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Do you use food processors? - Page 2

post #31 of 54

KY,

 

There's a lot of good stuff in your post but some of it is only implied and some of it was glossed over (because you stuck to the point).

 

For instance,

When I first learned there were people who wash-up in the kitchen as they go along I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard. Now I do it as a matter of course, and can't imagine letting the dishes and cookware pile up,

was frikking brilliant. 

 

Short of entertaining for a crowd, I would never think to use my food processor to prep a mirepoix. My knife is faster and more accurate for that small an amount.

I seldom cut mirepoix with an FP.  Mirepoix just for cooking should be too coarse for an FP to handle well; and mirepoix that will be incorporated in a finished dish should cut in in fairly regular shapes and sizes.  FPs don't do medium dice, fine dice, or brunoise.  Now mirepoix for meatloaf and other charcuterie -- nothing does itty bitty chips better.  But, Mirepoix and Me is not the real issue. 

 

Buy a good FP?  Emphatically, yes.  But it's just one tool of many.  It's very versatile and a godsend when volume means so much skill, effort or time that it's an FP or do something else.  But it's not the best tool for almost any process you care to name.     

 

When it comes to cutting, a sharp knife and the skills to use it are every good cook's food-processor of first resort.

 

BDL

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

 and shoots for shredding and slicing,


shoots=chutes   oh, but who really cares?  LOL
 

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post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

...When it comes to cutting, a sharp knife and the skills to use it are every good cook's food-processor of first resort.

 

BDL


Hm, IIRC, that sounds like something I heard YEARS ago on a TV show, let's see, oh yes, Yan Can Cook!, Martin Yan with a Chinese cleaver in each hand!

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingrace View Post




shoots=chutes   oh, but who really cares?  LOL
 

oops....thanks...maybe i was thinking that everytime i used the 'chute', the food 'shot' all over the place.....

joey
 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

KY,

 

There's a lot of good stuff in your post but some of it is only implied and some of it was glossed over (because you stuck to the point).

 

For instance,

was frikking brilliant. 

 

I seldom cut mirepoix with an FP.  Mirepoix just for cooking should be too coarse for an FP to handle well; and mirepoix that will be incorporated in a finished dish should cut in in fairly regular shapes and sizes.  FPs don't do medium dice, fine dice, or brunoise.  Now mirepoix for meatloaf and other charcuterie -- nothing does itty bitty chips better.  But, Mirepoix and Me is not the real issue. 

 

Buy a good FP?  Emphatically, yes.  But it's just one tool of many.  It's very versatile and a godsend when volume means so much skill, effort or time that it's an FP or do something else.  But it's not the best tool for almost any process you care to name.     

 

When it comes to cutting, a sharp knife and the skills to use it are every good cook's food-processor of first resort.

 

BDL


its not the best tool for any process you care to name? what about pestos, pates, terrines, and while we're at it, pureeing salmon for a mousse...or soups, like split pea or acorn  or butternut squash...how is it not the best tool? i'd hate to have to do all that mashin' by hand...

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #36 of 54

(because you stuck to the point).

 

Ya know, Boar, if and when you finally finish your book, after I get through editing it it's only going to be a third as long.

 

Mirepoix just for cooking should be too coarse for an FP to handle well;

 

Don't know as I can agree with this. If you turn the thing on and let 'er rip, yes, you're correct. Unless you're making mirepoix soup. But if you really learn what the pulse button is all about you can make perfect mirepoix for cooking. One trick is to remember that there are three ingredients there, each of which should be chopped separately.

 

mirepoix that will be incorporated in a finished dish should cut in in fairly regular shapes and sizes. 

 

Well, yes and no. In a restaurant, for sure. In the home kitchen, however, those of us who strive for perfect cuts do so to please ourselves. Family and friends mostly won't notice; and certainly won't care. So there's a danger of getting obsessive about it. I'm happy when I can convince the average home cook that knives need to be sharp. Getting them to make a perfect quarter-inch dice is above my pay grade.

 

I've quoted Mitchell Davis on this before, but it bears repealing: "I recall another recipes that had you strain a soup twice through a chinois...This sort of excess use of equipment and refinement is a hallmark of chef recipes...When we eat at home, the soup can be a little lumpy."

 

But it's not the best tool for almost any process you care to name.     

 

I sort of agree with this. Call it 80%.

 

Our first food processor (actually, part of an Oster Kitchen Center) was a gift, and for years I wouldn't use the food processor part at all. Thought the whole FP thing was a wonderful, but unnecessary, marketing job on the part of the Cuisinart folks. As noted, Friend Wife would use it to chop a single onion. Gimme a break. But I've since learned the times and places a food processor makes sense (should say, have been learning, because I'm always discovering new ways).

 

Is a food processor indispensible? Not hardly. But it makes so many tasks quicker and more efficient that I'd hate to be without one.

 

When it comes to cutting, a sharp knife and the skills to use it are every good cook's food-processor of first resort.

 

Now that's something I can agree with 110%.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #37 of 54

When to use a food processor (all criteria must be met):

 

1.  The end result (product) is acceptable (if you want a square dice, you're not going to get one).

2.  The work required to prep the FP, the product, and the clean-up is greater than the work required to prep the cutting board and knife, the product, and clean-up. 

 

If you can do it appreciably faster or "better" by hand, then you shouldn't be using a fp.  For me, making pasta dough can go either way.  If I'm using the FP for other things, then I'll use it for the pasta dough. 

 

I never knew this could be so difficult.

 

BTW, when it comes to size, the bigger the better in ALMOST all cases of FP.  However, if you're going to be using the chopping blade on very small quantities, a smaller FP would be indicated.  An example would be me trying to make alfredo sauce.  I'm using room temp butter.  Well, a few whirls in the FP and I have butter coating the bowl, and the blade whirling around mostly untouched.  Same goes for trying to powder parm cheese. I'd expect grinding "berry" type spices would also work better in a smaller FP (or coffee grinder).

post #38 of 54

We've got a pretty good FP at home.  Number of times it gets used in a year - may 5 to 10.  Small family.  I don't make bread, biscuits, scones cales, pizza dought etc,

 

When does it get used?  When we are doing fund raising bbqs - use it for the onions and the slaw when I need to make 10kg of each - but that's about it.  And then a couple of other times, but I find the clean up too cumbersome to be bothered with.  I tend to use a stick mixer more, as in for pureeing soups, then I sieve it.  only 3 items to clean there.  The stick, the sieve, the pot.  The FP however you have to fuss with to get it set the right way to start with (ok I am hopeless at locating where it clamps on properly), then there are at least 5 items to clean including a nasty sharp one.

 

Stick mixers or simple blenders are the way I like it.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #39 of 54

I've found cleaning a FP is easy if I dump some hot water in the work bowl with the blade in place, put in a drop (just a drop) of dishwashing liquid and whir for a few seconds.  I take the bowl and blade to the sink and rinse.  How hard is that?  The machine does most of the work if the bowl and blade are really gunky.  Just don't put too much dishwashing liquid in the bowl before you turn it on otherwise you'll think you're in an I Love Lucy episode with suds going all over the kitchen.

post #40 of 54

I would figure out where you're going to keep it.  For years, my FP sat in an inaccessible corner of my counter, and the discs were in the pantry on the other side of the room.  I never used the dang thing.  Since my kitchen renovation, the FP is front-and-center on the counter in my prep area and the discs are in a drawer underneath.  I use it almost daily.  It's like many small kitchen appliances...out of sight, out of mind.

post #41 of 54

Because I have no counter space to speak of, my FP lives on top of the fridge---along with the stand mixer and blender. When you have to move an appliance so radically, you make sure you actually need it.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #42 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 

 

As to holding the knife: Are you cutting by holding the handle or by holding the blade?



To be honest: both.  It seems that I've read somewhere that your hand should straddle both the handle and part of the cutting blade.  Hence, that's what I've been attempting.  By the way, when I've dropped the knives it's been when I was pulling one out of the block and when I knocked one off the table accidentally with my elbow.  It's never been while I was cutting.

 

All the same, I know I still need to practice.

post #43 of 54

If you haven't already, I suggest reading this thread: http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/61906/proper-pinch-grip

 

We've had other discussions about proper grip and stance, but this one covers all the bases.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyniebeck View Post

I've found cleaning a FP is easy if I dump some hot water in the work bowl with the blade in place, put in a drop (just a drop) of dishwashing liquid and whir for a few seconds.  I take the bowl and blade to the sink and rinse.  How hard is that?  The machine does most of the work if the bowl and blade are really gunky.  Just don't put too much dishwashing liquid in the bowl before you turn it on otherwise you'll think you're in an I Love Lucy episode with suds going all over the kitchen.



Good idea - thank you smile.gif  I remember that episode of I love Lucy - hilarious, as always

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #45 of 54

Hi, Marinus here,

 

Sorry about your knives, there is another tread with the question, are chefs abusive, hope you are not in that catagory.

 

I am a professional chef and also cook at home, I use my foodprocessor very regular and have mine for years, they are extremely handy, especially when you grind ingredients so you don't have to chop them e.g. onions, garlic,herbs and so on. I live in Malaysia and we use lots of grinded ingredients in the local cooking. What I do for example is buy cleaned garlic, (if you cannot find that, buy a kilo or so and peel it) now you grind in your processor and place the mix in a container, add vegetable oil (cornoil or sunfloweroil is fine) make sure the garlic is covered with oil, close the container and place it in your fridge or even freezer, it keeps for weeks and you don't have to peel a few cloves all the time. When you finish a batch use the balance oil for cooking as it has a nice garlic taste, so no waste

 

I have a Philips brand with a high blender on one side and a bowlblender on the other, the high blender is also great for fruitjuices or smoothies. I use the high blender also a lot for pastes which I use as a base for curries and so on..   

Panasonic or any of these electrical household brands all have good quality processors for home use.

 

As far as your knives are concerned, I would advise to buy reasonable priced branded pieces there is a Swiss brand called Zwielingen they have twins as their logo, they last a lifetime at least with me they do.

 

Good Luck and Happy Cooking

post #46 of 54

Hi Marinus,

 

You wrote:

As far as your knives are concerned, I would advise to buy reasonable priced branded pieces there is a Swiss brand called Zwielingen they have twins as their logo, they last a lifetime at least with me they do.

The "Swiss brand called Zwielingen" is actually not Swiss but located in Solingen, Germany.  Their brand is called Zwilling through most of the world, but is primarily known as "Henckels" in the US.  Here, Zwilling is J. A. Henckels' collection of their German made knives.  "Zwilling" means twin; and the Zwilling series have two little men holding hands screened on the blades as a marque. 

 

So, those are your knives.  While they're among the most respected brands in the world, and good knives for the money, here they are fairly expensive.

 

It's a funny old world, and some things just don't translate. 

 

Similarly, I don't believe the Phillips food processors are available here.

 

Regards,
BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/7/10 at 7:56am
post #47 of 54

I've been pondering the same question this thread posts.  I have a blender, drop bowl KA mixer, and intend to get a hand blender for certain sauces, chilis, etc. I also have a food mill and hand crank grinder as well.  I've avoided getting a mandoline to force myself to use the knife as much as possible.  I figure I'd do bread, pastas, etc by hand or with the KA mixer. I've never made a Pesto or Hummus, but I'd like to. Would a food processor do an appreciably better job than any of the above appliances to justify the cost and counter space?  I take no issue in dicing a bunch of onions with a knife or shredding cheese with a hand grater.

 

Sorry to hijack,

 

Doug

post #48 of 54


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreon View Post

I've been pondering the same question this thread posts.  I have a blender, drop bowl KA mixer, and intend to get a hand blender for certain sauces, chilis, etc. I also have a food mill and hand crank grinder as well.  I've avoided getting a mandoline to force myself to use the knife as much as possible.  I figure I'd do bread, pastas, etc by hand or with the KA mixer. I've never made a Pesto or Hummus, but I'd like to. Would a food processor do an appreciably better job than any of the above appliances to justify the cost and counter space?  I take no issue in dicing a bunch of onions with a knife or shredding cheese with a hand grater.

 

Sorry to hijack,

 

Doug


Doug, i think given your tendencies, unless you have limitless counter space (and if you cook, there is never enough counter space, to my mind) and limitless funds, you don;t need the processor.  I make pesto and hummus in the blender.  It would be absurd to buy a processor for pesto. I make hummus, and even chicken liver mousse in the blender.  Yeah, a pain in the neck because you can only do a little at a time, but i make the liver mousse once a year and the hummus only once in a while and not in huge quantities.  So really, i can't justify the space it takes up. 

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #49 of 54

A lot of mixed feelings on FP's.

 

At work I use it alot--but almost exclusively for ganaches and chopping nuts.

 

At home I never use one.  I cook for only 5 or so people so it's never needed.

 

Some might call me lazy, but I'd rather spend 30 seconds longer with a knife at the cutting board than a minute and half at the sink washing the darn thing.  Coleslaw for under 10 people?  Five minutes with a knife, and I'm still going to use that same knife and same cutting board for other veg prep.

 

Besides, many of the smaller Fp's shred the ingredients directly into the bowl, so you have to stop, scoop out the ingredients into another bowl, put the lid back on, and continue.  For me, it's kinda like ordering a de-caf expresso.  The "intelligent" FP's shoot the shredded ingredients into whatever bowl you want to, and in the case of coleslaw, you're going to have to dress the cabbage anyway.

 

Hate doing doughs in a FP.  Like I said, some might call me lazy, but I'd rather scrape out the dough with a plastic scraper or rubber spatula in a K.A bowl and be done with it in 20 seconds, than to spend a minute and half  to chase around bits of dough clinging on to the central column and blade--and sometimes the lid.

 

Pates and terrines?  I do a pate en croute for high tea on a weekly basis.  Meat still has to be ground--you can't put 1" cubes of meat into FP and not expect to burn or shred the meat instead of grinding it.  Fish is another story, but with pork or poultry Uh-Uh, no go.  I do use a F.P. to "Finish" the farce, after it's been ground twice, I process it with half frozen cream or demi-- and as the English say, "it works a treat". 

 

Hate the household FP's no matter how expensive they are.  Bowls are always plastic and it always fatigues/cracks after a year's worth of dishwashing. 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #50 of 54

I understand the problem pureeing certain food items in the blender is that thick ones don't circulate well and therefore "grind" unevenly, if at all.  I'm thinking that a good hand/stick blender (Waring WSB33) might to a bang up job with items in a common stainless bowl.  If the food won't come to the blade, bring the blade to the food. Does this sound plausible? It's not like I'll be making gallons of hummus every day.

 

Thanks,

 

Doug

post #51 of 54

Glad to hear all that foodpump.  I never used one but imagine i would never use one - and for ganache - i just melt the chocolate with a little of the cream, then add the extra cream or i whip the rest of thne cream and add the melted and cooled mixture. 

I HATE washing complex instruments with goopy stuff on them.  And the space question. 

 

Pheron, i have a cheapo stick blender, so i can;t say.  I imagine a very strong one would work in humus, maybe (kind of doubt it) with liver mousse.  But the blender works (mine is a Braun). 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #52 of 54

Pheron, stick blenders do not have a lot of clearance between the blade and the bottom of the guard. So, with chunky products, you have to do a lot of lift-and-press action until everything is fine enough to feed into the blade.

 

For the occasional dip (i.e., hummus, baba ganoujh, etc.) I think I'd opt for one of the mini-food processors instead. You'll certainly find other uses for it as well.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #53 of 54

I have Cuisinart at home.  I use it for special cooking times.  It lives in a drawer.  I wash it by hand or in the dishwasher, doesn't matter because I don't mind cleaning time at home.

At work the Cuisinart gets used more that the cheap food processors.  I don't like cleaning them at work.  I would never sent it to the dishroom and the blades are against rules.  

For making mirepoix at work I would use the robot-coupe.  Again, I don't like cleaning it, But if I'm prepping for a party of 300, I use it.  We also have a buffalo chopper.  I think cooking is about using the simplest tool for the job.  

Back to the OP.  If you are going to be expanding your cooking buy a cheap food processor and use it until your cooking skills exceed it or you wear it out.  Then think about buying a better one.

Knife skills are well worth learning as is knowing when your knife is dull. Good luck.

post #54 of 54

A stick blender is a given for me, I have uses for one anyway.  I suppose I could get rid of the lousy steam pressurized espresso machine (somebody gave me) I haven't used in 5 years and store a flea market or ebay  FP in it's place.  Of course on eBay, there's a real danger from the "ooh, a Robot" factor.

 

I do have a 1.5  mini food processor someone gave me that is only useful for chopping onions and such, but by the time I've peeled and prepped the onion, I can just finish the job with the already dirty knife much faster than hauling it out and cleaning the danged thing.

 

Maybe I should just get a slap chop!

 

Doug

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