About Pureeing

Pureeing

To work or strain foods until they are completely smooth. Purees may be served on their own like mashed potatoes and applesauce which are probably the most familiar purees in the American kitchen. It can also be used as the base for more elaborate dishes such as mousses, quenelles and mousseline mixtures, flans, soups and pasta stuffing. There are a variety of techniques and gadgets available for pureeing. Choose the one best suited to the food you are pureeing.

  • Blender : Blenders are best for pureeing thin mixtures and liquids such as soups. Don't try to puree stiff mixtures in a blender as they won't move around the blade.

  • Drum sieve : A drum sieve, which does look in fact a little like a drum, consists of a screen held in place by a sturdy outer ring, usually wood or metal. Drum sieves, which are available with both coarse and fine mesh screens, make the absolutely finest purees. For some difficult to puree mixtures such as raw seafood, it is best to puree the mixture in a food processor before working it through the drum sieve. Work mixtures through a drum sieve with the back of a spoon, a plastic pastry scraper, or the bottom of a small metal bowl. Scrape off any mixture clinging to the underside of the sieve. Wooden drum sieves do not usually have interchangeable screens. When the screen wears out, you will have to buy a new sieve. Metal drum sieves, while more expensive, allow you to use different screens and to replace the screens when they wear out.

  • Food mill : A food mill is a strainer with a hand crank and a series of propeller-like blades that work mixtures through a perforated metal plate. Some food mills have several interchangeable plates so they can puree mixtures to different degrees of fineness. Food mills are wonderful for semi-liquid mixtures with peel, seeds or fibers because they strain at the same time they puree. A food mill is the best possible gadget for straining cooked tomatoes.

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