Salsas, salads, pie crusts, purées – you name it, I use a food processor to make it. Not only is the essential kitchen appliance a versatile workhorse, it also cranks out uniform sliced, diced and chopped foods, taking you from raw ingredients to perfect mise en place in a matter of minutes. Put your food processor to the test with recipes for Roasted Tomatillo-Garlic Salsa with freshly fried tortilla chips and Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad with a quick-fix homemade sesame vinaigrette.
Roasted Tomatillo-Garlic Salsa:
Roasting the tomatillos and garlic enriches their flavors and adds a slight smokiness to the salsa.
Raw ingredients transform into perfectly puréed salsa in a matter of seconds.
Corn tortillas are sliced into wedges to form chips, but they can also be cut into thin strips to create a crunchy addition to soups and salads.
A quick fry in bubbling hot oil yields hot, crispy chips perfect for dipping and dunking.
Roasted Tomatillo-Garlic Salsa with Tortilla Chips
Makes 8-10 servings
For the salsa
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos (about 15 small tomatillos), husked
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 medium jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and halved
1 medium white onion, peeled and quartered
2/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
For the tortilla chips
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 cups vegetable oil
Make the salsa
Preheat the broiler.
Rinse and dry the tomatillos and then place them on a baking sheet with the garlic cloves. Broil the tomatillos and garlic 1 to 2 inches from the heat, flipping them as needed until they’re blistered on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes.
Peel the roasted garlic cloves and then transfer the garlic, roasted tomatillos (including all juices from the pan), jalapeño, onion, cilantro and lime juice to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until combined. (Pulse the salsa less for a chunkier consistency or more for a thinner consistency.) Season the salsa with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm tortilla chips (recipe follows).
Make the tortilla chips
Cut the tortillas into thirds to form 6 wedges from each tortilla.
Fill a medium, heavy-bottomed pot with 4 inches of vegetable oil and attach the deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pan. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F. Working in batches, add the tortillas to the hot oil, flipping them as needed until they’re golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chips to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately season them with salt. Repeat the frying process with the remaining tortillas, returning the oil to 360°F between batches.
Transfer the chips to a serving dish and serve with the Roasted Tomatillo-Garlic Salsa.
Smaller tomatillos are less bitter in flavor than their medium counterparts. Opt for tomatillos that have fully filled out their leafy exterior, as they are more mature and better tasting.
For a spicier salsa, leave the seeds and the ribs intact in the jalapeño.
Tomatillos contain a fair amount of pectin in their sticky skins, so the salsa will thicken and gel when refrigerated. If desired, thin the salsa with a small amount of water or additional fresh lime juice.
Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette:
The shredding blade transforms a whole head of cabbage into uniformly sliced pieces, perfect for salads and coleslaws.
Whole carrots and cucumbers are sliced into slivers in seconds, making them an easy, impressive addition to salads and other side dishes.
The unique shapes and colors of the ingredients create a crunchy, colorful salad tossed in a quick-fix homemade sesame vinaigrette.
Chopped Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette
Makes 4-6 servings
For the salad
2 hearts romaine lettuce
1 small head purple cabbage
1 medium cucumber
2 medium carrots
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shelled and cooked edamame
For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper
Make the salad
Using a sharp knife, shred the romaine lettuce into thin ribbons and add it to a large serving bowl.
Halve and core the purple cabbage, and then cut it into small wedges. Attach the shredding blade to the food processor. Push the cabbage wedges into the feed tube and then transfer the shredded cabbage to the serving bowl with the lettuce.
Wash and peel the cucumber and carrots. (If needed, cut them into smaller pieces to fit into the food processor feed tube.) Shred the cucumber and carrots in the food processor and then transfer them to the serving bowl.
Add the shredded chicken, sliced almonds and edamame to the serving bowl, tossing to combine.
Make the vinaigrette
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
Add the vinaigrette to the salad, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.
You can either roast and shred a whole chicken, or for a faster alternative, opt for a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
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*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*