Embrace the 8 reasons to fall in love with your food processor again! Learn to make salsa, marinade, bread dough, pastry dough, sauces and more. Dust off this kitchen-worthy appliance and start creating!
There was a time, not long ago, when I would have to think hard if you asked me where I kept my food processor. If I ever needed it for a recipe, I would have to get down on my hands and knees and dig it out from one of the lower cabinets, which one I could not tell you. That is how often I used my FP.
Fast foreward to today, as a food blogger, I use it all the time. I know exactly where it is and can retrieve it in less than a minute. Until I started this blog, I didn’t really cook. I’m talking about from-scratch kind of cooking. I didn’t realize until recently how much I relied on convenience foods that made me feel like I was cooking. Once I started cooking for real, I started using my FP and my blender regularly. They chop,mix, dice, puree raw ingredients which is how real cooking starts.
I challenge you to dust off your food processors and blenders and start cooking!
My hope is that this article will inspire you to create and play with your food. Have fun everybody!
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1. Making fresh salsas
Fresh salsas are a MUST! Jarred salsa is convenient but lacks the freshness and zing that fresh, pulverized veggies bestow on said condiment. Plus, it’s a great way to use up veggies in your garden so they don’t go to waste. Try this Salsa Verde next time you are overrun with peppers from your garden or this Roasted Jalapeño Salsa.
Make a middle eastern salsa called Muhammara. A robust, bold roasted red pepper dip made with walnuts, olive oil, onions and spices. Serve with pita chips.
Use your fresh salsa on eggs, with corn chips, on sandwiches & wraps or add a dollop in soup to add freshness.
2. Puree squash
I had a pumpkin vine that went viral, well it didn’t have a virus, it just gave me 19 pumpkins! I used several for decoration and roasted several of them. After roasting, I put the pumpkin chunks in my cuisinart and pureed it. Then I put it in freezer bags and froze them flat so I could stack them in my freezer. I made Thai Pumpkin Soup, oh that was good! For an Asian pumpkin fusion try Orange Ginger Pumpkin Soup with Miso.
3. Make bread dough
If you put the dry ingredients in first, you can slowly add the wet ingredients while processing until the dough comes together. You will never have an overly-wet dough again. It’s almost as if the inventor of the processor wanted to solve a bread making problem.
4. Make creamy salsas
I love creamy salsas, love-love-love! They have the same ingredients as fresh, garden salsas except with the addition of Mexican sour cream or avocado. They transform tacos to a whole new level.
Try making Creamy Jalapeño & Avocado Salsa, a nod to an Austin restaurants signature salsa. When you visit Austin, check out Chuy’s ‘Crack Sauce’. Just ask any local and they will point you in the right direction, they may even join you for a cold one.
5. Puree some chimichurri
I think when Salsa married Pesto, they had a baby named Chimichuri. This South American condiment can be used as a marinade or a sauce to pour over. It is notable for pouring over fish and beef but you can use this however you would use a salsa or a pesto.
6. French pastry dough!
You may think I should have included this in number 3 but French pastry is so intimidating to me, I wanted to give this one its own little space on the web. French pastry shouldn’t intimidate me, the ingredients are simple but high quality. The techniques are specific but very learnable. You don’t need to be born with a silver cuillère in your mouth to make fine, French pastries. In fact, I made this Apricot Tart and succeeded on my first attempt! So go ahead and embrace your inner Julia and make a tart!
7. Whip up some sauces
The World is full of locally made sauces that grace little kitchens and cafes from here to Antartica. I love discovering new sauces and making them. The fun is finding the funky ingredients tucked away on store shelves that I never noticed before.
When adding all the goods to the food processor, I wonder with excitement how this new-to-me sauce will turn out. Then I wonder what am I going to do with this sauce. I have a bad habit of making sauces ‘just to see’ and then scrambling to find uses for that sauce.
Most of the time you can add them to the ubiquitous taco or your omelette. They usually make great condiments for sandwiches and marinades for meat and veggies. I made this Lizano sauce from Costa Rica and did all of the above. This is the part of playing with food that is really exciting. You just don’t know how it’s going to turn out until you dive right in. It’s OK, you will have a life raft. If you hate it, toss it, don’t tell anybody;)
8. Make some marinades
Marinades are like sauces, you can use some sauces as marinades. I gave this it’s own little category to give you ideas for coming up with new fare for your cooking repertoire.
Marinades are a great way to start using your food processor. Marinades are very forgiving and fun to play around with.
If you don’t have a food processor, consider adding one to your kitchen repertoire. There is a food processor for every budget and kitchen.
Or you can embrace their full size, big girl 7 cup processor…
If you are just cooking for one, you may only need a small ‘chopper’ as a food processor, there are many varieties out there and usually cost less than $30. This 2 cup mini chopper is only about $20.
I hope you are inspired to dust off your kitchen gadgets and start creating some beautiful, culinary art. Leave a comment and let me know what you use your processor for.