10 Ways to Use the Commercial Food Mill in Your Restaurant
Food mills are great at grinding soft foods into smooth, silky, uniform mashes or purees – even when those foods are pulpy and fibrous or have seeds and skins. Commercial electric food mills are even better at making high volumes of these mashes and purees. You’ve probably heard about a friend or relative making homemade tomato sauce or applesauce with a food mill, but there are so many other uses for the food mill in a commercial setting.
From fruits and vegetables to crackers and more, there’s no end to the food items your restaurant food mill can process into something new and exciting. Let’s uncover ten practical and unique ways to use your industrial food milling machine!
1. Sieve Tomatoes for Tomato Passata or Strained Sauce
Tomato sauce, also sometimes called “gravy” or simply “sauce” is a classic component of Italian cuisine. Slathered onto pasta, layered between fried slices of eggplant, or spread onto pizza, tomato sauce is as versatile as it is delicious. Tomato passata, on the other hand, is “like a tomato puree made with very ripe red tomatoes that have been strained from seeds and skins”.
Regardless of the resulting dish you want to achieve, you can easily process and sieve high volumes of fresh tomatoes in your commercial food mill to create out-of-this-world-fresh passata, tomato juice, tomato sauce, or tomato soup.
2. Make Uniform Breadcrumbs from Crackers
Have you ever tried mashing Ritz crackers or Saltines into flaky, uniform breadcrumbs to coat fish or chicken? It can be difficult to achieve a uniform texture for even browning and optimal mouthfeel. Next time you’re making fresh breadcrumbs, try processing your crackers through a food mill. Not only will doing so save you effort, but it will also result in a finer, more uniform crumb every time.
3. Make Fluffy Mashed Potatoes or Twice-Baked Potatoes
Some people like their mashed potatoes chunky. We’d argue that mashed potatoes with skin or chunks are actually “smashed” potatoes. Traditional mashed potatoes are light and luxurious. And making them is as much of an art as a science.
While you can whip air into potatoes using a hand mixer, overmixing will result in a gooey final product. The secret to light and fluffy mashed potatoes is to process the potatoes into a fine, smooth mash without overworking the starch. You can certainly achieve that result by sieving potatoes through a series of food strainers with a rubber spatula at home, doing so in a commercial restaurant presents a scale issue. Enter the commercial food mill; a stainless steel godsend for creamy mashed potatoes!
To process the best mashed potatoes in your restaurant’s food mill, you’ll first want to boil them, then process some of them. While you do that, heat your milk in a saucepan or saucier. Finally, add your milk partway through to keep things moving (and keep your potatoes warm). You can even make unctuous garlic mashed potatoes by processing roasted garlic in your food mill!
Making twice-baked potatoes? Try processing the potato you’re scooping out into your food mill for delectable and smooth twice-baked potato filling.
4. Make Apple Butter
Apple butter is a delicious accompaniment to a plate of fall-spiced pancakes or spread on top of toast. You can easily make this elevated apple mash condiment by simmering apple chunks ‘til tender and then processing them in your food mill. The best part? There’s no need to peel your apples when using a food mill, which is a huge time-saver.
5. Make Cream of Vegetable Soup
There are so many different variations of cream of vegetable soup: cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of asparagus, Crème Saint Germain… the options are endless! Using a food mill to make your cream of vegetable soup is a fantastic (and efficient) way to press, puree, and remove fibrous bits from the vegetable matter, resulting in the creamiest of cream of vegetable soups!
6. Make Deviled Eggs
Use your food mill to process the cooked yolks of hard-boiled eggs to make creamy deviled egg filling that cannot be compared to filling made with a food processor or hand mixer.
7. Make Fruit Preserves or Berry Coulis
Berry coulis is a wonderful silky-smooth sauce that’s just as wonderful over a baked pavlova as over a homemade gelato. The benefit of making coulis in a food mill, whether it be a traditional french raspberry coulis or a jammier mixed berry coulis, is that the food mill is great at removing seeds and skins from the fruit, resulting in a fantastically silky texture.
If you prefer to make smooth preserves or fruit jelly over chunky jam or jelly, you may also wish to try making it next time in your food mill!
8. Make Paté
You can easily process chicken livers through your food mill to make Michelin-star-worthy chicken liver paté. Instead of processing the chicken livers in a food processor, simply pop them in the food mill followed by a fine mesh strainer. You can still use a processor for the garlic and onions, or add some water to them to process them in the food mill separately from the livers.
9. Press Milk from Grated Fresh Coconut
Coconut milk is certainly available in bulk, but for the best curry or Tom Kha Gai, there’s nothing quite like fresh-pressed coconut milk. To make, simply grate 2 cups of fresh coconut; next, cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Rest until cool. Then, place everything in your food mill to process into creamy, rich homemade coconut milk; adjust the ratio as needed if making it in bulk.
10. Grind Boiled Chestnuts
Chesnut puree is a classic holiday dish for many, and it’s not difficult to make if you have a food mill. After simmering chestnuts with chicken or vegetable stock and celery, simply process everything through your food mill for an evenly-blended mash that’s sure to impress.
There are so many different things you can do with your commercial electric food mil! If you don’t already have one of these versatile kitchen devices, perhaps it’s time for your kitchen to invest in one. Get yours today from GoFoodservice.