This hand blender, also known as an immersion blender, is one of the most useful gadgets in my kitchen. Truth be told, I do not use it all that often for immersion blending. The only time I use it for that is when I making mock garlic mashed potatoes out of cauliflower or whipping up some gazpacho in the summer.
What I use it for practically all of the time is for dicing and chopping. I was born without a "patience" gene, so I cannot stand the tedious chore of dicing and chopping. And that's what this hand blender does so well. In the picture above, just to the right of the hand blender, is a small plastic cup with a blade at the bottom. When attached to the hand blender, it becomes a small food processor.
The Chinese Chili recipe I posted last Saturday has a lot of chopping and dicing. If you did it all by hand, we are talking a good 10 to 15 minutes. The mini-processor easily held two jalapeños, six cloves of garlic and a two-inch slice of ginger. My chopping and dicing time...10 seconds.
Now I have a "big dog" Cuisinart food processor, but I keep that stowed and only haul it out for big jobs. This little baby sits in a drawer and I can have it up and running in seconds. And, it's an absolute breeze to clean (just rinse it out under the faucet and air-dry).
The KitchenAid model shown above is my weapon of choice. Cooks Illustrated also selected that model as their winner in a performance test against all of the other brands. It sells for $59.99 at Amazon and you can check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KHB2351CU-KHB2351-Blender-Contour/dp/B005MMNBBQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1392064668&sr=8-2&keywords=kitchenaid+immersion+blender