Monday, October 30, 2006
Cooking essentials- knife and cutting board
My favorite two things in my kitchen are my knife and my cutting board. In my opinion, have a good quality knife and a sturdy, non-slip cutting board are absolutely essential to any kitchen.
The basic types of knives are:
-chef's knife- broad, stiff, slightly curved blade around 5-9 inches long. Used for chopping as well as slicing, dicing, mincing.
-paring knife- looks like a small chef's knife with a tapered blade and about 3-4 inches long. Used for peeling and slicing fruits and veggies.
-bread knife- has a straight, serrated blade at least 8 inches long and is used to cut through breads, cakes or baked goods.
-carving (or slicing) knife- long, slender blades that are used to carve or slice meats and large vegetables.
-utility knife- like a paring knife, but usually with a slightly curved blade. It can be used for carving small cuts of meat.
-boning knife- has a narrow, slightly flexible curved blade 5-7 inches long and is excellent for separating cooked or uncooked meat from the bone, carving a roast, or peeling fruits and veggies.
I personally prefer a chef's knife. I use it in all my cooking preparations. My favorite? A Wusthof Santoku 7 inch knife. You can see it here.
Why is a cutting board so important? Well, because you cut all of your fruits, veggies and meats on them. On it, you can prep all your ingredients for your meals. According to Southern Living's Secrets from the Southern Living Test Kitchen, a cutting board is "a flat surface of either wood or plastic polyethylene on which food is sliced or chopped. Some cutting boards have a carved edge to catch meat drippings. Always wash plastic boards in hot, soapy water, or run dishwasher-safe ones through the dishwasher to disinfect. Clean wooden boards with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 8 parts water, then rinse. We suggest using two boards: one just for meats and one for everything else. Or, if you have only one board, mark a side of the board exclusively for meat."
My personal choice for a cutting board? Well, the one I use for raw meat is just a regular plastic board I bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond. But my FAVORITE one that I use for everything else (including COOKED meats)is a Boos board.