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Knifeless Chopping

When a recipe tells me to finely chop 2 large onions, four carrots, three potatoes, and several cloves of garlic I rest my sharp knife on the cutting board and take out my handy dandy food processor. Have you ever used your food processor to chop food? It's a great time saver that can reduce prep tremendously. However, there is a technique to using the gadget efficiently. It took me several times before I had it down. To learn how to chop with a food processor,

Here's how it works:
First chunk the vegetables: quarter onions, carrots, potatoes, and smash garlic. Next, working in batches, toss a few chunks into the bowl of the food processor - do not over stuff the food processor! If it cannot handle the volume you'll be left with uneven sized pieces. So, with the food processor not too full, put the lid on and hit the pulse button followed by the chop button. Pulse several times until the vegetables are to the desired size. Take care not to over pulse - you will end up with vegetable puree rather than chopped vegetables. Once the vegetables are chopped, add to your cooking vessel and following instructions according to the recipe.

Another trick that will help keep the pieces even is to use a little bit of water. The vegetables will float in the water and no pieces will get stuck to the bottom/sides of the food processor. When you're finished, just drain into a colander. However, if your vegetables need to be dry (or not have too much excess water on them) for your recipe, then this method is best avoided.

Note: If your food processor does not have a chop function, just use the pulse button. Do this several times, without holding it down, until you reach your desired size.

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