10.24.2013

It's Not Just for Salsa: 8 Recipes for Your Food Processor


Do you have a food processor? And by have, I mean, have you taken out of the box? 

Let's be real, food professors are terrifying. Even to me and I use mine, like, a lot. At first I was terrified of it. I was about 50% positive I was going to damage one of my digits trying to use it -- and I've been down that road and it sucks. But food processors are not scary. In fact, they are magical tools that you can use to make deliciousness happen in your kitchen with minimal effort. You just have to prep yourself for loud noises because, seriously, these things have to be around the same decibels as airplanes. (Not really, but it feels like it for me and Remus.) 

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of some miniature pies I had made. I was asked on Twitter about food processor recipes and I realized, I use my food processor a lot. My food processor is a relatively cheap one from Target -- I think it was around $25 and it looks shockingly similar to the Black & Decker picture above. Mine also has a second blade disk that I can use for shredding or for slicing if I flip it over. This along with the regular, Freddy Kruger looking blade best used for chopping, blending, and mincing stuff into course chunks and/or oblivion. 

Do not be terrified of your food processor anymore. Here are 10 ways to use your food processor (just in case you have one that's been sitting in a box for, um, like 4 months...). 

1. Salsa.

Ok, I know I said it wasn't just for salsa, but seriously, salsa. It's so much better homemade.

It's so easy, it basically slaps you in the face. Throw in: tomatoes, a jalapeno, 1/2 an onion, cilantro, lime juice, a red or green pepper, a dash of white vinegar, salt and pepper, and hit the pulse button until it looks like salsa. It's basically magic and it tastes like a fiesta. 

2. Pie dough

Don't be scared. You'll never have to buy refrigerated pie crust again and that's awesome. Combine: 2 cups flour; 1 teaspoon salt; and 1 tablespoon of sugar in your food processor. Take 2/3 cup (about 11 tablespoons) of butter that is super cold and cut it into little squares. Add to the food processor and pulse until the butter is roughly the size of peas and the flour mixtures looks kind of like sand. (Don't blend this. Don't. Don't make it look like mush.) Put a bunch of ice in a glass and pour water over it. Take a drink. Just kidding, but seriously, stay hydrated. 

Use a tablespoon to add one tablespoon of the ice water at a time to the food processor. Blend after each tablespoon. Stop adding water when the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Dump it onto some plastic wrap; wrap up and form into a disk; chill in the fridge until you need to use it. Make a pie as you usually would, but with delicious, flaky, homemade pie crust. When anybody asks, you basically have all the bragging rights and you barely did anything. You can use this dough for: pies; mini pies (just use a muffin pan or mini muffin pan); chicken pot pie; or shepherd's pie. 

3. Pesto.

Ok, kinda basic, but pesto is basically one of the most perfect sauces/dips/additions on the planet. 

You'll need a ton of basil, a handful of toasted nuts (pine nuts are traditional, but cost a billion dollars, so I use slivered almonds), garlic, olive oil, and, if you want, cheese. (I do not like cheese in my pesto, so I leave it out.) 

Throw basil, nuts, and two-ish cloves of garlic into your food processor. Blend until everything is mushed up. Open the well and pour in olive oil as you blend, until you reach a decidedly "pesto" consistency. 

Put on sandwiches, pizza, pasta, chips, whatever. You're a magician now.

4. Salad dressings.

This is my favorite way to use my food processor because 1) bottled dressing is pretty gross (think about it) and 2) it's also super bad for you. Make your own. 

My favorite is balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, a little bit of onion or shallot, garlic, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Blend up in your food processor and you don't have to break your arm trying to whisk the olive oil into submission. 

Other things to try: homemade raspberry dressing; homemade caesar dressing; and homemade mayo. 

5. Potato gratin (or potato chips or potato soups)

Yes, you will make this in your food processor. 

Ok, kind of. 

As I mentioned, my food processor has a slicing blade, so if your's doesn't, I'm really sorry because the slicing disk makes me feel like a professional chef. Most food processors offer various accessories, so if your's didn't come with one, look into buying one, because... it's awesome. I use the slicing blade to slice potatoes for gratins/scalloped potatoes to the same thickness. This means all the potatoes cook for the same amount of time. This means you can: make potato chips really easily; bake potatoes in a creamy, delicious sauce evenly; add to soup and cook for a set amount of time. Awesome? I think so. Mainly because I hate trying to slice potatoes. My fingers appreciate the slicing blade. 

6. Homemade hummus. 

Danny and I love hummus and eat probably way too much of it. But it's sooo good. 

In your food processor, combine 1 can of (drained) chickpeas; some olive oil; a bit of Parmesan cheese; lemon juice; and tahini sauce (available in most grocery stores). Blend until it, you know, looks like hummus. Enjoy on sandwiches, veggies, or chips. Or on everything. You can add all kinds of additions one you start making your own hummus too: sun dried tomatoes; roasted peppers; artichokes; spinach; the list goes on... 

7. Coleslaw

If your food processor has a shredding disk, use it to shred cabbage, beats, carrots, and celery for an awesome coleslaw. (You can then wash your food processor and use it to make a dressing using mayo, lemon juice, and white vinegar.) I love carrots shredded on salads anyway, because, well, they're a little more manageable that way. 

8. Dips & other sauces

Food processors are really the number one way to make everything yourself. All those fancy dips in the store? Yeah, you can make them with a food processor. Try this recipe for French onion dip that's way healthier than anything from a non-refrigerated plastic container.

Food processors: great kitchen gadget or greatest kitchen gadget? You be the judge.

What crazy food do you love making in your food processor? 


1 comment:

  1. Yay for food processors!! We use ours all the time :D Especially when I'm feeling particularly lazy and can't be bothered to chop food - I just stick it all in there! Coleslaw is definitely one of the best things to do with it - it takes so long without, and takes like a minute in there - awesome. I would also recommend using it to make curry pastes - there are loads of different recipes (obviously!), but just throw in garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander (cilantro for you - okay, I have a story I will tell you about this in a minute), spices and maybe some coconut milk if it's a thai curry - so easy and yummy.
    Okay, the cilantro story - we call it coriander in the UK and a couple of years ago I'd never heard of cilantro, but my friend and I were using an American recipe and needed some, so we wandered around like 3 supermarkets looking for it, asking everywhere and no one had a clue. We left it out in the end, but I found out, like a year later, what it was and felt kind of silly that it was so easy to get hold and the fact that we didn't just look it up at the time!!
    Story over, I will stop hijacking your comments now!!
    xx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading my blog! :]
xo Michelle

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