Tonight, I was requested by Chef Husband to purée a basket of blueberries. Proudly, I dumped them into my Ninja blender, whirled them round and round, and poured some into my little strainer. I grabbed a teaspoon and pressed them, and scraped them, and swirled them, all to no avail. My blob of blueberries did not want to go through the strainer.
Here comes the teachable moment.
Chef Husband asks, “Have I taught you about the ladle?” My blank questioning stare was an obvious no.
Back into the blender the squished up blueberries went, this time with some water (or I could have used another liquid that was already called for, in whatever recipe they were destined for). Pulse-pulse-purée some more.
He then hands me a large Chinois China Cap Strainer (one of those commercial thingys not usually found in a home kitchen), and a long 1 oz. ladle (again, commercial).
Into the Chinois the blueberries went. All I had to do was pump the ladle up and down a little, pressing ever so slightly. Wow, the strained purée started flowing out. There was very little effort, compared to what I was first attempting, and a much better result.
And then, get this, just a few minutes later, as we were watching an episode of Iron Chef Gauntlet, I saw one of the chefs use the exact same technique! I never would have picked up on it if I hadn’t just experienced it myself. Thank you babe for teaching me something cool.
So, if you want to make a purée or strain something, grab a Chinois and a ladle.