Cool Tools #1

Ever since taking Creative Seasonal Cooking last summer with Tom Hudgens, I’ve been wanting to get a Mandoline Slicer.  Actually, I wanted one before that but the desire went from something idling in the back of my mind to something more pressing and urgent.  I knew I didn’t need a mandoline and in our small apartment kitchen with limited storage space it was probably not even a good idea.

I can spend a little more time and care and cut veggies with a sharp knife.  Or drag out the Cuisinart and shred a whole bucket of coleslaw…if I want.

But I kept looking for the kind of mandoline Tom used in our class. Just in case I happened to see one. It was kind of a mint green and retro.

We used it to make a fresh, delicious Summer Squash Carpaccio with Pecorino, Almonds and Mint, (check out the recipe on his Whole Hog Blog).

Other people in the class hand the same kind and said how it was the perfect mandoline.   I don’t know the name but remembered it was Japanese.  I looked in a local hardware store that has a pretty good kitchen department.  They didn’t have one.  I thought about ordering one online.  But decided, again, I really didn’t need one.  Although if I was going to get one, I should get that one.  Because it was really good at cutting super thin slices.  Oh, and Deb on her blog, Smitten Kitchen mentioned getting a “lovely little Japanese one” that “works like a charm”.  And I love Smitten Kitchen.  I figured she probably had the same kind as Tom.

So a few weeks ago I was in the Japan Center in Japantown in San Francisco and I remembered that mandoline and thought sure I could find one.  I DID find one.  And I bought it.  But it wasn’t the same kind. 

In fact, this one takes up more space than the one I coveted for so long.  But not that much more space.  And I’ve figured out a cupboard that I can keep it in.

I like it.  It’s fun.  I’m planning on making my own pickled ginger. I’ll probably try the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Cellophane Noodle Salad with Roast Pork, doesn’t that sound delicious?  I know I’ll make Summer Squash Carpaccio.

But I wish I’d just gone ahead and ordered the Benriner!  In the meantime, I’ve got this one and I’m slicing and dicing.  Back and forth. Back and forth.


Filed under Cooking

4 responses to “Cool Tools #1

  1. Jennie

    I wouldnt worry if I were you.According to,the Bernier is rather cheaply made and has a few drawbacks around safety features.

    • Thanks, Jennie. I think all mandolines have some real safety concerns. I like my fingertips and it would be pretty easy to take slicing and dicing a bit too far so I’m trying to be very focused and careful every time I use it. But sometimes the inexpensive tool does a great job!

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