Archive for October, 2013

Cinnamon Sticks, Granulated Sugar, Roasted Soybeans and Parmesan Cheese

I still need to share my wife’s corn soup recipe that makes using the blender, but I’d have to actually get the recipe from her before I can share it, so I thought I’d share a few uses I’ve had for my Vitamix lately aren’t full blown recipes:

Powdered Parmesan

Good, aged Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) cheese is one the most expensive ingredients that I keep stocked in our home.  Sam’s has reasonable prices on 24 month Parmesan, and it’s probably a pretty big part of why we keep our membership.  Back when my wife and I were dating in Japan, we went to a nice restaurant for dinner and were wowed by their amazingly simple, but delicious appetizer:  They served hot, fresh bread rolls, with first cold pressed extra virgin oil in a plate along with a bowl of powdered parmesan cheese.  You tear off a piece of bread, dip in into the plate of oil and then use the oil to grab some of the powdered parmesan.  It’s simple, but it’s amazing, and the Vitamix does a great job of turning Parmesan into a fine powder so we can recreate this at home.

Kinako Powder

Kinako powder, which is used in Japanese cooking, and which I especially like to have with fresh homemade toasted mochi, is basically just finally ground roasted soybeans.  Using the Vitamix to blend roasted soybeans is a great way to make homemade kinako powder.

Cinnamon and Sugar

It was apple picking season recently, and we went out and picked a lot of different apples from a local orchard.  Not knowing what to do with them all, I googled apple chips, thinking that was something we might be able to make at home, and I’m glad I did.  They were amazing, and I spent most of the next day making multiple trays at a time.

To make apple chips, heat your oven to 200F, and slice apples as thinly as you possibly can.  I broke out our meat slicer and used it to create translucent slices that worked very well.  Place the apple slices on parchment paper and sprinkle them with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar.  For the cinnamon and sugar, I threw several cinnamon sticks and a small amount of sugar into the Vitamix and turned it all into a fine powder.

Once you have your sheets filled with apples, lay the parchment paper on a tray in the oven and wait 30-45 minutes, then manually flip them over to the other side.  Do that again in another 30 minutes, and keep an eye on them to completely dry without burning.  I found that thin slices cooked faster than the two hours I saw quoted online in most recipes.

For the curious, here’s a photo of the first batch on parchment paper, followed by a photo of the chips in a bowl and my daughter picking one of the apples that turned into apple chips.

The first batch of apple chips, still on parchment paper

The first batch of apple chips, still on parchment paper

The first batch of apple chips in a bowl

The first batch of apple chips in a bowl

My daughter, picking an apple

My daughter picking an apple that we later turned into apple chips

Not much in the way of recipes in this post, but hopefully a few more fun ways to use a Vitamix that people might not have thought of.