Sunday, June 8, 2008

Artichoke Hearts and Onions, Here I Come!

So today I biked (slightly hungover -- thanks, Kate!) up to the Cambridge Institute of Culinary Arts for the Knife Skills class that Danielle, Kristen, and Liz signed me up for as my birthday gift (along with the SCARIEST but AWESOMEST butcher knife ever!).

It's official: #72 on my life list — "learn to chop food like a pro" — check! (although I need practice for my speed!)

It was great... learned the different types of knives, what to look for when buying a knife, how to both hone and sharpen your knives, how to hold them, and then the fancy tricks and techniques of cutting. Let's see if I can remember everything I cut:
- oranges (we tournered them first and then cut them into little slices by cutting away the "parchment" in between and moving it to the side as we moved around the orange)
- cucumbers (sliced)
- zucchini (julienned then chopped)
- basil (rolled, then sliced)
- lettuce and radddichio (same way as basil)
- onions... (this was my fave... we halved them but kept some of the brown stemmy part on... then from the bottom of the half we sliced our way up without cutting through, then sliced perpendicular to the stem, then parallel to have nice little diced perfect onions) also with the onions, I was able to teach the other students a trick as they didn't inform us of the perfect way to cut an onion without crying... keep your mouth closed! seriously, if you don't talk and only breath through your nose... not a single tear... I've also heard that burning a candle works but I don't like the scents mixing in my kitchen. they did tell us that the safest cure if you're already tearing up though is to open the freezer and stick your face in for a few seconds. interesting...
- garlic (sliced then minced)
- parsley (bunched into ball and minced)
- peppers (sliced and diced)
- cantaloupe (again with the "tourner" and then quartered and then sliced the middle seeds out — very different then my usual technique)
- mushrooms (simply sliced)
- artichoke... we simply cut out the hearts so it was a lot of choke wasted if you're buying per pound... but it was a very intricate process for getting those clever little artichoke hearts out so I simply could not explain in words... sorry
- pineapple (tournered and quartered and sliced out middle)
- butternut squash (this one is still tough... tourner and then chopped)
- potatoes for fries (peeled and julienned)

And at the end of class, we had a lovely green salad (with the cooked artichoke hearts and oranges), butternut squash soup (amazing... we only used water too and no stock... SO easy, cheap, and less sodium!), frittata (no cheese necessary with so many awesome veggies), and french fries.

It was SOOOO much fun. Thank you girls! I owe you dinner...

Next I get to go back with the gift certificate from Christine and Alex... I think I'm going to take a sushi class which will be great because it is with the same teacher (Hong)... she was great!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Culinary school would be a good fit for you!