By Carol McFadden
Sometimes it seems like cooking is just too difficult to do on a daily basis, but food processors take a lot of the hassle out. If you dont have a food processor, I highly recommend that you get one. In fact, go out and buy one right now! I use my food processor everyday, keeping it on my kitchen counter for fast use. Why? Because I have so many great recipes! Here is my top 10 favorite food processor recipes guaranteed to make you love your food processor.
1. You can make your own peanut butter or any other nut butter that you like in your processor. Cashews make wonderful nut butter too.
2. Speaking of peanut butter, peanut butter cookies are the easiest recipe in the world: 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup peanut butter, and a teaspoon of vanilla if desired. Toss them into your processor; give it a whirl for a few seconds until well mixed. Scoop out a tablespoon of dough and scrap it on the side of the bowl to even the spoon, drop onto a cookie sheet and smash it down with a fork to make the cross hatch design. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes and you have fabulous, gluten free peanut butter cookies.
3. Make steak sandwiches by chilling, but not freezing, leftover steak in the freezer until firm but not frozen. Slice with your processor and then add to a skillet in which you have been sauting bell peppers and onions. Put it all on a sandwich bun, top with jack cheese, and enjoy. I know, who has leftover steak? Plan for this and throw an extra steak or two on the grill next time.
4. Specialty butters are definitely a favorite of mine. In fact, I get ideas from many restaurants, constantly seeking new flavors to spread across bread. Armed with my food processor, making specialty butter has never been so easy. My favorite is basil-garlic butter. By processing a stick of butter with a couple cloves of garlic, I can then add some crushed basil leaves and let it sit in the fridge for a week or so in an air-tight container. Then, its French bread and wine for dinner. Sometimes I even use it on grilled cheese with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and bacon. So delicious!
5. For fresh lemon sherbet, mix equal amounts sugar, milk, and half-and-half with freshly grated lemon rind and some lemon juice. Then pour into a pan and freeze it, covering it for at least two hours. After frozen, use your food processor to blend it until smooth. Four hours in the freezer later, you have a wonderful dessert to go with anything you can cook up!
6. Another great idea is to take blackberries and sugar, blending them with your food processor until theyre smooth. Then, pour the mixture through a strainer into a pan and stir in some buttermilk. When frozen, break into chucks and beat with an electric mixer until smooth again, and then pour it back into a pan and cover it until firm. This is a great way to make a cold, berry concoction that the whole family will love, especially on hot summer days. And you can substitute blueberries or raspberries as well!
7. I am a huge fan of chocolate, and my food processor allows me to take melted chocolate chips, some tofu, salt, 3 egg whites, half a cup of sugar, and a quarter cup of water and turn it into a light, chocolaty masterpiece. My chocolate mousse is a favorite amongst all of my friends, and can be topped with either grated chocolate, whipped topping, or both!
8. My 14 cup processor will hold an 18.5 ounce cake mix. I can have the cake ready to bake in less time than it takes me to haul my big mixer out and find the correct beater.
9. I always use my processor to make pie dough. I even chill the bowl and blade in the freezer to help keep my dough chilled and flaky.
10. One of my favorite uses for a food processor is making soup when Ive had a hard day. Some chopped onion, garlic, milk, a bit of flour, chicken broth, broccoli, cheese, and pepper can be easily put together to make an excellent meal. After sauting the onions and garlic, add all ingredients except milk and flour and cheese, cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes. Afterward, combine with milk and flour and cook an additional 5 minutes, then let cool while adding cheese until it melts. Place in a food processor, and you have smooth, creamy broccoli-cheese soup that can relieve any stress-filled day.
Dont those recipes sound wonderful? Well, they are, and the food processor makes everything so much easier. If you dont have one, you need to go get one right away. In fact, soon youll have your own list of top 10 recipes to share with all of your friends.
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