Finding Fresh Inspiration for Cooking

Finding Fresh Inspiration for Cooking

Month: August 2019

The Best Food Processor for Smaller Kitchen Tasks

A full size food processor can take on a lot of jobs, everything from chopping vegetables to making pie or bread dough.

They’re great for making emulsifications like mayonnaise. They’re really good for pesto or hummus. They’re great for dressings, marinades. They’re also a lot less expensive than the full size food processors.

Now, they noted right off the bat that some of the machines tended to go a little fast, the motors were really strong, and that meant that you could too easily overprocess your vegetables. You didn’t get nice neat cuts. You got more like a vegetable slushie, which isn’t good. The opposite end of that problem were the machines that didn’t have quite enough oomph to really chop through this stuff. Like this one, for instance, made this pesto here.

That’s more like a salad. That’s exactly what it’s like. Some of the testers were really nice and described it as rustic, but either way it’s not acceptable. Pesto’s supposed to be a lot smoother than that.

In terms of making mayonnaise, what you have to do to make mayonnaise or any emulsification is to have your egg yolks and the other ingredients going inside the work bowl and dribble in the oil very slowly so that it will emulsify. And in order to do that you have to have some kind of opening in the lid of the machine. There are two types here. This one has a little drip hole, like that. This one has a feed tube, like that. Those four in front of you had neither, so you couldn’t really make a mayonnaise, which is a key task for a small food processor. So we kind of eliminated those based on that alone.

Of the three that did have some kind of opening, two of them made great mayonnaise. One of them didn’t actually make great mayonnaise, and after looking at it very carefully, the testers determined that it was a slightly flawed blade design, in that there was a little too much space underneath the blade. That allowed egg yolks and ingredients to spin around underneath and not really emulsify the way they should with the oil as it dribbled in.

Now, the blade type also made a difference in terms of nice clean cuts. Some of them had serrated blades, like this one. Those tended to chew up the food a little bit, didn’t make very neat cuts at all. Some of them had nice straight blades, like that one. They made much neater cuts, and that’s what our winning mini food processor had.

This is the Cuisinart Elite Collection Chopper/Grinder. It’s four cups. It’s just a hair under $60 and it had everything we’re looking for in a mini food processor: that four cup capacity, it made a beautiful mayonnaise, it had that nice clean, straight edge to make good cuts. It was a terrific little machine.

Well, there you go. Our winner is the Cuisinart Elite Collection. It’s a four cup chopper/grinder.

Best 4 Restaurants in San Antonio

Our first stop brings us to the Alamo, but it’s not this Alamo. Here’s a hint. It’s a neighborhood pizza favorite. It’s Alamo Pizza on south Zarzamora on the South side. Owner Fred Nunez has been tossing pizza for 12 years. Open seven days a week, the two time Blue Plate winner maintains only excellent scores by health department standards.

Coming in at number three.

The food is always good here and sometimes a hole in the walls and best place to go.

He’s talking about Chong’s Korean restaurant inside 410 on Marbach. Authentic Korean food is what Chung Kenna serves up. She allowed us in the kitchen but insisted we didn’t get near her while she cooked. Chong’s Korean restaurant is the winner of two Blue Plate’s.

What I love about this place is they have their health inspections posted on the front door. Eight times a perfect score, not bad.

Coming in at number two. The buffet style favorite is located in the Medical Center off Wurzbach. Bombay Hall, Indian cuisine.

Chicken Curry.

Shrimp cardamom. I like the chicken masala. It’s very good. To tell you the truth this the only place I come and eat it.

The winner of three Blue Plates and six perfect scores. Management here says preparing family recipes daily are key to keeping its customers.

Topping the list at number one on St Mary street. Burger Boy.Double burger working man.Get some bacon on top? Delicious.

That’s the popular burger order here. A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. The tiny burger joint sits 12 inside and has a drive through that’s been taking orders since 1966. Our camera was allowed in the kitchen, but we weren’t allowed to reveal the family’s secret and how they cook the patties. Yummy burgers here and one very clean kitchen.

Owner Carl Bates says he’s proud of his Blue Plates that he’s won for having a clean kitchen, but had one request for me.

The best food and exercises for heart health

There are many fad diets, but the most important thing about a heart healthy diet, is establishing a healthy pattern of eating that you can sustain over time. The best steady pattern of eating for heart health is the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in fish and tree nuts. Use unsaturated cooking oils, like olive oil or canola oil, and minimize concentrated sweets, including sweetened beverages and processed foods.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, like walking or biking, five days a week. If you have a step counter, shoot for 10,000 steps a day. Despite amazing progress in the treatment of heart disease, it remains the number one killer in the US.

Eating well, and staying active, are the two most important things you can do to prevent heart disease and stay healthy.

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