Usually, I’m fairly confident in the kitchen. This past Thanksgiving, though, I was a little nervous cooking in front of our houseguest (an experienced cook). Whether thickening the gravy or prepping the Brussel sprouts, I kept worrying: “Does she think I’m doing it wrong? Do I look like an idiot? I bet she’s dying to step in and do it her/the correct way.”
I’ve mostly gotten over my paranoia (and Thanksgiving was awesome, thanks to our collaborative efforts). Even so, there’s still a ton I’d like to learn about proper cooking techniques.
The first of those is handling knives. Slice, dice, jullienne, mince, chop, chiffonnade, etc. What does each look like, and what’s the most efficient way to get there without looking ridiculous?
Time to call in some professionals:
Hung Huynh (winner of Top Chef):
Matt Goulding (Men’s Health short order cook):
About.com also offers this useful guide with photos of knife cuts.
Here’s a handy written guide from Cook’s Illustrated, for anyone who wants a printed kitchen reference. In my home, “kitchen reference” translates into a splattered, often water-soaked printout stuck to the fridge with a magnet. 😉
Maybe later I’ll get to a section on Asian knife techniques. In the meantime, happy chopping!