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The Techniques - Essential Skills

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© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Essential Skills

Grilling and peeling peppers

Roast pepper quarters skin side up under a hot broiler until charred and wrinkled, 5–10 minutes. Place in a plastic bag or a bowl with a plate on top and let stand until cool. The steam released by the peppers as they cool will loosen the skin.

Uncover cooled peppers. Peel off the charred skin, using the tip of a small knife. Scrape rather than rinse off any remaining bits of skin. Rinsing the pepper will wash away the roasted flavor.

Cutting into julienne strips

Cut vegetable into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the stacked slices into thin even-sized strips the size of matchsticks. To save time, stack the slices a few at a time before cutting into strips.

Cutting into fine dice

Cut the vegetable into thin, even slices. Stack the slices a few at a time. Cut the stack lengthwise to make equal-sized strips. Cut across to make an even-sized dice.

Peeling tomatoes

Cut a small cross on the bottom of each tomato. Drop tomatoes into boiling water. Remove when you see the edges of each cross begin to loosen, 10–20 seconds, depending on the ripeness. Drain, then immerse in cold water. Peel off the loosened skins, using the tip of a knife.

Seeding tomatoes

Cut tomatoes into quarters. With a sharp knife, cut out seeds and core.

Seeding tomatoes is crucial in many recipes because the seeds exude juice and may make fresh salsas and garnishes watery.

Peeling citrus fruit

Cut a thick slice from both ends to expose flesh. Stand upright and cut away peel and white pith, following the curve of the fruit.

Segmenting citrus fruit

Hold peeled fruit in one hand. Use the tip of the knife to cut down both sides of one white membrane to release segment.

Making herb sprigs

Select only the freshest, greenest leaves when making herb sprigs for garnishing. Strip the leaves from the stalks and divide any larger sprigs into smaller pieces.

Making edible skewers

Use edible skewers to add extra flavor to skewered foods. Some ideas used in the recipe section are illustrated here. Bay and thyme stalks are not shown, but also make effective skewers when their stems are stiff and thick enough to hold food.

Lemon grass skewers

Remove and discard the tough outer skin from the lemon grass stalks. Cut in half lengthwise, keeping the stalks attached by the root. Cut into 4-inch lengths to use for skewers.

Sugarcane sticks

If using fresh sugarcane, peel with a vegetable peeler and trim to 4-inch lengths. Cut each sugarcane piece lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut slices into 1/4-inch strips.

Rosemary skewers

Strip the leaves from the stalks. Leave just a few leaves at one end. Sharpen the other end with a sharp knife to make threading food onto the skewer easier.

Making parmesan shavings

Making an indentation

Cut out a slightly curved indent from the longest side of the piece of cheese with a sharp knife.

Shaving the parmesan

Use a vegetable peeler to shave curls from the indentation.

Assembling a wrap

Rolling up the filling

Place the wrap base on a piece of plastic wrap and cover with the filling. Use the plastic wrap underneath to help you as you carefully roll up the base around the filling as tightly as possible.

Securing the roll

Twist each end of plastic wrap tightly to secure and shape the roll.

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