Sue’s Kitchen – Chopping Herbs

A good way of chopping herbs such as parsley is to lay them on a chopping board, hold the handle of the knife securely and rock the blade up and down across the board, lifting the knife every now and again and bringing the herbs back together, then repeat the process.

This way, you are only using one hand to rock the knife and chop.

Sue’s Kitchen – Chopping Vegetables

Use a short bladed light weight knife with a flat, non-slip plastic or wooden handle.

It would be helpful if the handle was ergonomically curved so that it will sit in your hand comfortably, so you immediately know, without having to touch it, which side of the blade is facing downwards.

It makes for less frustration when you accidentally use the wrong side of the knife and it won’t chop!

Lay your peeled vegetable down on a chopping board, take the knife inn your usual hand, lay your first finger flat along the top edge of the handle and your thumb on the flat side to stop the knife turning in your hand, curl your other fingers comfortably round the handle to support the knife.

Locate the end of the prepared vegetable with the finger ends of your free hand.

Move them along the veg to give the required size slice or chunk, tuck your finger ends out of the way so that your nail ends are resting on the veg immediately below that area, so that you can’t possibly cut yourself as only the side of the knife will come up against the curve of your knuckles as you bring the knife across and cut down through the exposed end of the veg.

Remove the knife, push aside the slice or chunk of veg, denote the next slice or chunk width with your finger ends, tuck them away, bring the knife across and slice again.

The action of measure, move fingers, slice, will become automatic, take it slowly to begin with and you won’t have any accidents.

Sue’s Kitchen – Peeling Other Root Vegetables

Adopt the peeler technique as previously described, keeping your fingers flat over the blade so that they can monitor your progress.

Apart from the shape being different, you’ll also notice that as you peel, the surface will become slightly smoother, still slightly rough though, but this time the natural ridges in the carrot will also become obvious, and raised long ridges will appear, this is quite natural.

If you drop the carrot or parsnip in the water, it will soon become clear where the rougher raised peel is.

Turnips and swedes being round, are a bit more difficult to hold and tougher to peel.

Don’t forget to remove both ends of your root vegetables, (top and tail), before slicing.

Sue’s Kitchen – Topping And Tailing Vegetables

Many of the root vegetables and some fruit and salad veg too, will need to have a small amount removed from their root and stalk ends before slicing and cooking, this is known as “topping and tailing”.

Remove approximately half an inch, 1 cm, growing points from each end of most root vegetables and some fruit when preparing them, before cooking.

Sue’s Kitchen – Sweat Frying

Gently fry vegetables in a little oil, in a covered pan for a few minutes before adding stock or
other ingredients.