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Will a food processor definitely be necessary?

052411f_444

I have a question about step 2 on the recipe "World's Easiest Falafel and Tzatziki" from marisab67. It says:

"Process chickpeas, onion, 2 cloves garlic, half bunch mint, cilantro, egg, bread, salt and pepper, cumin and half the lemon juice on low speed until a thick paste forms. No chunks or your balls will fall apart. "

I only have a blender and a grinder, but I would love to try to make this recipe, can I use a blender instead?

asked by happycao about 3 years ago
21 answers 6609 views
Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen
Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 3 years ago

You could try adding it to your blender in small batches but the mixture might get caught up in the blade.

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

IMHO. get a cheap "mini prep" http://www.google.com/products...

That's on my counter top, while the larger food processor is rarely used.
Use that in small batches. It has a small footprint and I use that far more often than the large one.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

I think a blender will work fine. I blend chick peas for hummus in mine all the time, though that may be a looser mix. You may hve to scrape up the bottom from time to time.

2011-03-07_18-28-41_870
added about 3 years ago

You may want to try the grinder. If the mixture is too course just run it through again. I would get too frustrated w/ the blender, too many little batches, grinding too fine, etc. Too much mess! I lived without a food processor for years and find that I rarely use mine now. If you decide to get one, I also recommend getting one of the small/mini versions.
I'm looking forward to trying this recipe, too!

Junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 3 years ago

I cannot imagine cooking without my Cuisinart food processor. I use it for all the things other folks use a blender for, in addition to the things that only a food processor does efficiently. In my opinion, it is the most valuable electric in my kitchen.

imho a blender basically liquefies everything, and you surely don't want to liquefy the chick peas for falafel.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

The blender will make hummus out of your falafel. The grinder will take forever but is probably how they did it a hundred years ago, so that or a mortar/pestle perhaps. Maybe a neighbor or a friend with one would barter for lunch?:)

Scan0004
added about 3 years ago

I made falafel with a similar recipe before food processors existed, using the blender. Just watch the flow in the jar, and don't overdo it. Wasn't 100 years ago, though...
I did find, when I got a food processor, that it did some things best, while others were better in the blender. Now have only food processor (countertop and hand held/immersion) and maybe the lesson is, use what you have with the necessary outcome as your guide.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

When you don't use the processor, it stops being the World's Easiest anymore which is what I was going for. Scraping out a blender and adjusting for liquid becomes a project, and the gummy factor is always a concern unless you have a huge blender bowl so the mix can move around while you pulse.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

I think I've come to the conclusion that a food processor will be a worthy investment!

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 3 years ago

"No chunks or your balls will fall apart. "

And that's a really bad thing.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

I threw away my mini because I'd rather chop an onion myself and save time on clean-up. Wait until you're making something that requires massive grating or a gumbo or salsa! Love!

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

Falafel has been around for a lot longer than anything electric. I didn't get mine until I had my first restaurant job and had to use one. I had kind of a windfall that summer, and buying one was my splurge. I use it a lot, make no mistake, but I don't use if for everything I conceivably could use it for. There's something almost meditative about going through processes by hand. I guess the moral of the story is please don't think you simply can't make falafel (or many other things) without a food processor, or that you are somehow lagging behind. If you need to buy something, get yourself a good mortar & pestle. That might open a whole different range of possibilities to you.

Default-small
added about 3 years ago

You can make anything by hand. Clearly. I was a caterer for 11 years without the aid of a processor. But the recipe is called the World's EASIEST for a reason. Putting things through grinders in small batches is incredibly time consuming and I would have to just call it Falafel. Loses some appeal.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

True that, marisab67. Still, for want of an electric appliance for which one may have neither funds nor counter space (and it it has to be put away, brought out, put away, etc), easy and easiest become relative terms. The mortar and pestle take up much less space and consume far fewer dollars relative to their output.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

Truly, among the graces of our "down" economy may have been the rediscovered ability to do by hand those tasks which we have previously outsourced: from from purchasing flavored beverages to mixing our own; from frozen or take-out pizza to making our own; from getting out a fork and smashing some beans to purchasing a machine to do it for us. The moral of it all is: don't be afraid to handle your food. And don't ever hesitate to read beyond a recipe's instructions to ask how you might do something differently given a set of limitationsl

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

I use both the mortar and pistil and the mini prep. But seriously, the 'mini prep' is my 'go to' appliance. Yes, you do need to make stuff in batches sometimes, but it sits on the counter top all year..while the big food processor rarely gets used. Easy cleanup and much less fuss than a large food processor..or blender. All have their place, but the mini prep is great for two people. Adjust and scale down the recipe.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

This has been a very interesting thread vis a vis real world practice vs time-honored ones, bulk quantity needs vs. home quantity ones. The mortar & pestle vs the fork vs the Quisinart.

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

@boulangere
I think there's a place for both, not either/or, using them in combo is great. For some things the blade action is great, for others; pounding and smashing is superior.
When I do green curry paste, it's pound and smash for the lemon grass, garlic, peppers and cilantro roots...and then mini-prep for blending some of the other less root like bits to make the final 'paste'...along with a bit of root stuff blended; just because I think some portion in there helps the texture. So, I vote for use both! It's just another tool to use.

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 3 years ago

Yes, Sam, I think we're both on the same page. Tools. Use. End desire.

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

@boulangere.

I gotta add this bit here about 'tools'. The Coffee grinder used as a spice grinder.
It works well to grind things into powder. And people think they need one dedicated to spices only. YMMV depending on your model, but I found out if you grind some raw rice and baking soda. Rinse, repeat, it cleans the grinder back to perfect for using for coffee again. (mine is little metal blade grinder with top-mount jar with blade).

After using that tech, I'm not afraid to grind toasted seeds..spice blends in the electric grinder for fear of making it unusable for coffee beans again.

Eda_takoyaki_cooking
added about 3 years ago

i just made this using a kitchenaid blender. i don't have a processor and it was quick and easy; once I decided to blend a quarter at a time. i did have to add about a 1/2 cup of water. it was great, quick and easy.