Adventures With Mandoline
When we registered for our wedding, many of the kitchen gadget decisions were left up to me. Adam agreed that we needed a new can opener, and vegetable peeler, and new measuring cups... but some things were all me. One of these gadgets was something that had both fascinated and scared the crap out of me as long as I've been cooking: The mandoline. We registered for this one:
I love any and all Oxo Good Grips gadgets, so I thought that this one would be a great starter. If I loved it, then I could go get a new fancier one. We got the package with the mandoline in it a good two weeks before the wedding, which was almost 2 months ago. The mandoline sat in the drawer, wrapped in plastic, waiting for me to grow a pair and use the darn thing. And then I saw Jessica's potato-crusted salmon the other day and it hit me: potatoes! Potatoes are relatively safe to cut on a mandoline as they create their own handle. They're cheap, so if I screw up its not like I'm shaving black truffles. Anyway, when I saw Jessica's recipe, I wanted to do something similar with sliced potatoes... so to the grocery store I went!
Four chicken breasts and 2 potatoes later, I came out with what I'm calling Scaled Chicken, on the account of the fact it looks like it, well, has scales:
The process was simple: season chicken breasts with garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper, then layer on thinly sliced rounds of potatoes, slightly overlapping them. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, then broil on high a few minutes to brown the potatoes. I ate mine with some lovely steamed broccoli with a small pat of real butter. I couldn't help it, I'm watching Julie & Julia!
I had a lovely and relaxing day off today complete with cleaning, cooking, blogging and movie-watching. It's back to work tomorrow, but there's always something about a four-day week that ends in pay day that is just a great and happy thought. Also, my principal approved our staff to participate in MarathonVal's Dress Down for Haiti...so I can wear jeans all week for $1 a day, and raise money for a very worthy cause.
So, back to my original idea... I've conquered the mandoline. Is there a kitchen gadget that scares you?