If you've ever wondered how to chop an onion, which knife to use to slice bread or what it means to julienne a vegetable, a series of new instructional videos at www.ledger-enquirer.com will answer your questions.
Each Wednesday, a new video featuring an area chef will be posted on the Web site. The chefs will provide helpful cooking tips and step-by-step instructions for preparing simple recipes.
The first video lesson features Chef Austin Scott, culinary arts teacher for the Muscogee County School District. His classes are at Jordan High School, which boasts a commercial kitchen. He demonstrates how to use different types of knives.
Here are some examples:
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Paring knife: For peeling, trimming, scoring, paring and some delicate work.
Eight-inch Chef's or French kitchen knife: Workhorse of the kitchen used for chopping, dicing and mincing.
12-inch Chef's or French kitchen knife: For heavier work and larger items.
Eight-inch Santoku knife: Basically a chef's knife, with the tip missing. It's based on the Japanese Tanto-style blade.
Utility knife: Similar to a chef's knife but smaller in stature. It's used for light cutting and chopping.
Bread knife: Serrated so you do not have to "mush" the bread when cutting. It also works well on hard-rind fruits like honeydew melons and acorn squash.
Boning knife: Used to cut raw meat away from bone.
Filet knife: Similar to the boning knife, except it has a curved blade that's thinner.
Cheese knife: A bit off-set to keep knuckles from hitting the cutting board when bearing down a lot of pressure to cut a block of cheese.
Fish slicer: Has a flexible blade and is designed for cutting prepared or cooked fish like smoked salmon or medium rare tuna.
Scimitar: A butchering knife used to trim meat and cut steaks.
Slicer: For cutting cooked meats like roast turkey, ham or steamship round.
Oyster knife: Better than a screwdriver for opening oysters and other shellfish.
Kitchen shears: Superb for cutting chicken, trimming fresh artichokes, cutting fresh herbs.
Mandolin: A device used to quickly cut fruits and vegetables.
What does the average home cook need? Scott recommends a paring, utility and a chef's knife.