Food processors make our lives in the kitchen easier by chopping, mincing, dicing and shredding foods in a fraction of the time it would take to do so by hand. But did you know that this wonder gadget can do even more than save our hands and knives the trouble of cutting?
Try these five unexpected uses for your food processor to save time, money and to impress your friends with your savvy culinary shortcuts!
Easy No-Knead Dough
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that pizza is delicious. But why is it so hard to make the perfect pie at home? The success or failure of your homemade pizza comes down to the dough.
Most recipes call for extensive kneading, either by hand or in a stand mixer. With this method, the risk of ending up with a sub par crust is huge because too much dough is exposed to air. By combining your ingredients and pulsing for 30 seconds to a minute in a food processor, your dough is formed and flash-kneaded with the appliance’s blades, all while reducing the amount of air exposure. This method lets the gluten form bonds without drying out, leading to a tender crust.This method can also be adapted for easy no-knead ciabatta sandwiches and French bread.
Instead of buying expensive artisan butter or churning away until your arms ache, you can use your food processor for easy, inexpensive homemade butter. First, fit your appliance with the standard chopping blades and then add heavy cream. Once the cream appears curdled, pour it into a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove the excess water. Then, place the solid butter back into the food processor, add cold water, pulse lightly and drain. You can also add herbs or spices for flavored butter that is sure to wow your dining companions.
Store-bought mayo always gets a bad rap. It’s typically regarded as the blah of condiments. However, making your own mayonnaise at home must be a tedious process, right? Wrong! Your food processor can replace the arm-numbing whisking that is necessary to emulsify the ingredients.The blades of a food processor can emulsify the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and spices in olive oil in under five minutes. Take that, boring store-bought mayo!
Buying ground meat at the grocery store can be expensive. And you might not be sure where the meat comes from. By choosing your own cuts of meat and grinding them at home with your food processor, you will know exactly what is going into your burgers, tacos or chili. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut your meat into two-inch chunks
- Freeze just until the edges begin to harden
- Add to your food processor and pulse lightly
Homemade Nut Butter
Making peanut, almond or cashew butter is incredibly easy with a food processor, and knowing exactly what it’s made of will give you peace of mind. To make homemade nut butter you will need:
- 1 lb roasted peanuts, almonds or cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey (to taste)
Place nuts and salt in food processor and blend for three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then slowly drizzle in honey while processor is running. Blend two more minutes then use immediately or store in an airtight container.
Before you shop: Grind stale bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs, which have endless uses—coat fish filets before frying, bulk up meatloaf or sprinkle on top of your favorite casserole before baking.