How many recipes start with one onion, finely chopped? Plenty. Add a few other ingredients to that onion to create the foundation for countless recipes in many culinary traditions — carrots and celery for a mirepoix, bell peppers and celery for the Cajun "holy Trinity." If your knife skills are short of blazing, consider investing in a "poor man's Cuisinart" — the pull-powered processor. Five to six pulls renders a coarse chop, while about a dozen pulls yields finely chopped single ingredients or a medley. Consider it the perfect food prep pal for your trendy pressure cooker. Small choppers with plastic bowls check in at about $20, while a larger glass dishwasher-safe bowl chopper rings up at $40.
Find choppers, like this Chef'n brand, at The Kitchen Engine in Spokane's Flour Mill.