Sunday, June 28, 2015

Knife Skills: An Illustrated Kitchen Guide to Using the Right Knife the Right Way by Bill Collins

We all have knifes in the kitchen. But, do you know how to properly use one, or which to use for different kitchen tasks? Bill Collins explains it all in Knife Skills.

Good knife skills are key to feeling confident and comfortable in the kitchen. Chef Bill Collins shows you how to choose knives that will feel good in the hand, and then he shows you exactly how to slice, chop, peel, bone, and dice with ease. The clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations also show you how to cut and carve seafood, poultry, meats, fruits, and vegetables. Includes information on using other sharp kitchen tools, including microplanes and graters, scissors, vegetable peelers, and mandolins.

Good knife skills make working in a kitchen a pleasure. Personal chef and cooking instructor Bill Collins describes the knives you need (plus a few that are just fun to have) and how to shop and care for them. Every knife has its purpose, and Chef Bill explains how to use each one safely and effectively, from hulling strawberries with a paring knife to smoothly slicing scallions with a chef's knife. Recipes designated to help you practice various knife skills give you the opportunity to perfect every technique.
The book's chapters cover everything: How to Choose and Use Your Knives; How to Buy a Knife; Caring for Your Knives; Non-Knife, Non-Motorized Sharp Kitchen Tools; and Recipes and Techniques. You will learn all about the ubiquitous Chef's knife, from the tank and bolster to the proper way to hold the knife. The 'Non-Motorized Sharp Kitchen Tools' chapter covers everything from the mandoline and pastry wheel cutters, to a cheese wire and the Mouli grater.

The first two chapters are perfect for those just learning about cutting tool. But probably the most important chapter for anyone is how to care for knives - so you can learn how to properly clean, store, and sharpen the knives. For those who already have a good set or sets in their cabinet, it is a good primer on keeping kitchen knives in top condition.

The recipes section include things you'd need a knife for: roasting and carving a poultry; slicing a raw, boneless skinless chicken breast for a curry dish; beef brisket and how to slice it; skinning a fish fillet for roasted haddock; peeling shrimp for pad thai; cutting vegetables into chiffonade, mince, and thin slice. The recipe for the brownies and detailing the cutting via a plastic knife I didn't think was especially helpful as it it disposable and didn't apply to any of the knife skills and care the author had been talking about throughout the book, but the recipe itself looked good.

Overall, a great book for those interested in the basic and proper care of kitchen knives.

Amazon: Knife Skills

Book Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton
The Cookbook Papers


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