What's your favorite use for a food processor?
OK, after years of eeking by on that mini Cuisinart food processor (the kind that comes with one of their blenders and is designed to share the same base/motor) and, honestly, rarely using the food processor, I've taken the plunge and bought the Cuisinart Elite 16-cup food processor (due mostly to a huge discount at Williams-Sonoma).
So now that I have a food processor that's actually big enough to use, what are the best things to do with it? What food prep or recipes do you use that you just can't imagine doing without the help of your food processor?
With regards to the onion dice.....if you are not a purist for shape, yes, however, if you are shooting for a specific dice size, e.g., large-medium-small-fine....you will not be able to do so by specification standards, but you could achieve results suitable for most recipes.
Pulse is a feature on the Food Processor. You press down on the key or button and it spins the blade around to break down the vegetables, herbs, meats, fishes and etc. It's basically rough chopping. the more you pulse, the more the items are broken down....until you are satisfied with the consistency of the items for your recipe.
It's great if you don't have good knife skills.....or are chopping a lot of items... for onions, you can eliminate the tears. Let's say you want to make minced garlic....you could do so without getting your hands dirty, but it will not be a precision cut....if you wanted to make a garlic paste, it's a great tool....especially if you are adding liquids ...or if you do not want to heat up what you are putting in the bowl. If you leave the blades running constantly, it would heat the contents to a degree....
The rough chopping works great if you are doing onions for a tomato sauce, or including more vegetables to make a salsa. Pulsing also make a pretty good egg salad or chicken salad without much mess. If you use a lot of breadcrumbs, it makes excellent fresh/soft breadcrumbs for coating cutlets with texture when you do not have Panko lying around. It saves you money by making any old bread into breadcrumbs as well.
Another quick tip with regards to diced onions.....if you did a rough pulse chop, stopped and dumped the onions out on a cutting board, but found you thought there were too many slivers or larger pieces, you would simply take your chefs knife and give a quick cross cut....problem solved.
The food processor comes out when I am making cole slaw. Nothing like it for quickly shredding cabbage in volume. I also use it for pie crust.
- shredding - carrots, cabbage, onions, potatoes (latkes!)
- pulse chopping - particularly for fresh salsa
- cheesecake filling
- bread or cookie crumbs
- dough - pasta, bread, cookies, pie crust
- compound butter
i prefer the hand blender or regular blender for soups, aioli/mayo & dressings.
- pesto when i don't have the time or energy to do it with the mortar & pestle
DH gave me an early holiday present of a Cuisinart 14 cup Power Prep Plus. So I am just experimenting as well. BUT - this last week, for one of our meal choices, I made Potatoes au Gratin - sliced the potatoes, onions and shredded the cheese in the Cuisinart. Cut my time in about 1/4. DH makes a HUGE batch of spaghetti sauce for Xmas gifts (about 24 quarts at a time), so I used it to first, slice all veggies, then give them a rough chop on a board and again, DH and I agreed, cut the prep time in less than half. I am loving this! I can't wait to find the next thing to do with it. OH - HOW did I live so long without this?????