Archive | January, 2010

Knife Skills: Part 2

27 Jan

Learning to Cut:

  • The Rolling Technique

  • The Pivot Technique

  • The Up & Down Chopping Technique

These are the 3 main types of Cutting Techniques.

The Rolling Technique will be used most often in the kitchen.  So this is the Lesson we will discuss today.  It is quite easy to get the hang of but practice makes perfect.  You will need your Chefs or Sotuku Knife (whichever you prefer) and a big enough cutting board to accommodate your knife.

To start learning about the Rolling Technique you will just be using your knife and cutting board.  With this technique the knife will roll through the food doing the work for you.

The front of the knife will never leave the board as you drag it back towards the food that you cutting.  The back part of the knife is lifted and then pushed forward again.  As you get the hang of it you’ll start to see that you are making a circle; have someone hold up a circular lid next to where your cutting to better demonstrate this for you.

The school recommends mastering this technique with just the knife and board first before you begin working with food.

Tip: Always make sure that you are using the proper size cutting board for the knife and food that you are working with.

Stay tuned, there will be pictures and videos added to better demonstrate each lesson.

Knife Skills Part One

25 Jan

Just how skilled are you, with a knife?

I have always been told that I scare people with a knife.

I know, I know, it’s true though and it wasn’t just from my mother, it’s the majority of people that have a problem with it.  Except for one person in particular….me, I have never really seen a problem, except with the speed that I chop with.  Very, very, very, slow.  Is that a speed?

So, the first lesson, KNIFE SKILLS.

Step 1:  Is to make sure that you have a chef’s knife or a Sotuku knife, and a good  pairing knife.  Once you have these two knives they will pretty much be what you will be using for the majority of all the cutting that you do in the kitchen.

Step 1a: Make nice with someone that sharpens knives professionally.  As I learned about knives and knife skills I realized this was half of my problem.  Very un-sharp (is that a word?) knives.

Of course you can get a wet-stone and learn to do it yourself.  It’s pretty easy to do but time-consuming to say the least.  I would rather pay $3 and have my knives sharpened REALLY well.

For in between sharpening it wouldn’t hurt to get you a decent Steel. (You know those long round metal things that you’ve seen in some kitchens with a handle on the end.  Here’s a link  SHARPENING STEEL? Some chef’s like to sharpen their knife with a steel daily.

Say your making chicken soup, chop the celery then you use the steel; chop the onion, then you use the steel; etc.

Note: It is not necessary to have a diamond steel, just preference.

Part 2 Coming Soon…

This is the story…

24 Jan

This is the story ….

Of my new journey into the unknown.  It’s something that I have always wanted to do and to do well.  I’m talking about cooking, yes cooking.  So, yeah, I can make spaghetti.  I can do tacos, meatloaf, hamburgers, but who can’t?  I have been bored sick with the food that I have been cooking for years now.

I have dreamt of one day being able to cook like a pro.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a chef that works in a fine dining restaurant.  I just want to be able to serve up some spectacular food, with ease and confidence.  I’m sure I am not the only one out there in the same boat.

Growing up my family and I got to enjoy our mothers wonderful cooking.  She still is a wonderful cook I might add.  Anyway, somehow I left the nest with very few kitchen skills.  Now a wife and mother, I feel it is my duty to be able to serve up some stellar dishes to my family and friends.  Plus, I really want to “like” cooking.  I always start out strong, but by the end of the cooking session, I am tired flustered and unsure why it didn’t come out as planned.

This has seemed to have become a familiar place for me in the kitchen.  Very frustrating I might add.  I was privileged enough as a young person to get to enjoy fine dining at its best and many different styles, and cultures.  This has left me with a gourmet taste and high expectations.

So, what now you ask.  Well I am here to announce that I have finally joined an online cooking school.

Yes I said ONLINE.

You’re thinking weird, I know, I thought the same thing.  Well it occurred to me one day that I might not be able to attend a “real” school for a long time.  Why not find some video classes.

That’s exactly what I did.  I finally found one, I was very apprehensive at first.  I didn’t want to spend the little money that we had on something that I wasn’t sure would be quite what I am looking for.  Boy was I surprised!  It’s that and much, much more.

I am being trained just as classic chef’s that go to culinary school.

It is awesome, but the best part is that I can do it whenever I feel like it.  There are no grades, and I can re-watch the step-by-step videos all I want.  There are practice routines or recipes and even a quiz for each section.  They cover everything from knife skills to making your own roux.  Plus everything is very detailed.  Any kind of thing that you would learn in culinary school they will teach you.

I have only belonged for about a week and already feel like I have had so many questions answered.  It’s amazing I feel so liberated.  I feel like this is a new beginning for me in the kitchen.  I know that might sound silly to some of you but I am a true foodie at heart.

I love food, not just any food, I love good food, gourmet, fresh, fancy food.

You know the kind that you pay a lot of money for at a nice restaurant.  The main problem is that don’t have the money to buy that kind of food anymore, plus I would rather cook it myself anyway.  So, there you have it; I have my own personal instructor now and we are going step by step through the all of the basics and we going to get pretty detailed too; Unveiling the mystique that goes into really good food.

I am personally inviting you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey we are embarking on together.  I will share everything that I learn, including the bumps and the cooking victories along the way.  There will be recipes, tips and exciting chef secrets too!!