How to Get the Most Out of Your Food and Meat Slicer
One common misconception about meat slicers is that they are to be
used only for meat. However, this is not the case, as it can be used
to with a variety of foods ranging from cabbage to onions to fish. Food
slicers can be used for a variety of purposes in any home. Here are
4 ways a meat slicer can be used along with some safety tips.
Food slicers are often used by people who frequently entertain quests and enjoy hosting parties for any and every occasion. They understand the valuable contribution food brings to the table and enjoy providing a wide display of quality foods. After all, no one likes a party where the food is dismal and unappealing.
Types of food which can be served at large parties are items such as a spread of cold cuts - either for sandwiches or to be eaten as is, along with fresh cheese, pickles, and chips. All of which can be prepared with a home slicer like the chefs choice electric food slicer.
Another common use for these slicers is to make sandwiches for children to take to school for lunch. They do not have to be as elaborate as when entertaining, yet by purchasing a large chunk of turkey meat at the store, then slicing it into deli style slices, you can easily serve turkey sandwiches all week long. Slice a few tomatoes, red onions and lettuce with the slicer, and your kids will be the envy at the lunch table.
In Italian culture, serving antipasto is not just an appetizer for parties, but a part of their eating pattern. Most main meals are started with a small salad consisting of a combination of a variety of food items. Examples include paper thin meats, fresh olives, cheeses, artichokes, and of course olive oil and garlic.
One common use slicers are for Italian prosciutto. Prosciutto is known in Italian as ham. However it is prepared differently than other hams. It can be either raw or cooked. It is air cured for a few years and of course there is a process it goes through with salting and rinsing, but we don't need to get into that. When the cured ham is sliced into paper thin slices it is then known as prosciutto.
Prosciutto is served as is, or in conjunction with other food items, typically wrapped around items such as bread sticks, melons, other meats or cheese.
This type of prepared meat can be very expensive at any retail deli. However, by purchasing the ham already cured, a person can easily create their own prosciutto.
As mentioned, food slicers do not refer to just cutting meats. You can use them even if you are a vegetarian. For example, you can use the slicer to make shredded lettuce - regardless of variety. This is perfect for Mexican dishes such as fajitas and tacos. You will end up with a cleaner cut. If you have a meat grinder at home, you can grind your own taco meat. You can use a slicer to also slice cheeses - both soft cheeses such as havarti or harder cheeses like cheddar. For softer cheeses it is a good idea to moisten the blade to prevent it from sticking while it slices.
A few things to remember:
1. Never try to slice fully frozen meat. If it is a chunk of meat, let it thaw for a few hours. It is okay if parts of it are frozen, but it should not be frozen solid.
2. On the other hand, do not try to cut meats which are fully raw either. Just place in the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes to harden. This will allow the blade to slice more smoothly through the meat. This also applies when slicing fish for menu items such as sushi.
3. Always unplug the machine when not in use and keep out of reach of children. Do not let anyone operate this machine who has not been fully trained or without supervision.
4. Clean all parts thoroughly after each use.
This article was contributed by Liz Krause, publisher of SimpleItalianCooking.com a resource for Italian cooking recipes and kitchenware products. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband who also enjoys cooking and experimenting with new foods and recipes.