Little Big Kitchen Helper: The Food Processor
- Peanut butter. With the metal blade, process peanuts continuously for 2 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut oil at the end if the peanut butter is too thick.
- Bread crumbs. Use the metal blade and you’ll never throw away stale bread again.
- Pasta dough. Forget about messy flour volcanoes on the counter. Use the metal blade.
- Good-for-you chips. Trick kids into eating something wholesome. Use the 2-millimeter slicing disk to make sweet-potato chips; toss with olive oil and bake.
- Cole slaw for an army. With the slicing disk, breaking down two heads of cabbage will take 2 minutes instead of half an hour.
- Grated mozzarella. Stick the cheese in the freezer for 5 minutes to firm it up, then use the grating disk. This tip also works for cheeses like Cheddar, Swiss, and Muenster.
- Big-batch baby food. Cook or steam fruits and vegetables, then puree with the metal blade.
- Papier-mâché pulp. With the metal blade, process several sheets of newspaper (torn into small pieces) with a little water. Strain the pulp using a colander and mix with about a tablespoon of glue.
No, Don’t Even Think About It
- Mashed potatoes. The starch in the potatoes will yield a gummy consistency.
- Meat loaf. The meat will be so pulverized, you will end up with the densest dinner known to humankind.
- Whipped cream. You can do it, but the resulting cream will be stiff and you run a strong risk of ending up with butter. Unless the processor model comes with a whipping attachment that allows air to be worked into the cream, stick with your mixer.
- Egg whites or meringue. For the same reason you can’t process heavy cream; the results will be too stiff.
- Large batches of soup. The fill line is usually too low to make a decent amount, so use a blender instead. (But soup for one or two? Go for it.)
- Ground coffee. If the bowl of the processor is larger than 4 cups, skip it. The beans will fly to the side and you will get a rough chop, which will yield a terrible cup of coffee. (The finer the grind, the stronger the brew.)
- Crushed ice. Ice is too hard and will dull your blade.