Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Types Of Vegetable Cutting...

Cutting Styles

These are the cutting styles I believe we all should use in our kitchens. Learning and practicing these techniques will go a long way to help the cooking and presentation of your food.

BRUNOISE (FINE DICE)




Brunoise is a cutting technique in which a fruit or vegetable is cut into a fine dice. The food item is usually first julienned, then sliced across the 'sticks' to produce small cubes no bigger 3mm (1/8 inch) on each side. Common items to be brunoised are carrots, onions and turnips. This technique is often used to finely dice vegetables for sauteeing or as a garnish in some dishes. When used as a garnish, the cut should be consistent in size and shape, to ultimately help create a visual effect.


CHIFFONADE (SHREADING)


Chiffonade cutting technique is used on herbs or leafy vegetables. Examples for vegetables you can chiffonade are lettuce, spinach or cabbage and for herbs basil, mint or kaffir lime. They are cut into long, thin strips and can be vary in thickness from 1mm up to 1 inch. This is generally done by stacking the leaves on top of each other, rolling them tightly to form a tube, and then cutting across the rolled leaves with a sharp knife to produce fine ribbons.


JULIENNE (MATCH STICKS)



Julienne is a cutting technique where food is cut into long thin 'matchstick' like strips. This style of cut is commonly used as a garnish or on vegetables for stir fries. The more common vegetables seen julienned are carrots, zuchinni (zucchini), capsicum and celery but this cutting technique can be used on any firm vegetable or fruit.  Hollow vegetables, like capsicum, have the ends chopped off and are then opened flat for slicing into julienne sticks. Whereas solid and/or round vegetables like carrots are cut with a charp (chirp) knife, on four sides to create a thick rectangular block. They are then sliced lengthwise, approximately 3mm (1/8 inch) thick. The slices are then stacked on top of each other, and are cut lengthwise to form thin uniform square sticks.

MACEDOINE (LARGE DICE)


Macedoine is a cutting technique  in which a fruit or vegetable is cut into cubes. Typically this cut would be used for vegetables that are used in soup or a stock base. Melons and other large fruits are also cut into macedoine cubes for fruit salad. An important rule when using this cut is to have a steady flat surface to cut on. If the food you’re cutting is round, cut one side to make it steady on the chopping board. This will make it easier to maintain control whilst cutting the fruit or vegetable.



SLICING



Slicing is the cutting of food into thin, relatively broad slices. It really is the first cutting technique that we all learn when we first use a knife. Sliced meats, vegetables and fruit are used in many dishes, from sandwiches through to roast meats. Sliced items may be used as they are or processed further to produce other cuts like chiffonade, macedoine & julienne.

MINCING

Start by cutting the ingredient into thin strips, and then dice the strips. Hold the knife handle in one hand and, with the other, hold down the tip of the blunt edge of the blade. Using the tip as a pivot, raise and lower the blade in a chopping motion, moving it from side to side to mince everything evenly. Scoop up minced ingredients occasionally, flip them over, and keep chopping to ensure even mincing.

ROLL-CUTTING 

This technique is used for long vegetables, like carrots or zucchini. It makes attractive chunks and exposes more of the surface area of the vegetable. Hold the blade perpendicular to the board and cut straight down on the diagonal. Then roll the vegetable a quarter-turn, and cut straight down again at the same diagonal angle. Continue rolling and cutting in this way all along the length of the vegetable.


PARALLEL CUTTING


Used to cut broad, thin slices of meat or vegetables. Lay the food close to the edge of the board with the fingers of your free hand flat on top of it.  Angle the Chinese chef's knife so that it's almost parallel to the board, slanting slightly downward. Move it slowly and carefully back and forth to slice the food, paying close attention to avoid cutting your fingers.


CRUSHING