** I posted this without meaning to yesterday. It was all disheveled and unfinished. The “publish” button is very close to the “preview” button. Anywho, sorry for those of you who got a few head-scratching posts in your Google reader or your email.
Here’s the real deal.
My sister-in-law, Laura, asked for a Cuisinart food processor for Christmas. One of the small ones. It is one of the few times I ever have gone against a person’s wishes in buying presents, but I went ahead and bought her a big one. I shopped around the Thanksgiving sales and was able to fit it within my budget. But here was my reasoning.
I use a food processor primarily to chop large amounts of vegetables or grating large amounts of cheese. When does one need a small chopper to chop small amounts? If that is the case, you just get your knife out to dirty less dishes. The process of dragging out another whole machine must have a profound time savings, which only really comes when you have a large volume. Thus, one does not ever really need a small food processor. Laura agreed (at least I think she did) and seems to enjoy her chopper/processor.
It was not until I went to a Pampered Chef party not too long ago, that I really was able to articulate my newly established food processor “policy.” The party was a first for me. Pampered Chef has a lot of great products and learning about them was really fun. The lady made pork tenderloin in the microwave that was actually worthy of eating. Impressive. I bought a vegetable peeler and a baster. Big spender. I know.
The Pampered Chef person raved about this manual vegetable chopper that made mango salsa. I love mango salsa. But I couldn’t figure out what the difference would be between cutting up the ingredients for the salsa and using a manual chopper that required pushing a lever to make the ingredients whirl about and chop. I mean, isn’t that what a knife is–a manual chopper? The featured chopper was not very big–probably only big enough for about a cup or two of salsa, which you could easily chop with a knife. As such, the chopper clearly goes against my newly discovered policy against small choppers.
Of course, if you like small choppers, go for it. I have just determined that it doesn’t work for the way I cook.
I made a new cous cous salad the other day and THAT was a reason to get the food processor out. There was enough chopping to justify the energy spent in getting the heavy thing out.
Cous Cous Summer Salad
Combine the following:
2 cups cooked cous cous
2 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
1 chopped bell pepper (I used yellow for the color)
2/3 cups chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups chopped arugula
3/4 cups soft feta or goat cheese
1/2 bunch parsley or basil, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
2 cups (of whatever you have) of rotisserie chicken, or roasted chicken, or some sort of cooked chicken, shreaded.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
The juice and zest of one lemon
Toss and enjoy.
This is a base recipe. You can leave an ingredient out and add something else. Perhaps some hot peppers? Perhaps leave the chicken out but serve with shrimp? You an also substitute the cous cous with another pasta or grain–perhaps orzo? It is a good recipe for a cold dinner on a hot night.