Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knife Skills

Last night I went to Central Market and took one of their cooking classes, which I really enjoyed. I guess this sorta plays into my resolution to cook more for myself, so yay me!!

The class that I took was a Cooking 101 Class Called "Knife Skills" and it was all about learning how to use the big knife in the drawer and to properly chop vegetables and fruit without cutting your own flesh. Mind you up until this point the only knife I ever REALLY used consistently was my pairing knife and even with that I have a big scar on my hand where I went through the flesh of an apple right into the flesh of my palm...but that is history.

The class was basically a beginner's course on how to use a chef's knife (the big one), how to hold it, how to curl your fingers on the other hand, how to slice, julienne, dice, etc. I know all of this seems pretty basic and yeah I knew a lot of it, I now know how to do it using the big knife. We started out chopping up celery and carrots, then moved on to bell peppers (and I learned how to get the seed pod out easily), onions, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and finally oranges...all with the big knife. We then got to sit down and eat and have some wine (I can't understand why they wouldn't give us the wine before we started using the knives....)

We started with fresh guacamole, which is the only way that I'll eat guacamole. We learned how to cut up and pit an avocado and tomato and some other stuff. I already knew this as I have made fresh guacamole before, but what I did learn was to douse it liberally with lime juice and storing the avocado pit in the guacamole does nothing to prevent it from browning, the way to prevent it is to use lime juice and cover tightly with saran wrap.

Tortilla Soup where we as a class chopped up the vegetables (onions, peppers, etc.) and they Incorporated the already cooked chicken. I was told something about the process you should follow when cooking vegetables and spices and something about a "hot spot" but I was also really tearing up from the onions and don't remember 100% of what was said.

Dessert was orange slices (cut by me) where we cut off all the rind and then went into the slices and removed just the pulp of the slice leaving the husk part. They then came around with a scoop of caramel panacotta and sugared pecans...yummy!!

There was also a salad that we had prepared, but I didn't have any of it because it contained a lot of the vegetables that I wasn't a big fan of.....but it did look lovely.
I think I'm going to take more classes....if for nothing else having a good meal and wine.


Jane said...

You do all the fun stuff

Queen B said...

hahaha. I'm so glad to hear the wine was after the teaching. I was a little nervous when I got the text about the wine ;)

I have no fear of the big knife.... unfortunately for Chris!

That pepper coring skill is a good one. I don't attempt it myself but leave that to The Professional.

Jay said...

Sounds like fun...can't wait to taste the results!!!

Kim Thomas said...

I have only taken a cooking class once and loved it!