Friday, 8 October 2010

I'm Not Even Sure How People Lived Before Food Processors.

Photo from
Seriously. Of all the things to come out of the '70s, this is my favourite. 
From Wiki:
The idea of a machine to process food began when a French catering company salesman, Pierre Verdun, observed the large amount of time his clients spent in the kitchen chopping, shredding and mixing. He produced a simple but effective solution, a bowl with a revolving blade in the base. In 1960, this evolved into Robot-Coupe, a company established to manufacture the first commercial "food processor" for the catering industry. In the late 1960s, a commercial food processor driven by a powerful commercial induction motor was produced. The domestic market had to wait until 1972 for a domestic food processor. The Magimix food processor arrived from France in the UK in 1974, beginning with the Model 1800.
Carl Sontheimer introduced this same Magimix 1800 food processor into North America in 1973 under the Cuisinart brand, as America's first domestic food processor.
This is another great machine that I happen to have three of. My husband says, "Do you really need three food processors?" To which I say, "How many different kinds of saws do you own?"
I have a 14 cup widemouth, a 7 cup, and a mini chopper (3 cup). But I guess if you only had one, the medium size would be good. Some larger ones even have mini bowls that fit inside, for smaller jobs. Ain't technology grand.

In coming across a book devoted to the food processor, my heart skipped a beat. And 650 recipes?! Hello! Definitely something I had to read.

650 Best Food Processor Recipes
George Geary, Judith Finlayson
Paperback, 648 pages

Oh sure, this book has every kind of menu item you could think of. Appetizers, soups, salads, snacks, sides, mains, desserts... but you know what got my attention first?

Condiments! Oh how I love to make my own condiments. Sorry Heinz, Maille, and all the rest. Even my beloved Franks has gone by the wayside since I realized I could make my own hot sauce.
And 650 Best Food Processor Recipes has whole sections on Sauces, Dressings, Condiments, Rubs, and Seasoned Butters. Not to mention Sundries. Nothing better than a Sunday making Sundries, am I right? ;-)

So I made my own Steak Sauce and Smoked Chili Sauce. If you stop by with steaks, I am totally ready. I loved how simple they were to make. Basically zipping up in the old FP, and then reducing the sauces on the stove. And then you have sauce that is a hundred times better than what you can get in the stores. Seriously, I did not have a clue why people used steak sauce until I made my own. Sooo much better! And these recipes are big on flavour.

Personally, I don't know how people made scalloped potatoes before the food processor. I use it for the cheese, onions and the potatoes. In this book I found a recipe for Potatoes Anna. Thinly sliced spuds layered with butter, salt and black pepper, crisped up on the stove and then cooked to glistening perfection in the oven. How did I not know about this dish before? Sort of like a cross between scalloped potatoes and homemade chips.

They get flipped for final presentation. As you can see, I have little faith in my flipping skills, so I took a before shot - just in case. They actually flipped fairly well though. Yay me!

And of course, if there is a bread section I am definitely going to check it out. This Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Bread whipped up easy-peasy in my larger food processor, making for a delicious addition to the dinner table - not to mention yummy sammies the next day.

All in all, I found 650 Best Food Processor Recipes to be a good bang for the buck. Tons of recipes and ideas, many with tips on making them vegetarian or vegan friendly. Not a lot of photos, but the recipes are well laid out and easy to follow. There is even a section in the front on getting to know your machine(s) and for processing different kinds of ingredients. Let's put those machines to work!