OT: Cooking question for any cook/chef on the forum

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?
Thanks
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On 9/15/2013 4:08 PM, Meanie wrote:

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 basil.
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On 9/15/2013 4:12 PM, Norminn wrote:

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.
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On Sunday, September 15, 2013 6:08:16 PM UTC-4, SBH wrote:

Did you see the movie Bin Laden in a blender?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYfB2bMn86A


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 the supermarket.
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?
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On 9/15/2013 6:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote: . How

6 to 7 jars at a time.
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On Sun, 15 Sep 2013 15:32:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net

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.
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On 9/15/2013 6:08 PM, Meanie wrote:

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 that?
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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, again.
My choice:
<http://www2.knifecenter.com/item/LA39750/Lamson-Sharp-USA-8-inch-Rosewood-Forged-Wide-Chef-Knife-Plain-Edge 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......
nb
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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.
Brain-dead

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
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On 9/15/2013 5:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net 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.
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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.
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On 9/15/2013 5:58 PM, Meanie wrote:

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)

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.
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On 9/15/2013 4:33 PM, notbob wrote:

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.

they cut as well as how well they last?
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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.
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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.
Example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inq1jKKDzWM

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On 9/15/2013 7:17 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

to learn that technique.
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Glad I could help.
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On 9/15/2013 4:08 PM, Meanie wrote:

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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Powered option:
Garlic Mini Chopper: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Manual options:
Kuchenprofi No-Mess Herb Grinding Mill: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Herb Mezzaluna Set: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Herb Mincer: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Herb Rotary Mincer: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Herb Scissors: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Don. http://paleofood.com/kitchen-equipment.htm (e-mail at page bottom).
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