Basic Techniques

HEY THERE HI THERE HO THERE

Time to pretend I know more than you. Lets be honest, i just sound like I know what I’m talking about – should you want to appear as awesome as me, I have a few tips/tricks for the kitchen that oughta help you out a bit.

Roux 101

A roux is, very simply, a thickening agent used in many of the more traditional soups and stews. Its a combination of flour and fat – some cooks prefer oil, but most will tell you clarified butter (ghee) is the way to go.  The first thing you do is combine equal parts flour and fat over low heat, and stir to combine. As it thickens, it will go through a series of colors: white, blonde, beige, brick, fucking burnt and ruined you ass.

The color roux you end up with actually changes the flavor profile of the dish you’re cooking (and pretty drastically) – for example, a brick roux, which is used most frequently in gumbo, has a distinct nutty flavor.

Types of cut

Julienne

This is actually one of the easier types of cut. For reference, I’ll be describing how to julienne a bell pepper, and this is a quick/dirty way to get uniform strips out of your pepper.

1. Cleanly remove both the top and very bottom of your pepper

2. After this, it should be 3 short cuts to separate the ribs from the seeds.

3. Flip it over and tap out the seedy center

4. Slice the pepper in half vertically

5. Laying the strips flat on your cutting board, slice into evenly shaped strips

NOT A PEPPER I KNOW

For the uninformed, THIS is how you julienne an onion. (PS this is not a pepper, if you thought so i'll give you this chance to hang yourself in the bathroom)

Brunoise

a simple cube  cut that creates cute little squares of relatively equal size. Using a large carrot as an example

1. Take off the top and bottom of the carrot

2. If the carrot varies greatly in size from top to tip, cut it in half

Can't believe I actually took a pic for this

3. Take a carrot piece and slice off a side so that no peel remains. Repeat for the other 3 sides.

4. Once you have a perfect carrot rectangle slice into 4 large sticks.

38. Stack the 4 sticks together, and slice about an 1/8 of an inch between strokes

Dice

Basic cut, can be done either small, medium, or large. Using an onion as an example

0. Peel the onion. Its easiest to do this by splitting the onion in half, slicing root to tip.

1. Cut each half of the onion in half once more, creating quarters.

2. Slide your blade into the midsection of a quarter without slicing all the way through. Stop just before you get to the root – we’ll be using this to hold the onion together as we dice.

3. Now make vertical slices into the onion (downwards) about 1/2 an inch apart, running perpendicular to the lateral slice we made earlier.

6. Slice downwards, parallel to the to root of the onion, about 1/2 inch apart.

You now have a dice! YAY! Remove your special helmet and join the party!

Chiffonade

How cute are those fatass digits?

Basically a julienne for leafy green veggies. Using Basil as an example.

1. Stack up the green veggie you wanna chiffonade

2. Roll the stack into a nice green blunt (see Snoop Dogg)

3. This next steps important – DO NOT SMOKE YOUR GREENS. We want to cut them. Silly pothead.

4. Using a very sharp knife, slice the rolled up greensabout 1/4 apart to create these awesome long strips.

Aaaand the final product....

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4 Responses to Basic Techniques

  1. tania says:

    what a cop-out! I wanted to read YOUR description of these arcane arts. Wickipedia is boring to the nth- you are the opposite

  2. HA – (WIP) means ‘Work In Progress’. I set this up as a guideline – I want to do steps with pictures, and I’m planning to do that this weekend. Patience!

  3. Pingback: Simply Stir Fried « The Vicious Vegetarian

  4. Pingback: Stir Fry Shenanigans « Nomalicious and Vicious Delicious

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