Easy French Food and Recipes

Stainless Steel Food Mill

A stainless steel food mill is a common enough kitchen utensil in France, but I passed by them for years. Then I became curious -- what was this kooky French cookware that is so popular that even a small grocery store will have at least one on display? Turns out I needed one.

I'd been tying to make mashed potatoes in my food processor (tad bit of laziness going on there) and it seemed like every other time I'd get a sticky mess. That's because a food processor can break down the starch in the potatoes by over mixing. I also think it depends on what sort of potatoes you use.

The good thing about a food mill is that it always works. Great mashed potatoes every time. Or try using it on this celery root puree for a taste experience you're gonna love. It also works perfectly for pureeing soups as in this potato leek soup recipe.

Not only can you puree just about any vegetable, you'll love using a food mill for making homemade tomato sauce recipes and jams. Actually, the possibilities of what you do with your food mill are vast. Once you have one, you'll probably think up a few ideas of your own.

Tips for using your food mill

  • Make sure you are using the right disc for the job. For example, the coarser disc might allow tomato seeds pass to through and the finer disc might make it too difficult to puree some foods.
  • Make sure the food is soft enough to be milled. Potatoes should be cooked until quite tender for mashed potatoes.
  • There should be no problem putting hot foods in your mill.
  • Be sure to turn the handle in the direction which allows the blade to capture the food.
  • After a few turns, things will get a bit stuck - all you need to do is reverse the direction for one turn.
  • Clean up for most stainless steel food mills is a snap - rinse and wash in the dishwasher.
  • Some people have problems figuring out how to insert the grinding discs, check out this video for a quick demonstration of how to change discs on a MIU food mill.

Once you own a stainless steel food mill, you can have fun making dishes that call for mashed potatoes like this mashed potato casserole known as Hachis Parmentier. Enjoy!

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