Northeast Times

Cuisinart Concoctions

En­joy your hol­i­day fa­vor­ites year round with a food pro­cessor.

One kit­chen tool I would nev­er want to be without is my Cuisin­art food pro­cessor.

When my son, Chris, was born, there were two things that I really wanted – a cam­era and a Cuisin­art. The cam­era took my son’s “firsts,” which filled our over­flow­ing photo al­bums for pos­ter­ity. The Cuisin­art, re­ceived as a gift from Santa that year, helped me to make healthy baby foods. Chris’ ex­per­i­ment­al blends were per­fec­ted by the time my son, Ted, was born. Alas, first­borns must suf­fer more par­ent­al tri­als and er­rors. Need­less to say, both of my guys were so cute that my cam­era was al­ways on auto­pi­lot. (Mom’s brag­ging rights here).

As I peeked in­side that Cuisin­art box that Christ­mas, for a fleet­ing mo­ment I was re­minded of the say­ing, “Be care­ful what you ask for – you might get it.” At first glance, “it” ap­peared over­whelm­ing, in­tim­id­at­ing and com­plex, like a mech­an­ic­al mon­ster. However, I’m glad that I didn’t let ap­pear­ances fool me, as I have found the food pro­cessor to be an in­valu­able kit­chen aid.

Food pro­cessors make won­der­ful baby food that is free of ad­dit­ives, pre­ser­vat­ives, salt, sug­ar and whatever else you want to elim­in­ate, and full of whatever you want to add. In just seconds, my ma­chine’s ini­tial task trans­formed a ba­nana in­to a mar­velous Ba­nana Whip, which proved to be a taste treat that both my sons loved to eat of­ten. An­oth­er fa­vor­ite was sweet pota­toes or yams. These are an ex­cel­lent source of vit­am­in A - cooked first then pur­eed. Just about any ve­get­able or fruit can be steamed, cooked or poached and then pur­eed for baby. Cooked meat, fish or fowl can be pro­cessed for the older baby. A little wa­ter, broth or milk can be ad­ded, if ne­ces­sary, to achieve de­sired con­sist­ency. 

My food pro­cessor makes a bet­ter, easi­er pie crust than I can make by hand. Put the in­gredi­ents in­to the work bowl and lock the top. With the touch of a fin­ger, and in a few seconds’ time, one pie crust is ready to use im­me­di­ately and one is ready for my freez­er.

No need to knead. A food pro­cessor can rap­idly turn out a very nice dough that bakes bread that has an ex­cel­lent tex­ture. Also, homemade pasta, pierogi and ra­vi­oli dough are quick to make and they taste de­li­cious. Many cook­ies and cakes are easy to put to­geth­er in the pro­cessor.

Leftover ve­get­ables can be trans­formed in­to gour­met soups. Chances are, once the Cuisin­art has staked its claim to a spot on your coun­ter­top, you’ll want to save those broc­coli stalks or that cup of leftover spin­ach to make a quick, health­ful soup.

A re­l­at­ively small amount of leftover ham, tur­key or chick­en can be re­cycled in­to a new din­ner of ham, tur­key or chick­en cro­quettes. The Cuisin­art trans­forms leftover meats in­to great spreads for sand­wiches or hors d’oeuvres. This avoids turn­ing good leftovers in­to trash.

Any ve­get­able or meat can be cut, chopped, shred­ded, ground or cut ju­li­enne. Pep­p­er­oni slices in seconds. Stale bread in­stantly be­comes bread­crumbs for the freez­er. (The birds in your neigh­bor­hood may not like this!) Hard cheese quickly changes to grated for om­elets or sauces. Nuts can be chopped or ground very quickly. The pro­cessor can make pea­nut, cashew, or al­mond but­ter swiftly. It’s great for mak­ing dips, sauces and dress­ings, too. Cole slaw isn’t just for hol­i­days any­more, as it takes only minutes to pre­pare

Al­though cer­tain foods are stand­ard fare for hol­i­day din­ners, I like to ex­per­i­ment with something new each year, and the fol­low­ing cran­berry-or­ange chut­ney is such a dish. Made in a food pro­cessor, it’s a last-minute con­di­ment that re­quires no cook­ing but needs to soak in or­ange li­queur for at least 12 hours. Wel­come at din­ner, this chut­ney is also good as an ap­pet­izer, atop cream cheese or with brie.

CRAN­BERRY-OR­ANGE CHUT­NEY

2 cups fresh, whole cran­ber­ries

1 large, whole nav­al or­ange, un­peeled, quartered, seeded

1/4 small, whole lem­on, un­peeled, seeded

2/3 cup sug­ar

1/4 cup Cointr­eau or Triple Sec

-Wash cran­ber­ries and com­bine with or­anges and lem­on in work bowl or food pro­cessor.

-Pro­cess on and off un­til mix­ture is chopped.

-Re­move mix­ture to a bowl and stir in the sug­ar and Cointr­eau.

-Let stand, covered, 12 hours at room tem­per­at­ure, then re­fri­ger­ate un­til    erving time.

-Add or­ange slices for gar­nish.

If my whole­hearted praise of the food pro­cessor has you at all in­ter­ested in own­ing one, there are just 20 days left to be really good for good­ness sake. “So you bet­ter watch out, you bet­ter not cry, you bet­ter not pout, I’m telling you why….”

Eat well, live long, en­joy!

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

comments powered by Disqus