Using a food strainer might seem like a fairly straightforward process, but there are a lot of things that you can do with them that you might not have already thought of. Most people will use them like a colander and strain water from boiling noodles or potatoes, but when you are ready to step up your cooking to a more gourmet level, there are more creative ways to use them, which we’ll cover in this post.
The most common secondary use of a food strainer is more smashing fruits and vegetables to separate their juice from the skin and pulp. To do this, you need a strainer that is either mesh or has small perforations. Take whatever you want to use (blanched tomatoes, berries, chopped bell peppers) and put them into your strainer, take a large spoon and press them into the sides of the strainer. This will push all of the tasty juice out of them and into whatever you have beneath to catch it.
In some instances you want the pulp, rather than the juice. The best case for this is making hash browns. Most people don’t realize that you don’t need eggs to bind them. Potatoes that don’t have water in them will bind naturally, without the cholesterol of eggs.
Food mills are also another type of food strainer. They grind the food at the top, then use the strainer at the bottom to catch the pulp, while the juice flows out the bottom. When shopping for food strainers you will see these in the same section of the store. They have a large contraption on the top with a handle that turns to grind. Keep in mind that these are extremely awkward to use due to their shape.
Food strainers do a lot more than the lay-cook might think. They are a requirement in any kitchen that aims to cook gourmet food!
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