So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Food Item of the month – the humble food mill

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If you don’t have one of these contraptions in your kitchen, you should.

“But I have a  blender”, I can almost hear you protest.

And?

The food mill have been around for years, but it’s fallen out of favor with the “plug it in and let it run” generations.

The food mill isn’t cheap. A decent one will cost you $40 to $100. It doesn’t have a small footprint either. It takes up a bit of space due to its wide mouth.

However, a food mill provides a texture that a blender or mixer just can’t provide. It retains more of the original texture, which is why old school mothers prefer it for making home-made baby food.

Food isn’t chopped or beaten, it’s mashed and ground against various corrugated plates. Therefore, it will make a miraculous mashed potato dish.  And, if you want to make a truly authentic lobster bisque like you had on your visit to Provence last year, you’ll use a food mill to extract all of the essential oils from spent lobster shells. The flavor of a true lobster bisque doesn’t come from lobster meat, it comes from lobster “oil”.

A food mill will give additional structure to creamy soups. It creates a velvety texture for sauces and it enables you to make purees without skinning fruits and vegetables. A food mill makes the absolute best apple sauce.

There’s something primal about passing cooked vegetables through the mill, grinding as you go. Every decent cook should experience this every once in a while.

There are a couple of types of manual food mills that you can get. They generally have the same form, the best of which have replaceable mill plates for different textures. The main difference is that the cheaper ones will be “tinned” – the inside will be coated with tin, and eventually, if you use one enough, it will have to be re-tinned eventually, like old school copper tinned pots. The more expensive models are 100% stainless steel. If you can afford it, get one of those. If not, do what I did and find a tinned version. Make sure you get the largest model that you can afford. A 4 qt or larger mill is recommended. there are plastic ones around, but I wouldn’t recommend them. I don’t really have any experience with them, but I suspect that they will eventually pick up flavors that you might not want to introduce to whatever you’re currently processing, plus, there’s the chance that eventually it might wear to the point of unusuability due to warping.

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself one of these contraptions. Now. so that you can do this:

 

food mill

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