Pure purée, eh?
It’s a well-known adage that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So naturally, ever since getting my new Vitamix high-speed blender, I’ve been looking for excuses to puree things.
One of the benefits of a blender like the Vitamix is the size of the container: no more “transfer to a blender in batches” for me! And a good thing, too, because the first preparation I used it for, the chipotle ketchup from Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty, wouldn’t have fit in the 5-cup container of my old blender. One of the ingredients it calls for is a 28-ounce can of tomatoes, which would nearly have filled my old blender on its own.
It also calls for seeded chipotles, but I was curious to see how the new blender would handle the seeds, so I added the chipotles whole. When I strained the resulting puree, there were only a couple of fragments left, and even they would probably have been broken down completely if I’d let it run a bit longer. Of course, in keeping the seeds, I also kept the membranes they’re attached to, which is where most of the capsaicin resides, so the ketchup turned out a little hotter than I might have expected. Fine for me, but potentially challenging for more timid palates!
There’s a flip side to the high speed the Vitamix is capable of producing: its low speed is quite low, almost “stir” rather than “blend.” So the next thing I made in it was the chocolate pudding from Ideas in Food. You start by mixing egg yolks and tapioca starch in a blender “on low speed until they form a light colored paste,” then add a boiling hot milk/cream/sugar mixture and increase the speed to medium, before adding the chocolate and emulsifying it all together. Incidentally, this is why I wanted a Vitamix rather than a Blendtec: I liked the idea of a speed dial better than individual push buttons. The pudding, of course, was delicious. (I assume it’s the same as the one I had at the Ideas in Food dinner at Atelier last March.)
This piece of equipment is definitely threatening to move into “How did I live without it?” territory.
What’s your favourite thing to blend?