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Do you find your food processor useful?
Posted: 29 December 2009 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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For home bakers and cooks - Do you find your food processor useful?

Would you buy one again? Was the cost justified?

What sort of tasks is it performing?

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Posted: 29 December 2009 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I love my food processor.  It is a cuisinart ( the big one )  My husband bought it for me about 6 years ago.  I didn’t really start using (except for scalloped potatoes) until I really got serious about baking.  It is the only thing I use to make ganache.  I just received Rose’s Christmas Cookies for Christmas and I noticed that alot of her cookie dough’s are made in the food processor.
I have made Rose’s Cordon Rose Cheesecake in it as well as grating or pureeing carrots for carrot cake.  I am sure there are alot of other uses for the food processor that other forum members can tell you about.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Liza - currently mulling over whether to buy or not. I am very much a part time cook and baker!.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Grating carrots for carrot cake, chopping carrots for bolognese sauce, grating parmesan cheese, chopping nuts, making superfine sugar, ganache, julienne fruits or vegetables for a party.  Many people find the food processor more useful than the stand mixer!

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Posted: 29 December 2009 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hector this sounds very comprehensive. What then do you use your impressive Microplanes for?
Surely you don’t need both?

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Posted: 29 December 2009 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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When I have students we keep everyone busy with the microplanes.  Also for tabletop service (ie, grating cheese over pasta).  Also for lemon or orange zest (the food processor cant).  Also when adding assorted veggie garnishes to a salad.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Many thanks Hector. You forgot to mention the kids!

Sounds like one only needs microplanes for zesting.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Paul - I have a 7 cup kitchen aid food processor. Had it for almost a year now and loving it.

I use it for:
making superfine sugar, chopping nuts, processing nuts (almonds, pecans) until fine, making frosting (i.e. Rose’s dreamy creamy white chocolate frosting), grating carrots for carrot cake, grating beets for beet soup. This last weekend I use it for combining butter, parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs.

Ditto with what Hector said, I am finding that I could not live with my food processor now, though I also love my KA mixer equally!  cheese

I haven’t use my food processor for kneading/mixing bread - I prefer to do this by hand, it’s more fun and this also serve ask an exercise for my arms smile.

Hope this helps.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The microplane comes in 3 or more sizes.  The ultra fine is for zesting, there isn’t any better tool.  The medium ribbon is a must for chocolate shavings! 

Also I never use the food processor if I only need to shred one carrot for a salad toping.  For this I use the microplane box grater!  The box grater also has a slicer, perfect for cucumbers for example, but of course a knife would do.

Sorry, I am really not helping to be minimalistc.  The only minimalism I am known for is of not having a sofa and tv, and to have bare concrete floors, also a twin size bed grin

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Posted: 29 December 2009 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I could not imagine my kitchen without a food processor. I have always had Cuisinarts, but I’m impressed with my sister’s Kitchen Aid.  A food processor does so much more than be a substitute for a good set of knives. I make almond paste, hummus, duxelles, use it to make super fine sugar, compound butters, ganache, grated anything and everything. The list is endless. I still use my knives a lot, but the food processor is in a class by itself in regards to usefulness and versatility.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I am so glad of this thread because I long resisted the food processor.  Primarilly due from coming from a Chinese mother.

The food processor really is an instrument on its own, sure several functions are shortcuts to manual knifing or chopping, but certain functions are basic and only possible with it.

Let’s add one more to the heat:  making pesto for a family of 8!

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Posted: 29 December 2009 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Couldn’t live without mine. Until I started making cakes again recently, my KA was in the pantry, and I rarely use my blender. I do have an immersible blender I use for soups, and the container for it to do small amounts of nuts or herbs. For the food processor - grating cheese, chopping all sorts of things. I use it to make bread crumbs. When I make mac and cheese, I use it to grate the cheese, then I use it to make breadcrumbs that I combine with some grated cheese for the top. Grind chickpeas, etc. for falafel. For apple desserts, it slices the apples.I’m sure I’m just scratching the surface.  Now what I can’t convince people to get is a 2nd-generation pressure cooker. Most weeks I use that more than the food processor. I sometimes use it 5 times a week. but not so much for baking, though one can make a cheesecake in it (see Lorna Sass).

I forgot - I always use the food processor for pie dough, too.

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Posted: 30 December 2009 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Omg, what is a second generation pressure cooker?  I love my lagostina one!

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Posted: 30 December 2009 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hector, Lagostina is probably a second generation. First generation is the one with the “weight” on top that jiggles back and forth. 2nd generation doesn’t have that. Last week for the first time I made pasta with meat sauce in the pressure cooker (recipe from Lorna Sass). My husband didn’t want to do it, but I wanted to try it. It was really delicious, very intense.

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Posted: 30 December 2009 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Paul, I only use my FP for a few things, preferring other tools for grating and dough mixing. 
-It is great for making ganache (although you have to be careful about getting too many bubbles) because it produces such tiny pieces of chocolate. 
-It works well for making superfine sugar, though if you are starting from a larger crystal size (such as turbinado or demerara), you have to strain out the bigger pieces and keep processing them. 
-I also use it for making nut flours, but it does not excel at that (at least mine doesn’t), the particle size doesn’t reduce quickly enough to prevent clumping. 

I mix pie dough by hand and for bread and cookie doughs I prefer the stand mixer, fewer parts to clean and I guess I’m just more comfortable with it, because you can see what is happening with the dough texture.  I know a lot of people make successful bread doughs with the FP, but I have yet to produce one that matches the mixer.  I probably just need more practice with it.

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Posted: 30 December 2009 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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oh, indeed, my lagostina is regular generation, has the little weight.  but what i adore of this brand is that the lid is streamlined and the pot itself looks like a regular pot with 2 small handles.  this cooker doesn’t have the traditional long top and bottom half handles that go together.  also, it is impossible to open this cooker till the pressure is gone because there is a little knob that pops up when there is pressure and this nob is also a lid lock.

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