A beautiful presentation adds visual appeal to a mouth-watering meal. Learn to chop and cut food to make your dishes a delight to the eye as well as the taste buds.
In cooking, chop is the basic manner in which food is cut into pieces. The pieces do not need to be uniform or any particular shape.
To cube is to cut into 3-dimensionals squares of about 1 inch on each side. Cheese is often cubed. So are potatoes and meat for soups or stews.
To cut on the diagonal place the knife at an angle similar to a clock hand pointing between the one and the two. A diagonal cut is great for crispy vegetables such as salads and stir frys.
Dicing food results in small cubes approximately 1/4 inch on each side. Diced vegetables are easy to eat. Diced meats are perfect for cold salads.
Use a grater to create thin strips of cheese or other foods. Grated citrus peel is called zest.
To julienne is to cut food into long, narrow strips sometimes compared to matchsticks. This cut yields food that is seasoned and cooked evenly throughout.
Food that has been chopped over and over until it is very fine has been minced. Mince foods with strong flavors like garlic or onion for even blending. Mince meat or fruit to make thick sauces and pies.
Pare food by removing a thin layer of the outside. Pare apples or potatoes to remove the peel.
To score is to cut shallow slits across the top of food. Meat is scored to let juices flow. Pie crusts can be scored before baking to make slicing easier.
Place food with the widest side on the cutting board and cut straight through the narrowest side to create a slice. Roasted meats are cut into slices to serve and so are many fruits.
Food cut in very slender stips is slivered. Slivered almonds are great in pastries. Sliver herbs or vegetables to make an attractive garnish.
Rounded foods can be sliced through from the top to form wedges. Pizza is served in wedges. Tomato wedges can adorn a salad.
About the Author
Our editor, Jean Fisher, is a former elementary teacher. She offers "What's For Dinner?" as a free service for busy families.One delicious meal is suggested for each day of the week, plus an organized grocery shopping list that can be customized to include all your shopping needs.You will also find two stimulating table topics and one educational after-dinner activity for each day.