What dishes are particularly impressive when made with a Food Processor?
OK Chow Mavens,
I've never had a food processor in my life, and I just ordered the 12 cup KFP750 in black. I put one on the "to-get" list over Thanksgiving when slicing and dicing seemed to take forever, but am interested in trying out all the uses of it.
Question is this:
I have company coming this weekend and would love to make something impressive specifically by virtue of the FP !
Maybe a really cool looking veggie dish (or other dish)?
One guest mentioned she's been craving meatloaf... But I'm game for any ideas.
It should arrive on Thursday !!!
To research the purchase, I surfed the following websites:
- GardenWeb.com (odd forum software, but a great resource for lots of major appliances- was invaluable for a dishwasher purchase)
- Cooks Illustrated
- Kitchenaid forum
Biggest decision point was between the KFP750 and the KFP760 was that safety mechanism on the ultra wide mouth. I went back and forth but ultimately I think needing to have the pusher in the mouth before it would work would be more of a pain than not. Looked at the 760 in a store to see if I could trick out the safety mechanism into thinking it was engaged when it wasn't. Ultimately decided against trying that because the options I considered didn't seem reliable enough.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom & experience!
Good question. I have a Cuisinart I've used for years, and I find that in general it's not something that enables me to easily make gourmet dishes that I couldn't make without it, but rather a major time-and-energy saver on tedious large-scale jobs like shredding lots of potatoes or cheese really quickly. I certainly wouldn't make potato pancakes nearly as often without it!
Actually, there is one thing I use it for that fits your criteria: an intensely rich flourless chocolate cake called a Bête Noir, from Lora Brody's Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet. The recipe is available on line (inappropriately credited to an MIT student!) at http://web.mit.edu/chocolatiers/www/r...
For sensory overload, I usually serve this with a chocolate ganache, but a custard sauce would work well too. Serve small portions, it's like eating pure chocolate truffle!
And one other thing I can't believe I forgot: fresh horseradish!
It's dead simple, just pare the brown outside off the root, rinse it clean, cut it into chunks, and throw it in the processor. Puree it as fine as you can dry, then add enough white vinegar for it to form a paste and puree it as fine as you like. Just be careful when you open the processor to scrape down the sides, the fumes are killer! But, thanks to the processor, you only have to deal with them for a few moments at a time. The end result is infinitely better than store-bought, and guaranteed to impress your friends.
I agree, hummus is great in a food processor. Just remember to add the olive oil in *by hand*, after you take the hummus out of the food processor. High-speed whirling blades destroy the flavor of the oil. I like my recipe: 1 can chickpeas (drained, reserve the liquid), 1/3 to 1/2 cup tahini, 1 tsp each cumin and ground coriander, dash of cayenne, 2 tbs lemon juice (more if you like), about 1/2 tsp salt. Process them up, adding chickpea liquid to get to the consistency you like. After it's done, transfer it to a bowl and stir in at least 2 tbs olive oil.
I've done a few veggie salads in my food processor which I would never have bothered with (at least, not on those occasions when I'm making vast amounts for company) if not for the food processor. Moroccan carrot salad and a cold Russian beet salad, both using shredded veggies. I've also done a cold cucumber salad with very finely sliced cucumbers.
In general, I find it often depends on portion size. A lot of dishes with ground meat can be made quicker in a food processor is you want to chop up onions and garlic first, then add meat and mix, along with anything else you're tossing in. But most of that can be done w/out the processor too, just more time-consuming.
You could always try to find one a food processor cookbook, especially some of the older ones, which used to come with Cuisinart (and may still, I'm not sure). If nothing else, it might make for a good laugh- a sort of retro meal from a time when food processors first started to really change our kitchens.
Chowser, I have found that a food processor makes the best shortbread or pastry dough. The blades work so fast, so the gluten doesn't have time to form.
I also agree with the cheesecake in the food processor. They work especially well when the cream cheese is cold, and won't want to incorporate with a stand mixer.
They can make great mush. So pesto is a natural.
No kidding I use to have a large basil plot and pesto can come out superb. Learn to process different ingredients individually or add at the correct time is a key. Not over processing any one thing.
Many super processor cookbooks out there. I have a couple of old Cuisinart pros with all attachments and love them.
Cheesecake batter. I always forget to take the cheese out of the fridge early enough to get it soft enough to beat with a mixer. Takes about 2 minutes to mix the whole batter in the fp, and for some reason cheesecake always impresses non-chowhounds who think it is difficult to make!
Any sort of pureed type sauce is pretty food processor specific...I actually wanted to ask this question myself since I just got a food processor. I was thinking less about "impressive" though and more thinking of uses that aren't obvious. Like what dishes do you make that wouldn't be worth the trouble without the food processor? The example of the shredded veggie salads above are what I'm talking about.
But a specific answer to your question: the first thing I made with my F.P. was a chimichurri sauce to go over flank steak. Mmm...I could have just choppped the herbs and garlic super fine and whisked...but it's one of those things that i"ve looked at the recipie and thought to myself, "I'd make that if I had a food processor."
Thanks much for all your replies!
I received the Kitchenaid the day after I ordered it on Amazon via Amazon Prime. It's been a lot of fun so far:
Here's what I made...
With the food processor's help:
1) Slaw using the recipe Ron Skewchuck's book (BBQ Secrets of a Chamption) that is the best flavored slaw I've ever had
2) Potatoes slices grilled w/ parm & sour cream
this was an ad-hoc thing... I looked around the kitchen for what could I put through my FP, and saw 4 innocent potatoes sitting there...
Lastly, with the help of my Big Green Egg http://www.biggreenegg.com/ which I adore,
3) Baby back Ribs with Dizzy Pig rub (this rub that a lot of the competitive guys use) !
OK here are some pics:
2) Grilled potatoes
3) Ribs with Dizzy Pig rub (not with fp :-)
Am not sure if it's OK to do that because it's from a published cookbook, and I don't own the copyright.
*However*, Ron seems like a very accessible person from his website...
Maybe you could drop him an email to see if it's OK with him?
It's the slaw recipe from page 111 (if I remember correctly), and the name is "Goober Slaw". (ick name, great slaw!)
Since I first made that slaw recipe, I've tried 2 others, 1 by Wolfgang Puck and one other, Shewchuk's recipe is by far the best. It will be a long time before I try any other. I think the difference is in the sauce! :-)
There are lots of great recipes in his book. I just tried his "white" bbq sauce to dunk chicken in after bbq or baking, and it added a delicious zing.
hmmmm Can't find it in Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel is also out of stock.
Come Springtime, make a fava bean puree: shell and peel the favas, put them into the processor with a couple of coarsely chopped cloves of garlic, turn the processor on, then start adding olive oil through the feed tube until you get a nice bright green spreadable paste. Yum.
Don't forget pates!
My favourite thing to whip up in my FP is a chicken liver pate - saute an onion with some butter, oil and a bay leaf. Add a pound of chicken livers and cook until you can see no more pink. Toss it all in the FP (minus the bay leaf, though I have been known to forget to take it out...that's when you are really happy to have a FP to shred it to mush!) and blend until smooth. Pour in a generous amount of brandy, zip it again, and then pour into a dish (or individual ramekins, if you're feeling swish)and cover the top with a fresh bay leaf and melted butter to "seal" the pate. Delish, and it keeps well, with the booze and the butter!
The FP is great for crumbing and grinding things (like crumb-crusts)... it makes making meatloaf a breeze! I like to put lots of veggies into mine and with the FP you wouldn't even know they were in there to look at the finished product (but you can taste them...) It also makes great chicken liver pate. If you decide to make pate just make sure you clean the processor VERY carefully as soon as you finish - if there's a speck of it left it'll stink to high heaven tomorrow!
Indian food! I remember getting my processor and finding that I could finally make all the curry pastes and onion mush that I couldn't before.
I also love the grater attachment. When you have a lot of cheese or carrots or beets or whatever to grate, it's amazing.
Despite what others say, I think the best mayonnaise is made by hand with a whisk. It comes out creamier. And doesn't take very long at all.
Cutting frozen butter into flour! Have had a Cuisinart MP-14 (14-cup shiny metallic model) since May of '06, and didn't realize how wonderfully it deals with frozen butter until a few weeks ago. You can take butter straight from the freezer, cut it up a bit (one stick into, say, 16 pieces) and throw it into the processor with all other ingredients. The butter is blended completely, no matter how hard it was initially.
Was making some bread yesterday and forgot to add the butter until the end--no problem, the processor zoomed it right in.
Should you be a person bakes/cooks with butter on the spur of the moment, and also be a person who keeps your butter in the freezer (less tempting that way, though my waistline isn't anything to crow over) the food processor will eliminate that annoying one-to-two-hour wait for the butter to soften