This week’s edition of the Notebook falls into the “Who Knew” category of kitchen gadgetry. I am constantly learning new tricks of the trade from you all, and a new favorite involves this little gadget: the potato ricer! Something of a cross between an over-sided garlic press and a Play-Doh toy, I first used a potato ricer to make simple mashed potatoes. The result was the creamiest, most delicious bowl of potatoes I’ve ever made! Try this technique out on Judy Sprague’s Blue Ribbon Creamy Mashed Potatoes recipe.
Desiree Wilmoth of Kinsman, OH suggests using this handy-dandy implement to shape dough for her Blue Ribbon Ham Dumpling Soup. I tried it and it worked like a dream! I loved the uniformity of the dumplings and it sure made quick work of things.
Since my potato ricer epiphany, I’ve been looking for suggestions of other creative ways to put my new friend to use. Wisconsinite Brenda Vander Zanden uses hers to tackle one of my least favorite kitchen tasks: pressing spinach dry! It contains the mess and is far more effective than any other method I’ve tried. Similarly, I’ve been told that ricers are a great way to squeeze moisture from potato slices before deep-frying. No more splatters!
Thanks to you fine gadget gurus for your suggestions – I can’t wait to hear more!