Presentation on theme: "KNIFE TECHNIQUES - VEGETABLES There are many different types of cuts that can be performed with a knife. These slides contain images and descriptions of."— Presentation transcript:
KNIFE TECHNIQUES - VEGETABLES There are many different types of cuts that can be performed with a knife. These slides contain images and descriptions of how to hold, guide, sharpen and wash a knife, plus cutting techniques which will help to enhance your food presentation. The cutting techniques include: Chopping onions, shallots and garlic Chopping parsley and other herbs Slicing cylindrical vegetables (vegetables shaped like a roller such as carrots) Dicing Shredding Chiffonade Julienne Notes: 1. A brown board should normally be used for chopping vegetables and a green board for salad and fruit. 2. When using knives a protective glove can be worn on the ‘guiding hand’.
KNIFE TECHNIQUES contd.. HOW TO HOLD A KNIFE There are many ways you can hold a cook’s knife but the best way to maximise comfort, control and safety is as follows: Grip the knife around its bolster. The bolster is both a balance point and a finger guard. Only your last three fingers should rest on the handle. Your thumb and index finger should be on opposite sides of the blade. When you hold a knife around its balance point, it works as an extension of your hand. Hence your arm doesn’t tire and you have excellent control. SLICE, DON’T CHOP Most knives work best by using a forward cutting motion, rather than moving the knife straight up and down. The former lets the knife do the work, the latter makes your arm apply the force. Technique 1 For large items which are high above the cutting board, start with the tip of the blade on the object. Technique 2 For smaller items start with the tip of the blade on the cutting board.
KNIFE TECHNIQUES contd.. THE GUIDING HAND Whether its dicing, slicing or julienne your other hand plays a key role. It stabilises the food you are cutting, guides the knife and determines the size of you cut. Make certain that your fingers are curled inwards and your thumb is tucked underneath. The side of the knife blade should rest against your knuckles but never the edge itself. Follow the technique already shown to initiate the slice. MAINTAINING YOUR EDGE A dull knife is dangerous because you apply much more pressure than you would with a sharp knife and your hand will be much more likely to slip. A knife edge is extremely delicate and frequent steeling is essential to ensure that the blade does not curl over (become blunt). Use you steel virtually every time you use your knife. The technique is simple, work the blade across the steel at an angle of about 22.5 degrees and ensure that you pull the whole of the blade across the surface. WASHING YOUR KNIVES Always wash your knives by hand as the temperature and drying that occurs within a dishwasher can detemper the blade. It will also dull the blade edge as well to allow other objects moving around in the dish washer to nick the edge.
KNIFE TECHNIQUES contd.. KNIFE CUTS Chopping onions, shallots and garlic Cut off stem end and cut in half, through the root. Peel back skin and remove, leaving root intact. Place a half, flat side down. Using the tip of the knife, cut vertical slices towards the root end, leaving slices attached at the root end. Slice through with horizontal cuts again leaving the root end intact. Slice crosswise up to the root end. Be certain to follow through with a forward motion. Chopping Parsley and other herbs Cut off stems and place leaves in a pile on the cutting board. Hold the handle of the knife firmly in one hand, the other hand lightly on top of the blade. Keeping the tip (forward quarter of the blade) in contact with the board, rapidly move the heel of the blade up and down in a rocking motion until chopped as fine as desired. Very fine chopping is also known as mincing. Slicing Cylindrical Vegetables - Cucumbers, Zucchini, etc. Trim and peel the vegetable, if necessary. To keep vegetables steady on the board, you may want to cut in half lengthwise. Cut off the stem end. Hold the vegetable with curled fingers and thumb tucked behind them. The side of the blade (not the edge) should rest against your knuckles.
KNIFE TECHNIQUES contd.. KNIFE CUTS Slicing Cylindrical Vegetables contd … With the tip of the knife on the board, the heel of the knife raised above the vegetable, slice in a downward, forward motion from tip to heel, slicing using as much of the blade as needed. After completing the slice, raise the heel of the knife while pulling back. Slide your guiding hand down the vegetable and repeat the slicing motion: your guiding hand will determine the thickness of your slices. Dicing Trim and peel vegetables as needed. Then square the sides. Cut into slices of desired thickness. Stack the slices and cut these slices equal to the thickness of the previous cuts, ending up with stick shaped pieces. Holding the sticks together with your guiding hand, make crosswise cuts through the sticks. Shredding This technique means to cut into thin strips and usually applies to leafy vegetables such as cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters through the core. Cut out the core of each quarter. Place a cabbage quarter on the cutting board with the flat side down and cut thin shreds using the downward, forward slicing stroke.
KNIFE TECHNIQUES contd.. KNIFE CUTS Shredding contd.. Due to the size of the cabbage, it is not always possible to keep the knife tip on the board. Be sure that the fingers of your guiding hand are curled, holding the cabbage with thumb tucked underneath and at a safe distance from the knife blade. Chiffonade Chiffonade is a technique that means to cut into very thin strips, much finer than shredding. A leafy green such as spinach or a leafy herb such as basil is often prepared in this way. Remove stems from leaves, and stack a few individual leaves together. Roll tightly into a cylinder and slice into fine shreds. Julienne Trim the vegetable cutting into desired length and squaring off the sides. Stack the slices and cut these slices equal to the thickness of the previous cuts.