Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Gadgets - Runner Bean Slicer

Now i could very happily live on nothing but vegetables for the rest of my life. I wouldn't miss any other food. I would sit and munch my way through salads and piles of cooked veggies. A lovely meal for me is a plate of simple, steamed vegetables, no dressing and no seasoning. Just plain old vegetables which is good, considering I'm a vegan. Lol. I know it would be some peoples idea of hell...but they are just strange. lol. And I do love all vegetables..well except for Okra which I just cannot get my head around. I have tried and tried. But I just can't get along with the gloopyness that seems to come with it. I made a Chickpea Gumbo once that had 8oz of the sticky stuff in its list of ingredients...I was brave...I bought some and followed the recipe to the letter and the friends that were here to share the meal loved it...I didn't. Yuck. I was very relieved to fill their doggy bags with the leftovers. Nope...Okra and I will never get along nicely. lol. 

The other vegetable that I try to get along with is Runner Beans. I want to like them..truly I do. But I find the skins..well..furry. Am I alone in this? As a child being served my portion of runner beans used to make my stomach flip...my Grandad used to grow thousands of them and not wanting to disappoint him I ate every one. And felt very sick afterwards. Over the years I've spent my time avoiding them or trying them again, only to confirm that I still didn't have the Runner Bean love. Until I was having lunch out one day and as I was busy chattering away to the lovely person I was lunching with, I suddenly realised that I was eating....and enjoying Runner beans. They had been prepared in a very different way to which I had had them before. Instead of the chunky cuts, they were finely sliced and then sliced again. The 'furry' texture had disappeared and I found I liked them. Hurrah! lol 
Then I tried them at home...and no matter how I chopped them, I couldn't achieve the same fineness as I had experienced that day. So I gave up. 

Then I happened to be watching Jamie Oliver on television and he suddenly produced this little white gadget and started stripping the packet of Runner beans in front of him. And in seconds he was left with a perfect, uniform pile of beans. And yesterday when I was out cruising the kitchen gadgets in my local garden centre (who knew!?!) I found one of these little gizmos.  So whilst My Love cruised the seeds I snuck this cutter in the shopping basket. 

Now I have done my fair share of buying these wonder gadgets in the past and the result was a corner of my kitchen full to bust with gadgets that hadn't worked but I couldn't quite bring myself to admit defeat. Then I had a massive cull of these things and made a promise to myself that I wouldn't be taken in by the 'wonder' factor again. And I am proud to say I have kept to that promise. And the only recent purchases in the last couple of years were my mini blender which has proven itself to be a great purchase but I did my homework before I bought one. And a waffle maker which once I had got my ladle size right proved to be very good to use. So when I picked up this little cutter I hoped that it would be just as good. 

Krisk - French Style Bean Slicer  £3.99

When I opened the package I was struck by how many blades were visable. Starting from the top there is a very exposed blade which they recommend for topping and tailing the beans. I tried this and it slid through the bean smoothly and very quickly. Then underneath is the slicer device. You push your bean into the slicer with the 'stringy' sides pushing against the sides of the opening...this then takes off the outer edge of the bean along with the stringy bits...marvelous..as you feed it through the slicer the beans come through the other side thinly sliced and once they are part way through you pull them through the slicer to finish. It sounds like a lengthy process but I promise you its not. Its over in 3 seconds tops. I had a lovely pile of prepped Runner beans in under one minute. And they are now sat waiting in my steamer to be cooked later. 

I would recommend this gadget to everyone. Its easy to use. Easy to clean and does the job its meant to with no effort. 

The only down side would be the exposed blades. You would definitely have to keep this out of the reach of little ones as it could prove very dangerous. Mine is hung up on a hook with other such utensils.

Update:  8/2/11 Had the runner beans tonight as a steamed side dish. They were lovely. I now have the Runner bean love! And shall be having them again tomorrow too! Red x