I make salsa, pico de gallo and other dips and dishes on occasion. Many
recipes call for cilantro. If anyone is familiar with cilantro, it's a
great herb addition but a PITA to prep, especially when it needs to be
minced. I refuse to believe there isn't an appliance of some sort which
can do this task. I have a handheld herb mincer, which does a good job,
but when doing the batch size I do, my forearms are so damn tight and
pumped, I feel I could take on George Foreman in his prime. If doing a
small amount (tsp or tbsp perhaps) that would be fine, but I do cup
amounts and this is killing me with time.
Anyone know of a "powered" appliance to help with this issue or am I
destined to pump up and consider professional boxing?
Blender. Put in enough water (a little lemon or lime juice could be
added) to puree and liquefy the cilantro. Empty into plastic ice cube
trays, freeze, and then dump cubes into a zippy freezer bag.
I have a good crop of basil in the garden and intend to do the same with
Does that mince the herb? Are you adding the entire cube to the recipes?
My only concern is the extra liquid when added to the recipe. With pico
de gallo, you want chunky. With my salsa, I sometimes go more liquid but
also do more chunkier as well. I would think the extra liquid would
water it down.
On Sunday, September 15, 2013 6:08:16 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:
Did you see the movie Bin Laden in a blender?
You add as much as you need for the particular recipe.
You can freeze half cubes, etc.
Drain off most of the water before freezing it.
Or after thawing it. You're gonna lose some flavor,
but you're gonna lose some when you freeze it anyway.
I wouldn't put frozen cilantro in salsa, unless I had to.
The main benefit to freezing it is:
You can always have some available without going to
When you buy a bunch, you usually only use a small
portion of it for something and the rest goes to waste.
I'd suggest looking for some videos that show how to
mince. It's really not that hard and goes real fast.
You just need a good chef knife and decent cutting board.
One technique is to kind of scrunch up the cilantro or
other herb into a little bundle, then while holding it
with one hand, chop it with the other. That gets it down
to size quickly, then you can chop it using a rocking
motion of the knife.
If you're doing it wrong, it not only takes a long time,
but can be dangerous. For example, I've seen people using
a relatively small knife and one of those small plastic
boards that has a lip around the perimeter. The idea is
that the lip keeps food on the board. But it's a disaster
because you can't use a chef's knife, because it's large
enough that one end or the other of a chef knife hits those
raised edges. So then they use a small knife that isn't
appropriate. It takes 3X as long and it's dangerous because
you still can't chop properly.
Also, you could try leaving the cilantro in somewhat larger
pieces. When I make salsa I don't chop it super fine. How
much salsa are you making that it takes a cup of cilantro?
On Sun, 15 Sep 2013 15:32:38 -0700, email@example.com
Have you tried a coffee bean grinder?
I agree with you using a 'dry' mincing process. Then, of course, freeze
the excess for later.
My wife has a battery dry grinder that would do cilantro, looks like a
small blender, but you run it dry. She uses it to turn wlanuts into 'dust'
for flaking over pastry. Can't remember the name of it.
Well.....I use as little liquid as possible and still get it finely
pureed. I don't want "chunks" of cilantro, only flavor. Could do the
same thing, less finely chopped, in food processor, but without liquid
mine just flies against the sides of the f.p. I whole bunch of cilantro
is too much for one batch of stuff at my house....I do about 15 Roma
tomatoes for a batch. With 2 bu. green onions, 1 or 2 cl. garlic, 1-2
T. lime juice, lots of salt to drain the tomatoes.
I found a recipe for salsa verde using green tomatoes...anyone ever try
This from a non-chef but old geezer foodie and general cooking fool
who has worked in the trade. You need to learn how to use a freakin'
knife, Meanie!! Ya' get a GOOD chefs knife, pull a few leaves of
cilantro off a bunch, and mince 'em up with the knife. Brain-dead
easy with a good knife and with a little practice, waaaay faster than
any mechanized contraption that will take you a wasted 3 beers and a
fire hose to clean up.
Another tip, buy organic cilantro. You can't tell the difference from
crappy sprmkt cilantro and flat leaf parsely, it's all so pitiful and
tasteless. Spend the extra 6 bits fer organic and taste real cilantro,
I currently have a LamsonSharp 6" chefs knife, perfect for 2 ppl
meals. Julia Child owned one, also. Buy American! After a lotta
knives, this 8" LS will be my next and perhaps last knife purchase.
They have Soligen Germany stainless steel blades. nuff' said......
On Sunday, September 15, 2013 4:33:59 PM UTC-4, notbob wrote:
I agree it's not that hard to mince up cilantro with a
chef's knife. But SBH did say a cup and you're not going to
get a cup with a few leaves. Still, it can be done with a
knife in a few minutes. But those must be some large recipes
because a cup of cilantro is a lot. Another factor could
be that SBH is chopping it up too fine. For recipes like
salsa or guacamole, it doesn't have to be chopped up super
fine, try leaving it larger, which reduces the time.
Or could put it in a food processor with some other components
of whatever the recipe calls for.
I buy non-organic here at the supermarket and both have
a lot of flavor. No way you could mistake cilantro I buy
here for parsley
On 9/15/2013 5:32 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You are correct, it isn't difficult with the knife and that's how I did
my last batch earlier today, but it is still time consuming when doing 2
cups compressed. Actually, now that I think of it, it requires more time
to cut the leaves from the stem and when doing 2 or 3 bunches, that's a
pain also. Maybe I need a solution for that instead.
You are also correct about being too fine. This is an anal issue with me
because I don't like larger pieces in the food. I could learn to accept
the larger pieces since it doesn't bother others as it does me.
Overall, all ingredients enter the food processor for final mixing.
Though, I'm uncertain if the cilantro gets chopped any further with the
other bigger ingredients.
Agreed. I've used organic and I really can't distinguish between the
two. Though, if buying non-organic, I wash very thoroughly and spin dry.
On Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:58:49 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:
I don't separate the leaves from all the stems. I just
grab a handful and pull break it off from the larger stems.
Then I take a quick look at what I have and pick out any
remaining large stems. The smaller ones I leave and just
chop up with the leaves.
Then why not just put the cilantro in the food processor?
If you try to just do the cilantro, without some other stuff
or liquid in there, it will tend to fly up on the sides, so
you'd have to stop it, scrape it back down, repeat. But if
you're using the FP for the rest of it, just put the cilantro
in first, pulse it a bit, then add the other stuff and continue.
Depends on how long you run it. Run it long enough and it
should be mighty fine. That's how you make pesto or
broccoli soup for example.
If you put cilantro in there with some
liquid, it should be real fine in a minute. If you don't have
liquid, then you get the effect I mentioned above, ie it can fly
up on the sides. You have to stop, scrape it down, repeat. But
doing that a few times, it should be fine enough for salsa.
I'm not a fanatic about picking leaves off the stems...I just lop off
the stems below the leaves, by the bunch, and either mince with chef's
knife or (my favorite), freezing. I originally used a whole bunch for
one batch of p.d.g., but hubby doesn't like that much cilantro.
Grandsons eat all I can make :o)
I dice tomatoes, so once I puree and freeze cilantro, I don't need to
use food proc. Mine mangles the tomatoes too much.
Organic? Only diff is the price.
I wash all veggies....IMO, organic is more likely to use "natural"
fertilizer (manure), thus more likely to carry some e. coli.
I can't argue with logic. I do use a knife as I did today and to think
about it, it wasn't to much of a hassle. In fact, as I replied already,
I think I realized the removal of the leaves from the stem is actually a
longer process. Though, it still took some time to obtain 2 compressed cups.
Nice looking knife. Have you ever tried ceramic? I'm curious how well
they cut as well as how well they last?
On Sunday, September 15, 2013 6:03:19 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:
I have two that I received as a gift. They are super sharp, lightweight
and keep there edge for a long time. At least I hope they do, because
AFAIK, you can't sharpen them.
The big drawback is they are not universal. They are delicate, so you
can't try to cut something that is frozen, go through a bone, etc.
They are good for many things, but if I'm going to take out a knife
to use, I'd generally rather have one that I can use for just about
anything, rather than one I have to only use for some things,
worry about breaking, dropping it, etc. Also, not
sure I like the lightness, I prefer the heavier feel of a chef knife.
Maybe you need to learn a better technique. Get a big cleaver or chef's knife with a curved
blade, then rock it back and forth across a pile of the stuff.
Wife makes pesto using the food processor for the basil leaves. Should
work with cilantro leaves as well. Just be careful not to process for
too long. You'll end up with cilantro pesto - which is a much finer
chop than you want.
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