When people think of righteous displays of culinary prowess (if that ever really happens), they tend to think of two things:
(1) someone standing over a frying pan and miraculously flipping its contents into the air and back into the pan, or
(2) someone expertly mowing through a pile of vegetables with a giant scimitar of a knife.
Ideally, we would all learn to do both of those things, but since practicing the first one involves a fair amount of cleanup, we’ll stick with the second one.
If anyone came to our Knife Skills event on February 10th, you’ll remember that we made a great stir fry dish using vegetables that everyone helped chop. Hopefully you gained some experience with properly using a knife and didn’t walk out of there with a nickname like “Stubs” or “Red.” For anyone who didn’t make it, don’t worry about it! All of our events incorporate some level of chopping, and there will always be someone there who is qualified and willing to give a quick lesson on knife usage. In the meantime, here are a few pointers on how to slice up some dinner without losing a couple fingers in the process:
(1) Hold the knife by pinching the handle at the base of the blade with your thumb and index finger. Don’t stick your finger out or have it pointing up the blade of the knife. Unless you happen to like having four fingers. Then I guess go for it.
(2) When chopping a long vegetable, hold it with your fingers tucked back and your knuckles up against the blade. This should keep your fingers out of the way of the knife.
(3) When you’re chopping, always keep some part of the knife in contact with the board at all times. This is a much easier concept to grasp when you see it in person, but suffice it to say that any time the knife isn’t touching the board, you don’t have enough control over it.
(4) Lastly, remember that technique is more important than speed. If you try to force the knife in an effort to get things done faster, you’re going to either ruin your meal or run to the ER. Just remember that speed will come naturally with practice, but only if your technique is sound.
So stop by our next cooking event to get more lessons in knife work, from the basics for beginners to more advanced techniques. I know this post doesn’t quite qualify as “news” per se, but I hope you all find it informative nonetheless.