Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kitchen Essentials Part 1: Cutting Boards, Knives, and Technique

Kitchen Essentials

Part 1: Cutting Boards, Knives, and Technique

First things first, before I begin with the recipes, it would be irresponsible not to give you a list of essentials. 

  • It is important to use separate utensils to prevent cross contamination. 
    • I was taught to use separate cutting boards and cutting knives for meat and vegetables. Raw and undercooked meat carries the bacteria Salmonella, and cross contamination onto uncooked food often results in food poisoning. In other words, you don't want raw chicken juice as a "Salmonella" dressing on your salad or vegetables. 
    • Color-coded Cutting Boards
    • I would also stay away from cutting meat on unsealed wooden cutting boards, they are difficult to clean thoroughly. But they are great for rolling out dough.
  • Use the proper tools for the job. 
    • I like to use different sized Santoku knives for most of my prep work. 
    • Make sure to get a good knife that fits your hands. A Pro Chef endorsing it doesn't necessarily mean it's right for you.
    • Here is a list of my essential knives: Santoku, Serrated, Paring, and Curved Paring.

  • Learn how to properly use a knife. 
    • I wish I could tell you I've never heard about anyone accidentally cutting themselves with a butter knife, but I would be lying. Cutting yourself with a knife because you don't know how to use it properly is obviously dangerous and makes the meal unpleasantly bloody.
    • Here is a link to a great tutorial:
    Next Time: Herbs & Spices!

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