Many people do not know how to cut onions. Slice off the stem end, not the root end first. Next, cut the onion in half lengthwise, leaving the root end intact. Remove the skin. For diced onions, use the sliver and plank method. Make cuts inward toward the root end across the onion, never cutting entirely through the root. Cut planks in the opposite direction, never cutting through the root. Then slice all the way through the onion parallel to the root to complete the dicing.
Complaints about the filling running out of a lasagna slice is common. This is due more to bad timing rather than improper cutting techniques. Once the lasagna leaves the oven, let it sit for 20 minutes. The resting period is important because it gives the cheese, sauce, and meat time to set for sturdy cutting and properly stacked portions on plates.
Cake cutting depends on the shape of the cake. Cut round cakes like a pizza to get even triangular slices. Each cut should start at the edge of the cake, intersect through the center point, and end at the opposite edge. Do not start cutting from the center point. Cut square and rectangular cakes into equal square pieces. Keep the knife level to prevent picking up too much frosting, and wipe the knife frequently between cuts.
Oranges are typically not cut, but sometimes recipes call for the removal of the white pith. Use the thumb to start a peeling point. Peel off all of the skin and continue to remove the white pith with your fingers. Remove the outer skin by making a small slit in the section and pulling the outer skin off. Use the knife to cut inward toward the center for skin-free sections.
It is difficult to evenly slice cheese with a knife. When using a knife, wet it first. The moisture aids in making a clean cut, promoting even slicing. It also helps prevent the cheese from sticking to the knife. Special cheese slicers provide an even slice and are easy and convenient to use.
When cutting tomatoes, use a serrated knife for stability. Remove the core first, using a small paring knife or tomato corer. Cut wedges using the pizza cutting method. This means that you cut down the middle first to create a half. Cut again to make quarters and once more for eighths. Chop each slice smaller if desired.
Lettuce should be torn and not cut unless it going to be served immediately. Metal bruises lettuce and causes it to oxidize. Removing the cores from a head of lettuce is simple. For iceberg lettuce, just push down hard to invert the core. Pull and twist the core, and pull it out in one piece. Use this same technique for all types of head lettuce.
Cutting a steak properly is important for a satisfying meal. Always cut against the grain of the meat. Cutting with the grain leaves chewy pieces that are unpleasant to eat. Larger pieces tend to have chewier textures than smaller ones. Thin slices fit better in the mouth and have the desired texture that steak lovers crave.
Although grapes do not have to be cut, some recipes call for it. Cutting a grape is simple. Make one slice down the middle, starting from the stem connection point. In applications where grapes are cooked, the halves cook evenly. It is also easier to place properly halved grapes as ornamentation on cakes or in tarts with this type of cut.
Using anything other than a bread knife damages the loaf. The construction of bread knives ensures an even cut down through the loaf. Serrated edges are ideal for achieving cohesive slices every time. Apply minimal pressure and keep the knife steady as you work down through the loaf. This technique also prevents ripping the crust edges.
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