food processor

30 Minute Meals: A Lifetime Cleaning Up

by Anne Maxfield on April 18, 2016

Accidental Locavore Pork Chop Spinach RiceLike the Accidental Locavore, have you ever noticed that with a lot of “quick” meals…

  1. May take 30 minutes or less to prepare, but add in cooking time and (fairly often) marinating time, tossing dinner together at the last minute is often thwarted.
  2. Require a lot of equipment and that equipment has to be cleaned. I mentally cringe every time something requires a quick buzz in a food processor. Yeah, they’re great, but take up a lot of room in the dishwasher, and washing them by hand means cleaning four large pieces and a sharp blade. A blender is a bit easier with only 3-4 parts. (and it takes up less dishwasher space), but more washing up.Accidental Locavore Cuisinart
  3. Speaking of blades… It’s why I often use just a knife to slice or chop things. It’s much faster and easier to clean than my beloved mandoline, or my mini-prep machine, it gives me control over the cuts and improves my knife skills. And there are days when wielding a big sharp knife is very therapeutic!Accidental Locavore Knives
  4. Then there are the bowls, pots, pans etc. Until recently, it was one of the reasons why I scoffed at any “fast” dinner that involved pasta. You always have to make sauce, which generally uses a pan, why even pesto needs a Cuisinart. With my new range and the high burner, it still takes a while to boil water and cook pasta (unless it’s fresh). And no one likes to clean the pasta pot–another space hog! This changed recently when we picked up a “Fasta Pasta” cooker that cooks pasta in the microwave. I never would have considered it, however Cooks Illustrated named it one of the winning tools of 2014 (and they were right!). While it’s not going to save you more than a few minutes cooking time, it will save you at least that much time cleaning up (and fits nicely in the dishwasher).Accidental Locavore Fasta Pasta
  5. They need side dishes. Which combine the worst parts of all of the above…
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3 Ingredient DIY Horseradish

by Anne Maxfield on December 10, 2015

Accidental Locavore Peeling HorseradishI’m not sure how holiday-related this is (until you have roast beef leftovers), but if you’re lucky enough to find fresh horseradish at the market, or even luckier, like the Accidental Locavore, to have a friend who grew some, it’s really simple to make your own (just like the stuff in a jar). Mine came with a warning to make it outside, which may or may not be possible, but in any case you want to make it in a well-ventilated place – it can be really strong.

  • 1 piece of horseradish
  • White vinegar
  • Salt

In a well-ventilated place, trim the ends of the horseradish and peel it until you get to the white part. Cut it into 1” chunks. Put the chunks into a blender and blend until it’s finely chopped. Put it in a container (like a Ball jar) and add enough vinegar to cover. Taste and add salt as needed. It will keep refrigerated for a while but loses pungency over time.

Accidental Locavore DIY HorseradishMy verdict: Great stuff! As you may or may not know, freshness is really the key to horseradish. When I did a taste test a few months ago, the clear winner was the most recent one I bought. After I made this batch I tasted the stuff that was in my fridge and it was so bland compared to this. Now I just have to find a bunch of uses for it, besides Bloody Marys and mashed potatoes. I started this outside with my food processor but it really wasn’t up to the job. If you have one, a blender is much better for this. Also, if you’re working with a particularly strong piece of horseradish, adding the vinegar when you’re blending it will stop whatever the enzyme is that makes it strong. Water will also tone it down, but I think the vinegar makes it more interesting. What’s your favorite use for horseradish?

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Recipe for Hollandaise Sauce (Don’t Worry it’s Easy)

by Anne Maxfield on December 24, 2010

Accidental Locavore Eggs BenedictEvery year at Christmas the Accidental Locavore gets called on to make Hollandaise sauce. This is a recipe for Hollandaise sauce using a food processor or blender which makes it pretty simple, you just need to be a bit careful. You can also use a stick blender, or a wisk, but doing it by hand requires a strong hand.  We use it over broccoli, and if I had it around I’d use it for artichokes,  asparagus or over a steamed filet of sole. It works on the same principal as mayonnaise, an emulsion. When you get comfortable with it, you can easily move on to Bearnaise sauce, it’s the same theory but with tarragon, shallots, and vinegar.

For the holidays I usually use a double batch, a single should be good for 4-6 people.

  • 3 egg yolks from extra large or jumbo eggs
  • dash of Tabasco sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon (more to taste)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • salt

Combine the egg yolks, Tabasco, lemon juice and a little salt in a food processor or blender, and process until the egg yolks are fluffy and lighter in color. With the processor running, SLOWLY pour the butter in. You want a fine stream. Take your time with this, the more slowly you do this, the thicker your sauce will be. If you do it too fast the eggs won’t absorb the butter, and in a really horrible case, will start to cook*. So patience is really a virtue here, trust me. When the butter is all incorporated, you’re done. If you want it thicker, let it run in the food processor a little longer. Taste and adjust lemon and salt to taste. Enjoy!

*If you do have a problem with the sauce separating, toss an ice cube or two into the processor. This works sometimes. Or just dump it and start again, slowly!

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