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What to do with a Cuisinart Food Processor ?

I'm sure something along the lines of this question has already been posted, but I find it too time consuming to plough through the multitude of posts with the word "Cuisinart". I recently purchased a Cuisinart Custom Pro 14 chrome from Khol's on an open box buy in the clearance area for $96. I do not have the DVD (before you advise me on how to get the DVD pls read the message that I posted on this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/408307). I also have the Cuisinart Mini-prep plus that I got from Costco for $24 and want to make the most of that as well. I can really use advise,tricks, tips,and ideas for either one of the machines. I tried to CHOP onions,and made a nice onion puree. I know now that I can do a puree, can do pastry, chop nuts and herbs. I would like to CHOP my vegetables. I remember my aunt buying one of these way back in '79 and she crushed some oreo's in it for cookies and cream ice cream. I have not seen her use it since. But there must be something more to it than making sauces, purees, and cookies and cream ice cream. I would like to do fries and some more CHOPPING. I thought my CHOPPING days with a knife was over. Help me please!

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  1. The high priestess of Cuisinart cookery is Abby Mandel. Find her book: http://www.amazon.com/Abby-Mandels-Cu...

    That said, I don't think even she would advocate exclusive use of the food processor -- sometimes a knife is faster/better.

    The "main blade" makes a VERY rough dice that very quickly becomes a puree.

    You can use the various slicing discs to chop some vegetables, and with the "square cut" disc makes a very nice dice.

    Onions are generally pretty good, but the initial size has to fit in the feed tube, so you learn to shop for small spheres...

    1. I could not get the thread you mention to download, so I don't know what the problem was. But how about a video through your computer?

      http://www.cuisinart.com/videos/

      1. Did you get any discs that look like these?
        http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-3-Pie...

        They fit on a stem that looks like this.

        http://www.cuisinart.com/parts_access...

        You fit the stem to the particular disc you want to use and then put the stem onto the shaft of the work bowl. The blade sits right under the lid. Then you push your vegetables in through the feed tube. You can use the shredder blades to make potato pancakes and the slicer blade for slicing chips, home fries etc. There are several discs available.

        3 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          The trick to chopping in a Cuisinart is to cut the vegetables into large chunks, don't try to do a huge amount at one time, and use the "pulse" button. For onions, for example: Cut large onions into 1-inch chunks or small onions into six wedges. You can chop about 2 cups of onions at a time. For a coarse chop, push and immediately release the pulse button about 2 or three times; for a medium chop, pulse four times; for a fine chop pulse 5 times. If you just turn the machine on, or hold down the pulse button, you'll always end up with mush. As renov8r implied, sometimes it's not worth the prep. But even though I have pretty good knife skills, I find myself using the Cuisinart for chopping whenever I'm chopping more than just a single onion, carrot, stalk of celery, whatever.

          1. re: yayadave

            Thanks for the reference to the cookbook. Here is the link to my other post yayadave http://www.chowhound.com/topics/408307 sans the closed parentheses to make it easier for ya. Thanks for the link to the video as well. I saw the link before but thought it may be outdated like the Video that I received. Yes I do have the detachable stem and the disks that came with the machine. The only thing that I don't have is the instructional DVD but I wonder if its the same as this video link above. Perhaps someone can tell me :)

            1. re: Quetie

              I don't know if it is the same or not, but the video starts out by showing how to take the parts out of the box. It is worth watching for the entertainment value, at least.

          2. I have both a mini-prep and the big daddy Cuisinart, and find that I use the mini-prep weekly and the big one quite a bit less (though I think storing it in an easy to access place is key). One of my favorite things to do with the little one is to make homemade hummus. Works like a charm and makes just enough hummus to satisfy two hungry people. I also like using the little one to make relishes or fresh salsas to accompany fish or meat or whatever. Using short pulses, you can quickly combine your ingredients into a nice salsa size blend without all the time it would take to chop by hand.

            1. Two words, a million recipes, all of which work better with a FP: gazpacho and ratatouille!

              1. I do use mine several times a week and sometimes daily. Mayo yesterday..get used to making your own in small batches. Beats any store bought mayo. The white tube with a tiny hole in it is made for this purpose. It allows you to fill that tube with oil and it will drizzle it in slowly for perfect mayo. I love it for pie crust. Just a few pulses and the dough is ready to rest. We love pate of the south, Pimento Cheese. The grating blade makes a snap of getting the cheese ready. You know instead of paying rhose high prces Mr. Kraft charges for pre grated cheese you can do your own in a jiffy and store in a bag to use. Leftover roast? How about a tasty sandwich spread. Quickly chop the ingredients for chicken salad. The possibilites are endless. My mothe complained it was just too much of a hassle to get the thing out and use it and then clean it. Mine lives on the counter and all goes in to the dishwasher. Not a big deal to me to use and saves a huge amt. of time.

                1. A cuisinart is useful for a million things but it isn't primary a "chopper"-you've gotten some good advice on how to do this in the machine but that isn't why people buy a cuisinart.

                  1. Ok, I've gotten beyond the "lets see what it can do with this practice food" stage, learned some things and actually made some pretty good dishes. I chopped my tomatoes and onions without making a puree, sliced my carrots and herbs ( too lazy to change the disk), shredded zucchini for zucchini cornbread and mixed it with the doughblade. I can't wait to slice peaches for peach cobbler, make hummus although I don't like it but I know someone that does, and create all sorts of condiments. Thanks for all the suggestions that have been posted so far.

                    1. now that basil is in season, you can use it to make pesto. be sure not to puree it too much

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chuckl

                        Glad this thread came aroud again as I ran across another-the sauce for the Butter Chicken recipe in Julie Sahni's first cookbook demands a food processor. I had forgotten until we made this velvety, addictive concoction last weekend...and got the Cuisinart out to do so!

                      2. When I first got my Cuisinart, I took a can of honey roasted peanuts and made the most amazing peanut butter I'd ever had. So good.

                        I don't really ever use mine for chopping, but it's great for making things like hummus and tapenades.