In the Kitchen...Food Processors

Left: My Cuisinart 14 cup and 3 cup food processors, top right: 14 cup processor,
bottom right: Hobart Buffalo Chopper
When I first worked in hospital kitchens as a dietitian, we always had a “Buffalo Chopper” in our salad area…a precursor of a home food processor.  The bowl turns around and goes under the guarded blade, you can fill the bowl continuously and run it around until the product is the right consistancy.  We used it to make cole slaw, bread crumbs, chopped-up cheese and to chop cooked meat, along with onions, carrots, and other vegetables and salad makings.  50 years later Hobart still makes them!
In the 70’s when Cuisinart finally started selling larger quantities of food processors outside large cities, and they appeared in local department stores here in the midwest, I convinced my husband I had to have one.  For some time, I didn't have a stand mixer and made all my weekly bread in the food processor.  I still use it for single loaves and rolls and buns.
I have had the same model (although I’m on my 2nd one purchased last year, I had my first one more than 35 years) all that time.  It is the plain 14 cup Cuisinart Food Processor…it is simple, basic, and very heavy and well-made.  It’s perfect for all of the things I mentioned, plus making bread and pasta dough, and making ground beef, shredding cheese in quantity, and of course everything salad and vegetable.
Top left to right:  Making ground beef in my "Deluxe" model, making noodles in the 4 cup chopper, cole slaw and dressing, making salad dressing,
Bottom, weighing bread ingredients, bread dough rising, making homemade grapenuts
It’s the top-rated by Cook’s Illustrated, year after year, because it doesn’t have any of the problems found in more “Deluxe” models.  No creeping around on your counter, no holding it down when you process bread dough, no fancy lids with gaskets that are impossible to clean.  I purchased a deluxe model when my first one gave out after 35 years…and gave it away pretty quickly.  If you want a full-size model, I strongly recommend this one.
I am not as enamored of their 3 cup model, but I do use it for making small quantities of noodle dough and weekly salad dressing and small amounts of chopped vegetables. 
The best food processor cookbooks I have are the ones I purchased when I first bought my processor…I have made many recipes from them, they are by Amy Mandel – the Cusinart Classroom one is still available used online, she also wrote a 2 volume set of food processor books, Fast and Flavorful, which are excellent too, but not as easy to find.


Here are some of my many favorite recipes using a food processor:





3 comments:

  1. 30 years ago, when my boys were toddlers I bought my first cuisinart, I felt like I was buying a car. It was a hughe purchase for sure! I made most of our food by scratch, and I would make a months worth of suppers at a time and freeze them. The cuisinart was perfect. I loved it! I remember I liquified a test onion as I was learning how to use it. This past year, I retired my old one and bought the same 14 cup model you have. I also have a mini one, and use it quite a lot. I am still in love with my cuisinarts.

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  2. Thank you for writing such a thorough article - including cookbook recommendations and recipes! I wish I had read it before i bought my current food processor.
    P.S. It would be interesting to follow you in your kitchen for a day. It sounds like you accomplish so much!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with Amie, above, that I am still in love with my Cuisinart...and like you, I hated making a mistake when I replaced my first model with a delux model that wasn't as good. I could have saved some money!
      As for doing a lot in the kitchen, you have to understand that I've been baking and cooking for years, I don't cook elaborately every day, but usually have one bigger project every week, and we often have something very simple on those days I'm canning or baking.

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