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Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual

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HC :
384 Pages
W.W. Norton
Pub. Date:
Jul 20, 2007
Color Photographs
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Knives are the most common pieces of equipment in the kitchen, yet few cooks know the basic techniques that can allow them to carve, chop, slice, and mince effectively. Peter Hertzmann teaches you skills that encompass everything you need to do with a knife in the kitchen, whether you're a four-star chef or an at home beginner. This comprehensive guide fills a gaping void in culinary literature.

Chances are, when you start using this book, you’ll do so with the kitchen knives you already have on hand. The first chapter will help you understand those knives better. You’ll learn how to make a knife sharp, and how to keep it that way. You’ll learn what type of cutting surface is best. And if you later decide to replace your knives, there’s information here as to how to choose new ones.

The cutting techniques presented in chapters 2 and 3 provide step-by-step instructions for cutting most of the fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and fish that you will ever encounter. With experience, you’ll discover that any food items not directly covered can be handled similarly to ones that are. You’ll also find that each item you pick up to cut will be unique. At times, you will have to modify these instructions slightly to accommodate this uniqueness.

The step-by-step instructions are accompanied by illustrations drawn to enhance the instructions. Most of the time the technique is depicted from your point of view, so you can see exactly where your hands should be and how the knife should be used. Occasionally an additional view is provided so you can better see how to produce a good result.

With good knife skills, cooking becomes fun. Cutting carrots is no longer a chore, but a meditation. Slicing an onion no longer brings tears of anguish, but those of joy. Disjointing a chicken is no longer punishment, but pleasure. With good knife skills, preparing food becomes a time of great satisfaction indeed!

  • Over 300 step-by-step illustrations for right- and lefthanded cooks.
  • Exact instructions on how to do everything: mince onions, julienne ginger, bone trout, carve turkey.
  • How to select the best knives and cutting boards.
  • Directions for proper knife maintenance.
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