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?
The easiest way to make pie dough is with the help of a food processor. First you pulse the flour with salt, then you add the cold butter (or shortening), and finally, you finish with icy cold water. In a few quick minutes the dough comes together. Although pie dough can be made by hand or with a pastry cutter, I think the food processor technique is the best. Is this how you make pie dough?
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?
Over the weekend, I made scones using my food processor, and the blade got stuck. I thought my machine was broken and would have been devastated, considering I use my food processor all the time. After all these years in the kitchen, I can't imagine my life without one — although I've always fantasized about getting a larger version. Do you have a food processor at home? If so, do you use it often?
I use my food processor practically every time I cook. It makes chopping a large amount of vegetables quick and easy. Here's how you do it: slice the vegetables into chunks and toss into the food processor. Pulse several times until the veggies are chopped. Use accordingly. Be careful not to overstuff the processor — if it's too full, some vegetables won't get chopped. Also, avoid overprocessing: you want diced veggies not veggie puree. Do you use your food processor to chop?
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