It might seem simple, but the easiest way to impress a guest could actually be your knife skills. Before we get to cutting – let’s make sure you’re comfortable handling a knife. Watch the video below for a quick refresher on proper knife handling techniques!
Knife skills are important, but why? Not only will you create beautiful meals, but your food will actually taste better, for a few reasons.
First, uniformity. Instead of just slicing through tomato and onion, use a specific technique to get the same size piece every time. This way all vegetables will be cooked all the way through, and no one will be munching on huge pieces of onion or garlic!
Secondly, your food will look better. Instead of serving up chunky soup with large pieces of celery, ladle up something that looks fresh, tasty, and aesthetically pleasing. Now its your turn. Chop like a chef using the tips below.
1. Rough Chop: The rough chop might have been your usual technique! A basic way to cut veggies, simply chop them roughly into the size of a large dice. Onions, bell peppers, and squash are vegetables commonly rough chopped.
2. Dice: Slice your vegetables vertically and horizontally to achieve a checkered pattern – slightly smaller than the rough chop, this technique is great for adding vegetables to soups and stews, as well as cooking potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.
3. Mince: The fine chop. Great for broths and sauces, commonly minced vegetables include garlic.
4. Slice: Flat, round cut. Commonly, what you would see when slicing a tomato, a sweet potato that you plan to roast, or an onion. This technique is great for layering or stacking vegetables and you can vary the thickness of each slice for different recipes.
5. Julienne: The “matchstick cut.” Commonly, you will see carrots sliced this way. A julienne cut produces pieces measuring about 1/8 inch x 1/8 inch x 2 inches. This cut is great for vegetables that you plan on eating raw, or that you don’t need to cook very much. Sandwiches, spring rolls, and wraps are all great to add Julienne vegetables to.
6. Brunoise: The next step after you Julienne your vegetable, simply cut it into cubes!
How will you chop next? Share your photos with us!
Now that you have some basic vegetable prep techniques under your belt, try the recipe below and put your skills to the test!
- 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (1 medium)
- 2 cups peeled and burnoised carrots (about 4)
- 1 1/4 cups diced celery (about 3)
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch thick diced potatoes (from about 3 medium)
- 1/3 cup rough chopped fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups rough chopped frozen or fresh green beans
- 1 1/4 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute 4 minutes then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
Add in broth tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste (for more flavor add in more dried herbs as desired).
Bring to a boil, then add green beans.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 – 30 minutes, then add corn and peas and cook 5 minutes longer.
Serve warm.Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
A good knife is key in any kitchen and will make your life so much easier. Try an Ergo Chef knife, and chop your vegetables using our patented ergonomic design! You will eliminate your hand strain, speed up your prep process, and enjoy a comfortable grip.
The Chef knife is a multi-purpose tool and a great place to start. The new SHINZUI Series Chef knife was designed for precise slicing through all types of food product with our newly developed Japanese Super Steel blade. A Precision 15 degree cutting edge per side provides easy Samurai Sword like cuts through the toughest of vegetables, fruit, red meat, poultry, pork and fish. Check out the link below for more.
Alternatively, try a set of knives and you’ll be ready to face any challenge. The 15pc Pro Series Forged Knife Kit includes most essential fully forged Professional Series knives the discerning chef or student will need. They fit into the 9 pocket tri-fold soft bag with shoulder strap & business card window.
It has 8 pockets for knives, & one mesh pocket for small tools/gadgets! Click the link below for more.
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For more knife inspiration head to our website: www.ergochef.com