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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:
- Chowhound
- GardenWeb.com (odd forum software, but a great resource for lots of major appliances- was invaluable for a dishwasher purchase)
- eGullet
- 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!

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  1. 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 BĂȘte 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!

    1 Reply
    1. re: BobB

      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.

    2. Both Hummous and babaganoush (eggplant dip) are made so much better by a food processor. Saves you time, makes vegetables come out creamy. Here's a recipe!

      http://www.recipezaar.com/187214
      I use my processor about once per wek, but it sucks to clean them!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rdesmond

        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.

      2. I would go to the Home Cooking Board and ask them for some recipes or ideas. I'm not really sure what you have in mind for a dish that showcases the food processor, unless you just want to tell your guests that it was made in the processor?

        1. 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.

          Good luck!

          - Lea
          http://canada-eats.com

          1. Tart crusts are so much easier in a food processor. Two knives cutting can't compare. I also do cheesecakes and cheesecake crusts in the food processor. I know people who hate the idea but it works for me.

            6 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              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.

              1. re: Kelli2006

                Yes, dough are great in the FP.

                I do them all unless it is a huge quantity of flour.

                Pizza, bread, tart and pie doughs save so much time.

                I just can't think of any recipe that would wow just because you used the FP.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  I'll have to try it for the shortbread. I never thought about that--I don't know why, it just seems perfect now that you mention it. Thanks!

                  Oh, biscuits and such are great in it, too. Anything where you cut butter.

                    1. re: yayadave

                      It's funny because I do my scones and biscuits in it but never thought of shortbread. Maybe I mentally categorized shortbread as "cookies" and automatically pull out the mixer. Hmmm, another thing on my "to make" list.:-)

                2. re: chowser

                  Ditto on tart crusts, pie crusts and pasta dough. The food processor is also a great help for pate (wish this program had accents) and terrine recipes. I use it w/ a slicing blade for shredding cabbage and with the chopping blade for a large quantity of onions.