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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Every Kitchen Should Have A Quality Food Processor

Pasta and pesto, with parmesan cheese (Parmigi...Image via Wikipedia
By Michael Echevaria

Food processors chop and dice food that you would normally have to do by hand. There are many different sizes of processors and some that will even mix up a New York Cheese cake batter or knead the dough for bread. Some have a capacity of 2 cups and some will go all the way up to 14 cups.

A good processor will save you a great deal of time when preparing meals and your fingers will be much safer. There are different blades from which to choose that will do a variety of cuts. Processors have a plastic bowl that is clear and this bowl connects to the base over the motor with a twist or snap. Inside the bowl is a shaft on which you place the various blades. Then there is the lid that usually twists and snaps into place over the bowl. This lid has a hole in the top with a chute attached which allows you to place food in the processor while it is running and it will not spurt all over the room.

Professional use processors have a variety of different types of blades. There are the disc blades that look like a big circle that fits right under the lid of the bowl. This disc will grate, slice or shred. Place the food down the chute and the blade cuts and allows it to fall into the bowl underneath. They can have a whisk, dough blade, French fry cutter, julienne disc or a juicer. The other important blade is the one that has a shaft in the center that fits into the shaft in the bowl and has two blades that emerge from each side. This blade is situated at the bottom of the unit and chops, blends and purees.

Processors dice and chop onions so that your hands will not smell when you are done. You might only have to cut the onion in half and remove the skin then just put it down the chute and the processor will do the rest. Grating mozzarella or Parmesan cheese is just as easy when using the shredding blade.

Make baby food in a processor and be sure you know all the ingredients that are going into the mouth of your child. Put some onions, garlic, tomatoes and peppers in and puree. Place the combination in a pan and heat it up adding a few other herbs and some sugar and you have spaghetti sauce. Instead of going to the grocery store and getting sauce and many other things you can make them yourself and be sure of the ingredients that are going into them.

There is only one speed for most food processors although the newer and more expensive models may have more. A safety feature built into most brands is the fact that it will not turn on unless the lid is on securely. If you do not snap it into place the blades will not move. This will prevent you or anyone else from getting cut. Once the food is chopped you must remove the blade before you can remove the food. There is little chance you will be injured by removing the blade because it will not move once the lid is off.

Processors clean up fast and without any extra scrubbing. Rinse the bowl out and rinse of the blade and put them with the lid into the dishwasher. Wipe down the rest of the machine with a damp cloth. You cannot put the motor in water.

Expensive food processors will chop more ways and do more things that the cheaper ones. They will do almost anything for you and have the horse power to do it. A medium priced machine is probably good for the regular household. The small types do not have much room to make much of anything and they do not have the power to create family recipes. They are good for chopping an onion or maybe some herbs. If you have a family it is better to get one that has a bit more strength and capacity.

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