Back-to-school season is a perfect time to learn something new. Wish you had more confidence in your knife work? Curious about the art of pastry? Eager to wean yourself off takeout? Whatever your motivation, go “Back to School with Bridget” this week on The Feed. Bridget Lancaster, who holds down the fort at our Online Cooking School, puts the “fun” in the fundamentals of cooking. Gather your notebooks and knives, and see you in the kitchen—the best classroom we know.
We’re going to start off with a very basic—yet very important—lesson: how to chop an onion. It may seem like a simple task, but we find that many people don’t know where to start when handing the round, layered, unwieldy-on-a-cutting-board vegetable, and we don’t blame them. Do you cut it from pole to pole or around the center? How much of the ends should you chop off, and in what order should you slice the thing?
In the video below Bridget shows the most efficient and safest way to chop an onion. This aromatic vegetable adds lots of depth to many of our soups, stews, and roasts, and consistently-sized cuts are key.
HOMEWORK: Using a sharp knife, practice chopping an onion using our technique. Try cutting it in different sizes, like chopped coarse (1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces), chopped medium (1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces), chopped fine (1/8- to 1/4-inch pieces), and minced (1/8-inch pieces or smaller).
EXTRA CREDIT: Peel and finely chop 1 large onion to make Almost Hands-Free Risotto with Chicken and Herbs. The recipe is free through September 16, 2013.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Practice makes perfect with knife skills.