Since my food processor is on its last leg, I really want a new model, preferably one that is bigger. I would also love a large durable wooden cutting board and the pasta maker attachment for my Kitchenaid standing mixer. How about you? If Santa were to bring you any cooking tool, gadget, or appliance, what would it be?
Oftentimes I find myself cooking in other people's kitchens. Last night I was making dinner for my sister and her roommates and ran into some technical difficulties. I needed homemade breadcrumbs, but the kitchen did not have a food processor. Although it took me a minute to figure out a method, I was able to quickly and easily make breadcrumbs. Here's what you do:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the bread into 1/4-inch slices.
- Toast the bread for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Put the bread in a plastic baggie. Using a rolling pin or a heavy pot, smash the bread into small pieces. If desired, run a sharp knife over the pieces to make sure they are crumbs.
- Voilà: breadcrumbs! Use according to your recipe.
Have you made breadcrumbs without a food processor? What's your technique?
Twinkling Christmas lights. The woody smell of a fresh tree. Beautifully wrapped packages. An endless array of salty appetizers and fizzy cocktails. These are some of my favorite things about December. From baking cookies to sending cards, there's a lot to do around this time of year. Let's not waste a minute more; here you'll find the top five items we can't live without during this busy month.
We've covered a few super basic kitchen necessities lately, so I thought today's Ultimate Kitchen would be a food processor. Now, food processors aren't absolutely necessary, but they really do come in handy. I use mine all the time for pesto, salsa, pizza dough, and a number of other culinary creations. When choosing a food processor the biggest concern should be size. Now you might think to yourself, it's just me, I only need a three cup food processor. However I'd think again, most recipes are going to be much larger and you won't be able to do things like pizza dough or bread. Also be sure the base is strong and sturdy, the heavier the base, the less likely it is to move around.
The one that I'm considering (ours recently broke) is the Cuisinart Classic. It has a 7 cup capacity and includes several extra blades and discs (steel blade, dough blade, slicing disc and shredding disc). Like most food processors it also has an extra-large feed tube for large food slices. However one of the great features is that the pusher has a pinhole for dripping oil. I also enjoy the fact that it has a safety lock/load feature (three parts must be aligned), however some people find it to be cumbersome, and those little pieces may break. Cost: $100.
If you're looking for something with more bells and whistles, Real Simple magazine recommends the Magimix 4200 XL. This $350 machine is made by the French company Robot Coupe (who developed the Cuisinart in the 1970s). Although it is quite large and takes up a lot of precious counter space, it comes with a wide feed tube, five disks, two blades, a whisk, and three bowls. There's also a box for storing the smaller parts and a twelve year warranty.
Two more, both under $60, so read more