A couple of years ago for my birthday, Stephen bought me an immersion blender. It came with a handy mini-food processor that I use to make salad dressing and baby food, and a whisk that would be amazing for whipped cream if whipped cream didn’t for some reason take me two hours to make (the motor isn’t strong enough to work that long without burning out).
But the immersion blender itself is amazing. I use it at least once a week. So I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite uses.
Homemade mustard is tastier than even the fancy stuff and is way cheaper. As a side note, don’t buy mustard seeds in those expensive little spice jars. They’re available quite cheaply on Amazon. I found my favorite recipe online here.
Throw the following into a glass jar (or your non-reactive container of choice):
6 tablespoons mustard seeds (I usually do half yellow and half black, but do whatever you’d like; black are stronger)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 delicious beer (don’t skimp on quality here)
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (sometimes I’ll use even more; I like it strong)
1 teaspoon salt
Leave it in the fridge overnight, or until you happen to remember it’s in there. Then unscrew the cap, stick your handy immersion blender into the jar and blend until it reaches the consistency you like. It usually takes me a minute or two. Just know it will not ever be as smooth as dijon. That requires fancy equipment.
2. Deliciously Creamy Soup, with or without Actual Cream
This is out of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, only very slightly adapted.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Once melted, add 2 chopped shallots (or 1 small onion) and 1 1/2 pounds sliced carrots. Cook until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (that you’ve made from that freezer bag you keep full of vegetable peels and ends, cheese rinds, and bones, of course) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables become fully tender. Immerse that blender and blend! This is delicious garnished with parlsey or chervil. Without cream, this soup is the reduced essence of carrot. If you add a little cream, it will be richer, though less divinely carroty. This recipe is also quite adaptable to whatever flavor combinations you happen to like and whatever you have in the fridge.
(Bittman calls for 6 cups of stock here, but as I like a thicker soup, I’ve reduced it. Do with it what you will.)
As an alternative, use peeled and chopped butternut squash in place of the carrots and sub in 2 cups coconut milk for 2 cups of the stock. Add 2 tablespoons chopped garlic and 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (if you’re feeling adventurous, make your own) in Step 1. Cilantro (or perhaps roasted peanuts) would be the garnish of choice here. I make this soup all the time, and will often throw in whatever about-to-expire greens we have in the fridge for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking (the time depends on the green) with great success.
3. Homemade Mayonnaise
If you love homemade mayonnaise and own an immersion blender, boy are you in luck. Erica over at Northwest Edibles has shared her method of making America’s favorite condiment here. Because I lack the planning skills necessary to maintain a well-stocked refrigerator and because I refuse to let that stop me from trying a recipe, I used lime juice instead of lemon and my own homemade grainy mustard in lieu of dijon. It is still amazing. If you like the taste of olive oil (and the olive oil you have on hand is decent), don’t hesitate to use that. Want to make your spouse/family/friends love you forever? Use melted and cooled bacon grease for some of the oil. When I don’t want the mayonnaise to taste like a particular oil, I use grapeseed (available cheaply at Costco).
The best part is that this takes less than a minute to whip up. Seriously, folks, this is life-changing.
What are you favorite ways to use an immersion blender?