I'm in love with my food processor. I really am. It's everything I look for in a partner--reliable, sturdy, versatile and very easy to clean. I don't know if it loves me back, but it sure takes good care of me, making my prep work quick, easy and fun.
If you don't have a food processor, you really don't know what you're missing. It's an appliance that can do the work of several, and it fits neatly on your counter top. You could even store it in a pantry, but I use mine so often I just keep it out. I recommend either a Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid--with at least a 10-cup bowl.
Here are some of my favorite things to do with this amazing piece of machinery:
-Making blended soups--I particularly like mint-pea and butternut squash.
-Making my fabulous pizza dough, or any dough for that matter. Most good ones come with a dough attachment, which makes for very effective and easy kneading.
-Smoothies, milkshakes, margaritas, and daiquiris blend just as nicely in a food processor as in a blender.
-Crushing ice for cocktail parties or for when I serve raw oysters.
-If I'm mincing more than 5 or 6 cloves of garlic for a recipe, I just pop them in the food processor. It will take a fraction of the time and my hands won't smell like garlic all day.
-I'll toss in fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, salt and a little lemon juice for delicious pesto--just make sure to taste frequently to adjust the flavors.
-I like to blend feta, cream cheese, roasted bell peppers and a drizzle of olive oil for a fabulous Greek sandwich or cracker spread.
I usually look to my food processor when I am trying to figure out what to have for dinner--and try to think of the ingredients in my kitchen in terms of what they would be like if I blended them together. Tonight, for example, I am having blended ginger-carrot soup and herb flatbread--all courtesy of my one true love, Mr. Kitchen Aid, 14-Cup. He doesn't say much but in my kitchen, purees speak louder than words.