner was salmon, broccoli, watermelon, salad and cheesy scalloped potatoes. After many attempts and many read recipes, I have mastered the scalloped potato. So here it goes . .

2 or 3 large potatoes thinly sliced

1 small onion; fine diced
1 garlic clove; minced 
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
1 t salt
1/2 t fresh gound pepper
1 c shredded cheese
1 T oil or butter

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, or cast iron pot (something that is can go on the stove and the oven).  Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant on stove.  Add the cream and milk, and season with the salt and pepper.  Add the potatoes.  Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the potatoes, barely.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil.  Once its to a boil, remove from the head and add the cheese.  Give it a little taste, do you like the taste? Good put it in the oven.  Is a little bla still?  Add a little more salt.  Put in the oven uncovered and about for 35-45 minutes.  Until the top is nice and brown and the potatoes are tender.  

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