I never thought that I would need a food processor and never thought about buying one until I started making baby food for Elle. And let me tell you--having a food processor to puree fruits and veggies (and occasionally chicken) has saved me so much time and allowed me to make fresh and tasty food for my baby.
But...if I've lived my entire life without a food processor, what would I use it for once Elle moved past the stage of pureed foods?
In come Operation Use My...
Where to start? Well, I started by making a rough list of things I knew I could do with the food processor. Then I asked you guys what you use your food processor for. And then to Pinterest. Soon my list was longer than the time I had and I still have things that I would like test out in the food processor.
And while I have ten things listed below, I used my FP much more than that--this puppy probably got used two or three times a week. How's that for awesome?
The Recipes (as pictured left to right above)
Peanut Butter - A canister of peanuts, blend for several minutes, added a stream of agave nectar for a bit of sweetness. Was thick but tasty. Lasts about two weeks in the fridge. I think if I do this again I'll try honey roasted peanuts. Mmmm.
Pie Crust - a paper recipe--was seriously as easy as chilling all the ingredients, pulsing a few times, and letting the blade do the magic. Used the crust for my Chicken Pot Pie.
Finely Chopped Veggies - Steamed carrots, zucchini, broccoli, peas, and cauliflower for Elle. Add some cheese sauce and this would be a great side dish (could just roughly chop veggies).
Butter - this was Scott's project as part of Eat It Real Challenge. It was a lot of fun to make, tasted great. Ultimately not quite as cost effective as regular store-bought butter, though. Basically just heavy cream until the butter separates from the buttermilk!
Hummus - Recipe thanks to Beth Fish - with a little cumin added for taste. I've never had hummus before so I'm not sure if mine tasted like hummus? Was tasty with pita chips.
Chocolate Icebox Cake - Recipe torn from Real Simple. Basically just ricotta and melted chocolate.
Pesto - Recipe from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter and used in a stuffed chicken recipe from Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer. Wasn't really sure how else to use the pesto as I added a bit too much garlic.
Coffee Cake - Mostly used to cut the butter into the flour when I made the Blueberry Coffee Cake.
Grated Potatoes - Hashbrowns!
Sliced Potatoes - I think this was our favorite discovery with the food processor. Nice thin slices of potatoes that we used for pan-frying as well as for potatoes au gratin.
I came across an article by Mark Bittman for The New York Times about using the food processor and it will literally make you want to run out to the store and buy a food processor immediately. Honestly? If not for baby food, I could probably live without the food processor. All of the the things that I made the past two months are either things I could make by hand or honestly just don't eat a lot of.
That said, I am seeing more and more recipes that call for a food processor and I can see myself getting a LOT of use out of this appliance over the years. In fact, I'm considering getting rid of my blender (something I've used maybe half a dozen times in the six years we've been married).
--The food processor is a work horse! I will never use a pastry cutter for making dough again.
--I found it difficult to achieve an even chop unless I wanted things finely chopped.
--Dishwasher safe but I'm already thinking about buying extra workbowls and chopping knives.
--I wish that I could control the thickness of the slicing blade as I feel it's a little too thin for general use.
Where do I go from here?
There were so many things that I wanted to try in the Food Processor but time slips away from me. I want to make bread crumbs, grate cheese, zucchini bread, or these zucchini cakes? Sliced veggies for saute, grated veggies for stir fry. Mayonnaise.
Bottom line is while I don't need my food processor, I can see it being used more and more in the future.
I'd love to hear what else you use your food processor for.
Next month's Operation Use My Kitchen Gadgets will be...
I received these bad boys as a wedding gift and have used them ONCE in six years. The only thing that I could think of to make in them in cheesecake and my only attempt at it was terrible. After my due diligence on twitter and pinterest, I have some exciting things I want to try in the next month! Including a tortilla pie and quiche. Who knew!
Other than cheesecake, what do you use your springform pans for? I'll share my Operation Springform Pan on May 26th.
Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking. "Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs." Hope you'll join the fun!
On the Blog:
One Year Ago - Chicken Saltimbocca for Two
Two Years Ago - Wuthering Heights Wednesday Begins
Three Years Ago - Sunday Salon 4 - ARCs, Etc.
Four Years Ago - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - Lisa See