What to blend with new immersion blender?
November 24, 2009 9:10 AM   Subscribe

I just got a brand new immersion blender. What should I blend?

I've only ever made butternut squash soup and have never made smoothies. Any tips on the use of this thing and/or recipes? Aside from soup and smoothies, am I missing anything? Could I use it to cut up the butter for, say, a pie crust? Any tips on use?
posted by anthropomorphic to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I use it to emulsify homemade salad dressings. I prefer it over having to whisk or shake the hell out of them, not just because it's easier but also because I think the texture comes out better.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:16 AM on November 24, 2009

If it's not summer, the best tomatoes for homemade spaghetti sauce are canned whole tomatoes. An immersion blender is very handy for getting them to whatever level of chunkiness you desire, and you can blend them right in the pot in which you're simmering the sauce.
posted by lore at 9:17 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

As mentioned, an immersion blender makes quick work of homemade vinaigrettes. Use the basic 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of oil to vinegar and have at it. Adding a little dry mustard will help the emulsion hold together (like 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per cup of dressing). You can also use prepared mustard but the flavor will be more apparent.

Are you talking about cutting up the butter before adding it to the flour mixture or to work the butter into the mixture? If the former, just use a knife. If the latter, I can't say for sure it wouldn't work, but I would have my doubts. It would probably be pretty messy. Immersion blenders work best on liquids, particularly liquids deep enough to, well, immerse the business end.
posted by jedicus at 9:18 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whoops, that ratio is backwards! You want 1:3 or 1:4 vinegar to oil.
posted by jedicus at 9:19 AM on November 24, 2009

It did totally transform my soup-making habits, but I've also used mine for mashing potatoes (they get a bit more glossy and thin and less chunky than the old-fashioned method, so you might not like the results as much), making puddings and mousses, various dips and sauces (short pulses for a salsa!). My mom uses hers to make gravy.
posted by julen at 9:20 AM on November 24, 2009

posted by mhuckaba at 9:22 AM on November 24, 2009

Soups! That's pretty much all I use mine for, but for it totally can't be beat for soups.
posted by kaseijin at 9:22 AM on November 24, 2009

Breadcrumbs. Mayonnaise. Pudding.

And I was not a smoothie person either, but boy howdy did I become one when I got my immersion blender. Frozen strawberries, a banana, some orange juice and maybe a little protein powder, and wheeee! Cleanup couldn't have been simpler. They work perfectly with plastic stadium cups.

It really helped me get a good breakfast that kept me going until lunch, which made a huge difference when I was trying to eat healthier and lose weight. But they'd be tasty even if you weren't trying to do that.
posted by Madamina at 9:25 AM on November 24, 2009

I just bought mr supermedusa one as a holiday gift. he intends to use it for soups! (and I highly recommend cream of carrot & cauliflower, its a delicious combo!!)
posted by supermedusa at 9:25 AM on November 24, 2009

Oh, if you're making a large amount of hollandaise or similar sauce, you can use the immersion blender to keep the emulsion stirred while you slowly add the butter. Depending your blender, you'll probably want to keep to the lowest setting. If you're making it by yourself, it's much easier than whisking with one hand while pouring with the other.
posted by jedicus at 9:30 AM on November 24, 2009

Crepe batter!
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 9:35 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

1) Hummus. I used to do this in the big mixer-thingy on my Swedish kitchen assistant (no, not the Swedish Chef, the other one from Huskvarna) before, but if you want nice thick hummus it sticks to the sides and doesn't blend well. With the immersion blender, no problem.
2) anything that has developed lumps while it oughtn't have lumps, such as hasty-made b├ęchamel or slop-stir polenta.

(In my experience, cutting up butter for pie crust is hand work).
posted by Namlit at 9:55 AM on November 24, 2009

2nding soups. Cheap pumpkins and butternut squash abound this time of year. Winter squash soup also freezes amazingly well. Come summer time, you can use it for chilled cucumber soup and gazpacho. Seriously; that thing will change your life.
posted by Gilbert at 10:17 AM on November 24, 2009

Fruit butter. During the summer, I'll toss about 20 sliced, ripe peaches, 3 cups of sugar, a splash of lemon juice and some spices into a crock pot. At the end of the day, I take out most of the liquid and use my immersion blender to make a spiced peach butter. It only keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks because of the lower sugar content, but it is great on toast, ice cream, in cakes, etc. I save the spiced peach juice and use it in mixed drinks.

You can find recipes for pumpkin butter and apple butter. I'm sure there are lots more.
posted by onhazier at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can whip cream with it (duh). Frozen orange juice tastes twice as good when stirred with one of these. Aeration, I suppose. Try it and see.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:36 AM on November 24, 2009

Along with whipped cream...you can make meringue.
posted by mmascolino at 10:39 AM on November 24, 2009

Tomato sauce.

I also find that it's great for quickie milkshakes.

(Dammit, now I want a milkshake!)
posted by Citrus at 10:45 AM on November 24, 2009

Dal (lentils).
posted by yawper at 10:47 AM on November 24, 2009

You can also impress your friends by frothing milk (which you can heat first in the microwave) for their coffee. I bought a couple of big cappuccino cups and a shaker of cocoa powder and, honestly, friends are just amazed that I can 'make' cappuccino. Fill the cup half with strong coffee, and half with the frothed up milk.

I also make mayonnaise in mine in seconds, and use it for soups. It makes a great banana milkshake. In a tall container put 1 banana, a cup of milk and a big scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. Fabulous. Also works great with strawberries.
posted by essexjan at 10:48 AM on November 24, 2009

When you make a pot roast, take out the roast and blend the cooked veggies into smooth goodness for the gravy.
posted by jerryg99 at 10:57 AM on November 24, 2009 [3 favorites]

I've used mine to make paste out of reconstituted dried chilis for soups, to whip steamed cauliflower, hummus, bean dip, homemade mayo, dressings, frozen margaritas. Pretty much anything you would need a blender for.
posted by Kimberly at 11:38 AM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mulligitawny soup
posted by mearls at 11:49 AM on November 24, 2009

Nthing soup. I like the Good Eats Curried Pea Soup recipe. It is very versatile, and can go all the way from very vegan to mostly meat with minor adjustments. It is my default soup for quick winter dinners.

My stick blender has a little food processor attachment. I am not keen on attachments in general, but this one is great when I need to make a small amount of paste (garlic, onion, spices, whatever) for a dish. Much less clean up.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:53 AM on November 24, 2009

My most recent immersion-blender use was making cantaloupe martinis but that's just a spin-off of smoothies, really. One thing I like about using it with soups is that some recipes like gazpacho or vichyssoise have versions where they're entirely pureed or entirely diced, and an immersion blender let you just whirl it around until it's as chopped as you want it. It's not as fast as the food processor or blender, meaning that you've got more control over how blended you make it.
posted by aimedwander at 12:11 PM on November 24, 2009

You might prefer your salsa chunky, but I've had good luck using my stick blender to fancify cheap jarred salsa, adding more of whatever I have and love (mostly cilantro and chipotles) and whizzing it smooth.
posted by KatlaDragon at 1:13 PM on November 24, 2009

My stick blender has a little food processor attachment. I am not keen on attachments in general, but this one is great when I need to make a small amount of paste (garlic, onion, spices, whatever) for a dish.

I came to say this. We use our Braun for garlic, pesto, wet rub, etc.
posted by fixedgear at 1:34 PM on November 24, 2009

I use mine to make soups all the time, but it's really miraculous when making mayonnaise. Put two egg yolks in a mug with a little olive oil and a drop of oil. Blend until emulsified, then keep pouring a little more oil then emulsifying.

- Shallots and lemon and any herb
- Adobo chili and lime
- Garlic and salt (call this Aioli)
- Rouilly for fish (look it up)
posted by xammerboy at 2:00 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I make an easy avocado dip:

-- two hard boiled eggs
-- one ripe avocado
-- juice of half a lemon
-- salt and pepper to taste

blend... et voila!
posted by prettypretty at 2:08 PM on November 24, 2009

This recipe for mayonnaise is remarkably similar to Michael Ruhlman's in "Ratio," except they olive oil instead of canola.

Simple, tasty and delicious!
posted by Marky at 6:07 PM on November 24, 2009

My boyfriend has successfully used his immersion blender to grind both chicken and turkey breast for these delicious baked meatballs.
posted by transporter accident amy at 2:12 AM on November 25, 2009

Yes to batter! Not only that, I'm going to use mine later today to mix up my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie filling.

If you don't have an electric hand mixer (we don't) and don't want to pull out a big stand mixer if you have one (and I hate to bother with it) the immersion blender makes all sorts of mixing tasks faster and easier.
posted by Robert Angelo at 10:17 AM on November 25, 2009

Cheesecake. If you're like me and don't have the gumption to waste counterspace on a big Kitchenaid.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:32 PM on November 25, 2009

Whipped cream (use the little container attachment if necessary), chili, all manner of soups, smoothing out red beans and rice...its finest use, in my opinion, is for cutting out the 3+ steps, graduated blending, and painful hot splatters on the wall and yourself involved with a standard blender. Just whiz a big hot pot of simmered goodness and you're done.
posted by ifjuly at 10:38 AM on December 24, 2009

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