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Basic Knife Skills (just a few cuts to get you started)

Cut it up!

The best knives are made if forged steel. Metal slabs that are heated, hammered into a shape them put through hot and cold treatments to create a durable blade.

Knife safety and maintenance.

• Balance is everything. Make sure you're comfortable holding your knife. Love your knife. I know I do every night when I'm cooking.
• Do not ever put your knife in a dishwasher; it will blunt the blade and ruin it. Scrub it hard with some soap and a pot brush. Place the knife against the side of your sink and scrub with the brush.
• Make sure your knife is dry before storing it in a knife block or on a magnet. Don't just throw it in a drawer without protecting it.

Basic cuts include:

Coarse chopping and mincing
Trim root and stem ends and peel veggies if necessary
Slice or chop veggies with consistency. They don't need to be neat, just
about the same size.

Mincing (A much finer cut then coarse chopping)
Bunch up herbs, onion, garlic, etc on a cutting board. Put knife above this pile, then start to cut the hell out of it. Watch your fingers. Keep the tip of the knife firmly on the cutting board as you chop away. Please don't drink and chop, a flesh wound is not sexy.

Shredding (chiffonade)
This is used with leafy veggies or herbs. The end product is usually for a garnish or a bed, yeah baby! Pile small leaves and roll them or roll individual big leaves and shred away. You will create uniform pieces.

Dicing - the cubing effect
You basically make a cube with this effect. There are different sizes and what not. This takes some practice, but the results are impressive.

Julienne and batonnet
These cuts are long and rectangular. Think french fries. Trim the veggies so that the sides are straight, which makes them much easier to cut. Slice the veggies lengthwise. Make sure the cuts are of the same thickness. To speed things up, you can stack and cut these suckers. Batonnet cuts are thick. Think steak fries.

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