Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Product Review & Recipe: Zyliss Smart Clean Food Chopper & Crab Pasta Salad

I am always looking for tools to make my cooking prep quicker and easier. Zyliss is a trusted name in quality kitchen tools and they were nice enough to send me their Smart Clean Food Chopper ($24.99) to try out. I was really excited - mainly because I had this Crab Pasta Salad I found on Pinterest I wanted to make!

The chopper comes pre-assembled (thank goodness) and you just pop it out of the package. There aren't any instructions - but I figured it out - after a couple of tries anyway! :-)

I'm a sprawling cook for sure - I am never neat or organized. I cover the counter with everything I need before I get started. You can't even see the two pots of water boiling (for pasta/eggs). OYE! Thankfully the dishwasher was empty so I could put stuff right in there (thanks honey!).

So in figuring out the chopper - I realized that you take the bottom dark gray "tray" off of the chopper and put your veggies in the upside-down cup. Then you put the tray back on and chop away. That said - you can't put a whole celery stalk or a whole onion in the chopper - so there is a little prep work.

I needed 1/2 onion for this recipe - so I cut it into big chunks and then put it in the chopper. Larry thought this whole process looked fun and he jumped in to chop while I made a video:

So as you can see - you gotta have a firm hand with this chopper! 

Zyliss Smart Clean Food Chopper Product Review: The chopper is industrial strength - that's the first thing I noticed! This chopper can take pressure! It does take a little prep work to be able to use it (cutting veggies into chunks) but it takes a lot of the work out of the process of dicing veggies. I still need to use it more to get the right balance down. I think I'm putting too much in the hopper - because the outcome ranges from minced to chunks - so I have to take out some of the bigger pieces and redo. I also think that onion and celery are probably two of the tougher ones to chop - cucumbers would probably chop like butta! The blades are sharp and it's a whiz to clean! 

I chopped and separated the crab myself because it's already flaked. I like to have it a little more delicately pulled apart. The celery came from the chopper. 

When you're done - just pop off the gray tray and the clear cup - the rest falls open so you can easily rinse in the sink - then you're done! It took about 1 minute to clean the whole thing! Love that!


So along the way in the recipe (see below) - up to this point - I have crab, cheese, celery and onion in a big giant bowl. On the stove are the shells and the eggs. Then in a separate bowl I'm mixing together sour cream/mayo, chow chow (or relish), sugar and salt/pepper. What's chow chow?

Basically - relish. I didn't have any relish but I had this - so I just substitute it. It's a little zingier but other than that - not much different. It's in the salsa section with the other Mrs. Renfros products.

After your sauce is mixed - you pour it into the dry ingredients and stir it all up. I also made a mini-batch without eggs because of my husband's egg allergy. How? I waited to add in the eggs until the very end and mixed up a tupperware bowl full with just sour cream and then added in the mayo to the rest of the batch after.

And it's all done!

Wonderful crab pasta salad with a little Food Hussy twist here and there - plus an egg-free version! I would say for the egg-free - you might want to add more relish and even some lemon juice to make up for the lack of zing from the mayo. 

JO'S CRAB PASTA SALAD (with a couple of Food Hussy tweaks)

1 12 oz. package small shell pasta
1 package imitation flaked crab
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 onion finely chopped
6 hard boiled eggs, diced
1 package co-jack cheese, diced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. chow chow (or pickle relish)
2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook pasta according package directions.  Rinse and cool.
  • Boil the eggs and peel and dice eggs. 
  • Chop the crab into small pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pasta, crab, cheese, celery, onions and eggs.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, chow chow and sugar.
  • Pour over the pasta and mix well.
  • Salt and pepper to taste. 

And thanks again to Zyliss for the Smart Clean Food Chopper - it's a great addition to my kitchen! 





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