Sunday, November 10, 2013

Magimix review - stocking my freezer with BIG batches of deliciousness: winter squash casserole + kale pesto + homemade nutella


I received a gift last week. When I rolled home from an afternoon of tennis and tae kwon do chauffeuring, this happily blocked my entrance to the back door. Ooh la la!! A food processor from Burgundy, France!! {Is it my birthday?}


No... my birthday wasn't for a few days, but I couldn't wait to open the box. When I heard the 16-cup {yes, 16 CUP!!} food processor was coming my way, I had dreams of making some of my favorite freezer-friendly meals in big batches, quickly and easily...


I adore my Cuisinart and it's given me a great run. But my wedding gift is on its last legs. So, when offered the chance to review the Magimix by Robot-Coupe food processor, I jumped at the chance. That, and the fact that the 16-cup Magimix came with these cool sounding extras like a smoothie maker/juice extractor attachment {helpful, since my blender base is now leaking} and a creative slicing kit {which I'll probably only use occasionally-- but cool} for veggie sides. First recipe I was going to try? A baked winter squash casserole I was creating for Walter Stewart's market, which involved thinly slicing 3 winter squash... something I didn't have the patience-- or time-- to do by hand.


And, while I eagerly began assembling the ingredients for test recipe #1, my kids took off with the packaging.


This gift was quickly becoming a win-win all around.


OK, so, while they were happily turning the packing materials into rocket ships and whatnot, my goal was to {quickly} make a triple batch of the winter squash casserole-- one in time for dinner, the other two for the freezer. I washed and chopped the squash into pieces that would fit through the extra large feed tube in the lid.


Then, I ran them through, using the slicing disk.


I am fairly certain that even with its 16-cup capacity, I was supposed to empty the bowl at least once, but hey, three medium squashes all just fit. {Might as well test this food processor the way I would actually use it, right?!}


Then into a heavy-duty pot went the squash, along with onions I ran through using the slicing blade, and 4 cups of broth {though you could also use wine... I chose to drink the wine, and cook with broth}. 3 large winter squash and 4 onions chopped in about 5 minutes, then I popped the lid on the pot for 20 minutes until the squash softened... enough time to enjoy the aforementioned glass of wine. This recipe was quickly become a favorite.


Then I ran two hunks of sharp cheddar through the grating disk. I made the JV mistake of letting the cheese sit out on the counter {versus keeping it chilled} while I was enjoying my wine, so it was a bit 'gooey' when I shredded it. Oops. That didn't really matter though, since it was all just going into the pot...


OK, so then along with the 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar, I added 4 cups of cooked wild rice, 6 whisked eggs, 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs and 2 cups of sour cream. Gave everything a stir, then filled my baking dishes with an equal amount of this decadence, and sprinkled each tray with 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan.


I know the quantities sound absurdly large, but remember, I wanted to make a lot of this dish-- enough for the freezer too. And since I had this enormous capacity food processor to work with, I thought, heck, I might as well double my normal recipe!!


I let the two going into the freezer cool down, then placed a layer of plastic wrap on top, wrapped them in foil and labeled them.


The third dish was baked for 30 minutes at 350, until the top was golden brown. And let me tell you, this comforting casserole was so good. An amazing meatless meal on a chilly Fall night. Everyone loved it.

{Big Batch of} Cheesy Winter Squash Casserole
(makes 20 servings, enough to feed a crowd or freeze meals for busy nights ahead)

3 medium winter squash*, thinly sliced
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 cups broth or white wine
4 cups cooked wild rice or brown rice**
2 cups sour cream
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1 1/4 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
6 eggs, whisked
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
cooking spray or olive oil {to grease the baking dishes}

baking dishes: four 8x8 or two 13x9 oven-proof baking dishes

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease baking dishes with a bit of oil. Run the squash and onion through your Magimix {or food processor of choice} to thinly slice them, using the slicing disk. In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, combine the squash, onions and broth {or wine}. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until squash softens to fork tender. Add the remaining ingredients {cooked rice, sour cream, shredded cheese, bread crumbs and eggs}. Stir. Spoon filling into baking dishes and top each one with a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan. If packaging for freezer: cool down and cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then tin foil; label and date. If baking now: bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. 

From frozen: thaw in fridge overnight then bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. If coming straight out of freezer, it will likely take about 1 hour to cook. If top gets too brown, you can loosely cover it with foil.

*You can use any variety of winter squash-- delicata, butternut, acorn or the more unique varieties like sweet dumpling. I used one acorn, one sweet dumpling and one butternut squash in this recipe. I only peeled the butternut squash. The other two I just washed well. The skin on the acorn and sweet dumpling squash is soft enough to eat after cooking.

** I like the packets of cooked brown or wild rice you can find in the freezer section of most supermarkets these days. Saves me time!


One successful recipe under my belt, I was anxious to try another! My freezer stock of meals had suffered a big dent after many nights sitting around eating bonbons instead of making dinner {kidding people, you know how it goes with the afternoon shlepping...} so I decided to make an enormous batch of one of my stand-bys: power green pesto.


Ogling the 16-cup bowl, I filled my grocery cart with loads of greens... like five 10 oz boxes!! I kind of laughed looking at my original recipe-- 1 lb of greens? Pshaw! And since I knew the blades were extra sharp {and under 30-year warranty}, I decided to make this batch kale-arugula-spinach-almond.





Yes, people, you are looking at {drum roll}....


9 cups of power green-almond pesto made at once {translation: lots of family dinners in the freezer, just waiting to be enjoyed!!}



{Big Batch} of Power Green-Almond Pesto
(makes 9 cups)

five 10 oz packages leafy greens (your choice: power greens, kale, arugula, spinach, etc)
1 lb almonds (about 2 cups)
1 cup olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
zest and juice of 4 lemons
8+ cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

In a Magimix {or large capacity food processor}, combine everything and pulse to desired texture. Store in airtight containers, in the freezer, for up to three months. 


Then, I came across the "cocktail" cookbook in the Magimix packaging and got all excited. Until I realized that cocktail in French must just mean healthy fruit drinks....


Oh well. I still wanted to give the juicer a try! I decided on one of the "revitalizing and cleansing" elixirs...


Hmmm, this recipe needs a re-do, on my part. The taste was surprisingly nice..


and I appear to have removed a lot of the pulp from the juice...


but my "juice" was much more 'smoothie' consistency. I think that attachment just takes some getting used to, or maybe I need to actually read the directions before using it. {Reading instructions first is not my forte.} 


No problem. I packaged this batch of beet-carrot-celery root 'slurry' in a tub to be added to an upcoming veggie soup and moved on.


Because, truth be told, when I was flipping through the recipe booklet that came with the Magimix, I was easily distracted by the recipe for homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread. Plus, I wanted to see how their patented nesting bowls worked. My 16-cup food processor came with 3 bowls (6-cup, 12-cup and 16-cup) that nest on top of one another {theoretically, so you can move through a recipe quickly without having to wash a bowl in between... but old habits die hard. Since my Cuisinart food processor only came with one bowl, I found myself still washing in between.} I'll learn.


{Oh, and no, I did not happen to just have these 4 ingredients on hand. I will fully admit to making a special trip to the supermarket for them...}



First, I melted the butter and chocolate in my makeshift double boiler...



Then, I pulsed the hazelnuts in the smallest of the three bowls that came with my Magimix.


I poured the warm chocolate over the nuts, popped the lid back on, and turned the blade to "auto"


while I poured condensed milk down the feed tube.


Oh my.


A chef must always try a dish before serving it.


{Big batch of} Magimix Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
(makes 4 cups)

1/2 cup hazelnuts
3/4 cup dark chocolate
2 sticks of butter
14 oz condensed milk {1 cup}

Grind the nuts for about 1 minute, until a fine texture. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth. Pour the warm chocolate/butter mixture over the nuts. Then, turn the Magimix food processor on, and pour the condensed milk down the feed tube. Run the blade until chocolate spread in combined and smooth. Store chocolate spread in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer. Makes a very special hostess gift... and an even more special after-school treat!


I am absolutely thrilled with my new 'kitchen toy', and cannot wait to keep slicing, dicing, mashing and julienning with it for the next 30+ years!

Note: Product reviews are one of the {awesome} perks of being a food blogger. Magimix sent me one of their 16-cup food processors and the smoothie/juicer attachment and the specialty blade kits to try in my home kitchen. I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are my own. The Magimix by Robot-Coupe food processors are currently available in the U.S. at Chefs Catalog and Williams-Sonoma

2 comments:

  1. That looks like it can do everything I need in my kitchen, too! I would spend days cooking just to play!

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  2. Wow, that looks like an amazing food processor! Your nutella recipe looks delicious, but I'm usually only willing to use 2 sticks of butter in a special occasion dessert. I found one that is really tasty, with just 2 Tablespoons of hazelnut oil. It's from America's Test Kitchen (the same people as Cook's Illustrated): http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/recipes/homemade-chocolate-hazelnut-spread/

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