HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Just Bought a Food Processor

Just made the leap into the common era and bought a food processor. I needed it for a marzipan recipe. What do I do with it for the other 364 days? I came up with pesto, hummus, potato chips, mayo, eggplant salad. Please share a bit of inspiration.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I made shortbread in mine yesterday.

    2 Replies
      1. re: I used to know how to cook...

        You can even make pasta dough!

        I use mine all the time. It works so much faster for shredding things into even slices (carrots, apples for pie, cheese, cabbage, onions, etc.).

    1. Don't know if you bought a small, medium or large, but depending on the size they can also be used for bread crumbs, half the additions to meatloaf/meatballs, pasta dough, smoothing out ricotta, chopping hard cheeses, turning plain sugar into fine, delumping brown sugar, puree tomatoes for some sauces, pate...and that's without discussing all the uses for the grater and slicing attachments which I don't tend to use because I like doing those by hand.

      2 Replies
      1. re: escondido123

        Its a 12 cup so I guess it is large.

        1. re: escondido123

          They're worth having for the bread crumbs/cornflake crumbs/graham cracker crumbs, etc. alone.

          I also use mine when I make saag paneer to process the spinach, or to puree carrots/parsnips or cauliflower.

          Chop nuts (carefully) or continue to get nut butter.

        2. Pizza dough, beet salad, cucumber salad, celeriac salad. I use it for food prep pretty much any time I need to shred or chop anything. I got mine for Christmas in 2009 and use it several times a week. Things like raw beet or celeriac salads I wouldn't make without it.

          1. Tapenade
            Sun-dried tomato olive oil dip
            Grind nuts for gelato (I made pignoli cookie gelato this summer, mmmmm!)
            Summer pasta (fresh tomatoes, ricotta salata, fresh herbs, avo, garlic 'n oil)
            Buzz lavender with sugar for making lavender desserts (try lavender brownies)!

            1 Reply
            1. re: kattyeyes

              Interesting about the lavender. I walked past a jar of Herbs de Provence today and I said to my self 'I dont like lavender in my food'. I guess I need to revisit that opinion.

            2. Duxelles, pate, eggplant caviar, shredded potatoes for hash browns - and that was just yesterday!

              6 Replies
              1. re: alanbarnes

                Busy as a beaver! What is eggplant caviar? Sounds wonderful. I plan on making eggplant salad after I grill them over charcoal. I avoid buying them out of season on the east coast. They can be dismal. The Asian markets sometimes have the Japanese ones that can be pleasantly fresh.

                1. re: CCSPRINGS

                  Don't know why they call it caviar, but they do. It's just roasted eggplant pureed with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, although other ingredients are also welcome to the party. Here's one recipe: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/07/...

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    Thanks for the link, there are great recipes on his website. I made the caviar and it was tasty!

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      I have some eggplants roasting right now. Must have made the caviar a half dozen times. Thanks again for the inspiration.

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    flavored butters, grind my own hamburger (slightly freeze the chunks of beef and pulse eleven times - otherwise you can get mush. I find making the hambuger easier than using my Kitchenaide grinder attachent), crusts for cheesecakes and pretty much all of the above. I love my FP.

                  3. Yesterday, I grated a 2 lb block of cheese, made tomato sauce from canned tomatoes, shredded carrots for soup and made black bean dip for the week. Endless chore list!

                      1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                        I used mine today to make a slush of Mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) to begin in a pot of ingredients to later include meat, etc. Anne Burrell's Pasta Bolognese

                        Recipe here

                        She has a video of it online. This is the best Bolognese Sauce I've ever had.

                        1. re: Rella

                          When I make Hazan's Bolognese I make a 4X or 5X recipe and the amount of carrots especially (due to their hardness) was killing my hand. CHs suggested the FP and it's worked great. I don't, however, do a "slush." I pulse 'gently' and at the end wind up with a few large pieces that I have to chop by hand.

                          I also use it to make pasta (don't tell Marcella!)

                          I also use it for tapenade but again I don't finely chop. I'll do the sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives to start and add the capers later so they're still distinguishable. Somewhat chunky but what I think it should be for spreading on a rustic-type bread.

                        1. Pie crust, pizza dough, peanut butter.

                          1. It's probably where I store it (above the fridge, for lack of a better place, and I'm rather short so it requires standing on a chair) but I absolutely hate dragging mine out! So the list of things I use it for is very short...but it is the best tool for the job in those cases: once a year to grate potatoes for latkes, pie crust (probably less than once a year!) or grating large amounts of cheese, as in for a lasagne or something. I have an immersion blender that is way easier to get to and clean, so I use that if I am making pesto or hummous. I have a coffee grinder that I'll use for grinding nuts, again, because it's smaller and more accessible. Sorry to be on the nay side of food processors. Hopefully you will find inspiration to get your money's worth!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: 16crab

                              1) If you leave your FP on the counter you will use it more often---posts to this thread give you a hundred reasons why. 2) Hard to clean? Every FP I ever heard of goes in the dishwasher---not the motor/base obviously but the work bowl, blades, and various small parts. I have a condo kitchen so small that if you fainted while cooking you wouldn't even fall over---but I give my FP prime counter space.

                            2. Ground meat, pie crust, sauces, pureed soups. If you have the shredder and slicer attachments: shredded cheese, cole slaw, latkes, mucver, papaya salad, casseroles, tater tots, applie pie and the like are a snap.

                              1. Make the LUSCIOUS Cook's Illustrated chocolate frosting recipe

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: CathyR

                                  I use mine to make ham salad - coldcut ham, onion, mayo, sweet relish, sometimes bluecheese and omit the relish, and whatever seasonings you want.

                                  1. re: Nanzi

                                    There must be a ham salad mason-dixon line because I never heard of the stuff until recently. If you walk into a NY deli and ask for it on a roll with lettuce you will get a sideways glance.

                                    1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                      In our family we just call it "ground ham" and have been known to bake half a ham just so we could make it. Used to grind it in a meat grinder, what a pain, but now the Cuisinart makes it in a minute--coarsely ground ham, sweet pickles, mayonnaise, and a little Dijon mustard. Sandwiches are fine but we like it in big gobs on crackers---drink should be either beer or Vernor's Ginger Ale.

                                    2. re: Nanzi

                                      Bingo, Nanzi! - ham salad is the one thing you can't make any other way.
                                      I was going to suggest the best use is grating all that cheddar for pimento cheese, but you really nailed it with the ham salad.

                                      CCS, I'm from Ohio and Indiana, and ham salad was at every grocery store deli, and even in my high school cafeteria back in the day.
                                      Now I live in Georgia, and I don't believe I've seen it ANYWHERE here.
                                      There's a thread here on CH with everyone's favorite recipes for ham salad. Mine is the same as Nanzi's, plus a big grind of black pepper.

                                  2. I recently used mine to mince chicken and it came out great.

                                    I couldn't live without my processor, it's the only thing that's allowed to live on the counter full time.

                                    1. If you are working with a complicated recipe using the FP, you can cut down on a lot of rewashing if you do things in order tidy to messy or dry to wet. For example, if I'm making lasagna, I will first use the FP to make the pasta dough. Then, without washing it, I'll use it to turn the parmesan into sandy little nuggets. Then, I'll use it to puree the tomatoes for the sauce. And then, with just a quick rinse, I'll use it to finely chop parsley and basil and then add in the ricotta, salt and pepper to make a smooth filling. And then, it needs to be washed--and I almost always throw it into the dishwasher. Enjoy!

                                        1. I use it when I make carrot cake, grating a lot of cheese, and onions!

                                          Then I figured out I could make pastry, most pastry dough, and pizza dough too. Great for pureeing those mexican red sauces, green chile sauce, the like. Hummus is a given, and some soups that need to be pureed, I have an immersion blender but sometimes I pop it in the fp. The more you use it the more ideas will come to mind. You should have different plates that give different slicing, so not everything needs to be pureed. Potatoes for potatoes au gratine, etc.

                                          1. I have a question...

                                            Does anybody have any ideas why my KitchenAid processor doesn't grind everything up? For example, if I put Oreos in there to make crumbs, there are always some cookies that stay whole. No matter how much jiggling of the bowl, moving the big pieces toward the center, etc. that I do, they still remain big? I just can't figure it out!


                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                              If you have a very large bowl, certain large items will continue to get flung around no matter what you do. You might want to break the cookies up with your hands first before processing.

                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                Good point. When I make bread crumbs I always break the slices up into much smaller pieces.

                                              2. re: jbsiegel

                                                Big bits can ride on top of the blades instead of falling to the bottom of the bowl. For even results, start with something that's of a smaller and more uniform consistency.

                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                  pulsing instead of just hitting go will also bring some of those pieces to the bottom of the bowl

                                                  1. re: nvcook

                                                    absolutely. pulsing always works best when trying to get started breaking up dry ingredients in the FP.

                                                    1. re: nvcook

                                                      That's usually the case, although some things will ride the blades even when you pulse them. The other day I was making duxelles; whole mushrooms simply refuse to go gently into that good night.

                                                      I've also found that starting with smaller, more uniform pieces tends to result in a more even consistency. Irrelevant if you're making a puree, but if you want the end result to be somewhat chunky it's helpful.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Yep. I make a tapenade with sundried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, garlic and oo. I coarsely FP the first two and then add the capers. If I threw them all in together the capers would be more finely chopped than I want them. The garlic I hand mince cause I want to make sure that it's really, really fine unlike the other ingredients.

                                                  2. Fine Cooking published the world's easiest chocolate ganache recipe: process 12 oz of good chocolate until it looks like meal. Dump in 1 c hot heavy cream all at once, and process until smooth.

                                                    Add a couple of tablesppons of butter and cool, and you've got a great base for truffles.

                                                    I like to steep a subtle flavor in the cream, esp. ancho chile.

                                                    1. Gazpacho, vingaigrettes, mayo, pureeing for soups. DO NOT try to do mashed potatoes. Changes the texture and turns them black.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                        Actually you can do mashes potatoes, but what you want to do is not use the normal blade. Put your cooked potatoes through the feed tube and use the shredding blade. It works like a ricer and is a great way to easily mash potatoes.

                                                        I am a dedicated FP user after years of naysaying. I don't have a dishwasher in my apartment and still use the FP 3-4 times a week. Even hand washing it isn't that bad and is worth it. It also gets counter space on my tiny tiny counter. It's true, if you leave it out, you'll use it more.

                                                        In addition to the usuals: Butter, Almond butter, hummus, potatoes or anything for gratins, zucchini paper thin for carpaccio, thinnest slicing setting for homemade pickled ginger (SOOO good and easy.) I love making all types of Pâtés and spreads. Using the FP to process frozen bananas for banana mock icecream. Pureed soups. The more you use it the more uses you'll find for it.

                                                      2. I use it to make Puerto Rican Sofrito..onions, garlic, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cilantro, and tomatoes. I freeze it in 1/4 cup portions, and this stuff has revolutionized my sauces, stews, soups, and especially my curries. For the raves I get about my dishes when I use my sofrito, it was worth the price of the food processor.

                                                        Grating hard cheeses, carrots for carrot cake, slicing veggies uniformly for a nice presentation, shredding cabbage for slaw, pizza dough in less than a minute, pie dough before the butter melts, grating nuts...I could go on and on.

                                                        1. I bought mine (a refurb 9-cup KA) to help with all the veggie chopping called for in Elizabeth Yarnell's "Glorious One-Pot Meals." The 2mm slicing blade that comes with it makes tons of paper-thin potato slices for home fries, scalloped or oven-roasted potatoes. (An amount that was just right for a 10"x15" cookie sheet-full of oven-roasted potatoes when diced in my "Vidalia Chop Wizard" clone practically overwhelmed a 13"x18" cookie sheet when sliced thin in the FP.)

                                                          1. I make this all the time, my friends get irritated if it is not out on the table when they come over. It is very easy, keeps in the fridge over a week, and tastes wonderful.

                                                            GOAT CHEESE SPREAD

                                                            3 cloves garlic
                                                            Fresh Rosemary (about 1 or two springs - just the 'leaves' not the stem)
                                                            1 11-14oz log of quality unflavored goat cheese
                                                            Juice of 1/2 lemon
                                                            Olive oil
                                                            Fresh black pepper

                                                            - In the food processor, chop the cloves of garlic and the fronds off the rosemary springs.
                                                            - Then add the goat cheese, in big crumbles, the lemon juice, and the black pepper. Add a couple of glugs of olive oil. Start the processor, and add olive oil as needed. You want it creamy but not too soft and smooth, not runny. Add more pepper to taste if you like. (I like a lot of pepper.)
                                                            - I put it in small ramekins, this will usually fill three 4 -z ramekins. Cover them with foil and put in the fridge. You can serve them right away but they get even better over time. If you are going to use one, just take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before hand, to let it soften just a touch.
                                                            - Serve with crackers.

                                                            The flavors get even better after a day or so. Let sit out for about 15 minutes before serving so that it softens just a touch.

                                                            1. Pizza dough (steel blade). This is my no-fail, go-to recipe.
                                                              2 C flour (I use 2/3 C whole wheat + 1 1/3 C white all-purpose)
                                                              1 t salt
                                                              1 t sugar
                                                              1 package rapid-rise yeast
                                                              Pulse a few times to combine.
                                                              Remove the feed tube ("plunger"), and with the motor running, slowly pour in 1 T olive oil and 3/4 C warm water. Once the dough forms a ball, let the motor run for 1 minute to knead everything.
                                                              Turn dough out into a greased bowl, flip it around a few times to coat, then cover and let rise for 40 min. Roll out to make a 16" circle. Top with sauce, cheese, etc. and bake for 15-18" at 425F.

                                                              I also use the shredder blade to shred carrots and parsnips (equal numbers), then saute them in a little butter. Makes a great side dish!

                                                              1. First attempt at food processing yielded marzipan roses flavored with rose water on Valentine's Day. The color is beet juice.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                                                  Wow! First attempt? Way impressive! How did you like the rose flavoring in the marzipan?

                                                                    1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                                                      Beet juice in marzipan??? That's a flavor combo that doesn't sing to me :)

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        ha! it only takes a few drops to get that rose shade...flavor wouldn't be detectable over the almond. but you could always use cherry, pom or cranberry instead.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          You're right, it was less that a teaspoon of beet juice. Natural food dye is not commonly available so we made our own. You cant taste anything amiss. The rose water is a subtle flavor and works nicely with the almonds. What can I use for a natural green color?

                                                                      1. re: PotatoPuff

                                                                        or, if you're baking for Elmo, zucchini cookies :)

                                                                        if it wasn't for the FP, i'm not sure i would have ever made carrot cake, or zucchini bread, or coleslaw or potato latkes in this lifetime. that shredding disc is a lifesaver.

                                                                      2. Mine is used mostly for yeast doughs, grating, slicing, bread crumbs and pureeing when I want more texture than the vitamix will give.

                                                                        1. I use mine for much of what's been mentioned here. I also use it a lot to make various curries, as they often require processing garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, etc.

                                                                          I also have started using it to mince garlic and ginger to freeze them in tablespoon portions.

                                                                          Also, potsticker filling. Cauliflower/Parsnip/Mascarpone Puree. Soups and sauces, before I had my immersion blender.