Use a mandoline to slice perfect waffle chips

Waffle Chips made at The International Culinary Center

(CBS News) Culinary school is a dangerous place.

Since January, I've:

Burnt myself at least eleven times: on three ovens, a bowl, the lid of a pot, the pot itself, two "warmed" plates, and with hot, spitting oil.

Cut myself at least seven times: with a chefs knife (sliced the tips of my thumb and first finger right off), a filleting knife, a paring knife, a cheese grater, a vegetable peeler and a mandoline.

Developed a nice callus on my hand where my chef's knife sits, just under my first finger on my right hand.

Attractive, I know.

Video: How to make waffle chips at home

It's cool, I'm used to it. I've likened it to someone learning a new sport: you're bound to get injured, right? But it'll (hopefully) make you better in the end.

In fact, given the large number of sharp and very hot objects that I'm surrounded with all the time, I'm surprised those numbers aren't higher. (Knock on wood.)

Safety in the kitchen is super important. You really need to know how to use your tools. And those are some of the first lessons you learn in culinary school: how to hold your knife, how to use towels as oven mitts, how to use a mandoline without chopping your fingers off...you get the point.

But injuries still occur, and some tools are still more challenging than others.

For me, it's the mandoline. This wonderful kitchen tool, that makes slicing and dicing a breeze, can be pretty scary - especially if you don't know how to use it.

Watch the video above to learn some safety tips on how to use a mandoline, and how to cut and fry delicious waffle chips.

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest!

Pommes Gaufrette (Waffle Chips)
Adapted from The International Culinary Center

  • 2 starchy potatoes (such as Idaho)
  • Frying oil, as needed (corn, canola)
  • Salt, to taste

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Shape them into ovals and set in water to prevent discoloration.

2. Set a mandoline with the gaufrette (waffle) blade in place.

3. Heat fryer to 350F - 375F

4. Drain the potatoes, and using a cross-cutting method at an angle, cut the potatoes into 1/8 inch slices. Each slice should have a waffle- or lattice-like design. Pat the potato slices dry with a paper towel.

5. Deep fry the potato slices until golden brown

6. Drain potatoes on paper towels, then season with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

A bonus recipe - French Fries

Pommes Pont-Neuf
Adapted from The International Culinary Center

  • 2 starchy potatoes
  • Frying oil, as needed (corn, canola)
  • Salt to taste

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Shape them into ovals and set in water to prevent discoloration.

2. Set a mandoline with the French-fry cutter (1/4 inch) and slice potato. Rinse away excess starch. Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.

3. Poach the sticks in oil at 300F - 325F until the slightest bit of color is achieved. Drain on paper towel.

4. Heat the oil to 350F - 375F. Put potatoes back in the oil and fry until golden brown.

5. Drain on parchment paper. Season while hot and serve immediately.

Mandoline suggestions:

Kuhn Rikon Quick Slice Mandoline, $20.00 on Amazon.com

Super Benriner Mandoline $64.95 at Sur la Table

Oxo Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer, $99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Used in the video above: JB Prince Standard Mandoline 38 Blade, $119.70 at JB Prince

What I have at home: de Buyer Deluxe Dicing Mandoline, $199.95 at Williams-Sonoma

  • Alison Stravitz

Comments