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Food Processors

Introduced to home kitchens in the 1970s, food processors have become one of the most important kitchen tools for quicker cooking. They can be used to chop, slice, shred, grind, blend, and puree a variety of foods. They can also knead bread, cut butter into flour for baking, and grate large quantities of cheese.

Choosing Food Processor
Keep in mind that food processors and blenders perform many of the same tasks, but a food processor is better for blending solid mixtures, such as doughs, crumbs, and bases for savory mousses. A blender is better suited to liquids, such as soups, beverages, and sauces. If you are in the market for a food processor, look for one that has a mini bowl that fits into the larger bowl, so that you can process small jobs as well. To use a food processor to chop evenly, pulse the machine on and off.

Making dough with food processor
Use the plastic dough blade for yeast doughs. Use the steel knife for other doughs, such as pasta, pastry, and cookies. A food processor is not appropriate for most cakes because the batter requires aeration.

To puree soups without spills
Use a slotted spoon to transfer only the solids to the food processor. Add enough liquid to cover (work in batches if necessary). Puree, then stir the puree back into the soup.

Cleaning the food processor
Spray the inside of the work bowl and the blade or shredding disk with cooking spray before using. This helps prevent sticky foods such as dried fruit from adhering to the blade. When the bowl is dirty, put a small amount of warm water and some dish washing soup in the processor and blend briefly. In most cases, you can then just rinse and dry.

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