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Knife Skills Chop, Slice & Dice – Notes & Recipes

Knife skills

Whether we are a professional chef or a keen amateur home cook we need our knifes to be in good condition. 

In kitchens many French culinary terms are used for different cuts of vegetables and meats. There is a Brunoise small dice, Mirepoix Diced etc. Having a knowledge of these actually does help, Google and discover a little more of this world of cuts.

Knifes a little more information: Kitchen Knives are an essential part of any kitchen and you will normally find a selection of knives in most kitchens and homes. Why do we have a selection of knifes in our kitchens?

The knives we have in our kitchens are all there for different reasons. We have sharp knives for chopping as well as serrated knives for cutting bread as well as knives for eating a steak with. These are only some of the different knives found within a kitchen and there are many others for many different tasks

If you cook a lot, then you will understand the importance of having access to a different selection of knives whilst cooking. These are like different tools to a carpenter. Cooks tend to have different sets and types of knives but do not always care for their knives properly.

How do I care for my knives?

If you have purchased a set of kitchen knives, then invariably it will have also come with a storage block. This block has several different great benefits. The obvious one for most is that it is a great place to store their knives. Another great benefit is that it will store your knives in such a manner that the sharp parts are hidden and therefore makes them safe. A third benefit that many people overlook is that the storage of your knife set in the block will prevent the knives from being damaged and it will protect the cutting edge for you.

How Do I Know a Good Set of Knives?

A good set of knives are made from good steel and with a full tang into the handle. The handle is also made of a suitably strong material. And because of this you will pay slightly more for them. That said the knives, if looked after properly will outlast most other cheaper versions of knives.

Care For Knives:

Other ways you can take care of your knives is by the way you wash and dry them. I recommend that you only wash your knives in mild soapy warm water and to dry immediately. Never wash your knives in a dishwasher! If knives are not cared for properly then they may show signs of oxidising and slight surface rust. Be sure to look after your knives.

Looking After Your Knives:

Storage of knives is also very important. If you do not have the luxury of a storage block, then you need to consider how you store your knives, so they do not get damaged. If they are stored say in a drawer with other utensils, then the knifes will knock together with other items and damage the cutting edge. The best way to store knives in the instance you do not have a block is to use a magnetic knife holder which will hold your knives and keep them from getting damaged.

The Cutting Edge:

In daily use of your kitchen knives, you will over time wear away at the cutting edge. This will happen by chopping, cutting and cutting against hard surfaces. You will need to consider the minor maintenance of your knives. To prolong the life of the knives it is best to use a suitable chopping board so you can protect the cutting edge.

Knife Maintenance:

In the event that you have purchase and correctly stored your quality knife set they will still need some maintenance. The use of knives in the kitchen, over time will lead to the cutting edges becoming worn. This is a simple task to fix and repair your cutting edges. A quick run through a knife sharpener will re-apply a sharp cutting edge for you in seconds. All great chefs understand the need for a sharp knife so keep the cutting edges in good condition.

Vegetable Cuts:

  • Allumette Cut (Matchstick) – Dimension – 1/16” X 1/16” X 2′
  • Julienne Cut (Double Matchstick) – Dimension – 1/8” X 1/4” X 2”
  • Batonnet Cut (French Fry Cut)- Dimension – 1/4” X 1/4” X 2”
  • Brunoise Cut (Square Allumette) – Dimension – 1/16” X 1/16” X 1/16”
  • Macedoine Cut (Square Julienne) – Dimension – 1/8” X 1/8” X 1/8”
  • Small Dice (Squar Baton) – Dimension – 1/4” X 1/4” X 1 / 4”
  • Medium Dice – Dimension – 1/2” X 1/2” X 1/2”
  • Large Dice – Dimension – 3/4” X 3/4” X 3/4′
  • Slice – To Cut into uniform cross cuts, Example Slicing Onions
  • Chiffonade – Roll up leaves of lettuce cabbage etc. and then slice

The above are the main cuts for vegetables

Recipes from the class

Sourdough bruschetta with gamberi alla busarra prawns

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 2x Chunky slice of sourdough or any other bread, toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic (we used piadina flatbread)
  • – 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • – 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  • – 100g prawns, medium-sized, deveined
  • – 1 small onion, golden, peeled and finely chopped
  • – 30ml of dry red wine
  • – 100g of cherry tomatoes
  • – 200g plum tomatoes
  • – 1 dried chilli, crushed 9or fresh)
  • – fine sea salt
  • – freshly ground black pepper
  • – 1 handful of parsley leaves, chopped


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over a medium heat. Add the prawns and cook for about two minutes per side, ensuring that they don’t overlap, set aside. Add the onion to the same pan and fry for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the garlic and cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Pour in the wine, increase the heat to medium-high and allow it to evaporate.
  3. Add the tomatoes and crushed chilli. Lower the heat, cover and cook until the tomatoes have fallen apart and look saucy; add a splash of water if needed to help the sauce come together. Taste and season.
  4. Now, put the prawns back into the skillet and stir to coat in the sauce. Increase the heat and sauté for about five more minutes, then remove from the heat and sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Serve on toasted sourdough rubbed with fresh garlic.

Piadina Flatbread

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 185g plain or 00 flour – plus extra for dusting
  • – 20 ml of olive oil
  • – 80ml water
  • – 0.5tsp of baking powder
  • – 1tbsp of dried oregano
  • – 2tbsp of grated parmesan


  1. Add the flour, baking powder, parmesan, oregano, olive oil & 80ml water to the mixing bowl, stir all together using a wooden spoon…once it all combines, take the dough with your hand until it becomes a springy dough.   If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If too crumbly, add a little more water.
  3. Set Aside – it doesn’t need to rest for long, but you can wait until you need to cook.
  5. Split dough into 8 balls, heat frying pan to high heat, while the temperature builds, sprinkle flour on clean work surface or board, and some on your rolling pin.
  7. Take a ball of dough, flatten into rough circle with your hand then roll until thin, keep turning and flipping over.
  9. Add 2 -3 flatbreads to your pan at a time and cook until you see the piadinas blister and char.
  11. Once both sides cooked, keep wrapped in tea towel – this softens your flatbreads.

coconut and ginger curry sauce

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 1 onion, diced
  • – 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • – 2cm of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • – 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
  • – 1tsp of Madras curry spice
  • – 1 small can of coconut milk
  • – Vegetable oil 
  • – seasoning
  • – 1/2 cup of chicken stock

Garnishes (Optional):

  • – 1 spring onion, sliced
  • – 1 large red chilli, finely sliced
  • – Coriander, chopped
  • – Lime juice and zest


  1. Get a medium sauce pan on heat and add oil.
  2. Add diced onion and cooked until translucent, followed by garlic, carrot and ginger, sauce for another couple of minutes.
  3. Add spice mix and fry with the veg for 30 seconds before pouring in coconut milk and stock.
  4. simmer for 10 minutes, blend until smooth.
  5. Garnish with shallots and chilli, if using. Serve with rice.

Caramel Lime pork

Ingredients – Serves 2

  • 300g pork loin, thinly sliced
  • 1 small disk palm sugar or 50g brown sugar
  • 200g 1/2 a tin coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • Grated to ginger to taste
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • A splash of oil
  • Pinch white pepper (optional)
  • 1 lime zest and juice

Garnishes (Optional):

  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 large red chilli, finely sliced
  • Coriander, chopped


  1. Add a splash of oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic into prepped meat and mix well. Saute on high heat in a non-stick pan until golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add another splash of oil into a pan and saute onion, ginger and garlic for 2 minutes, followed by soy sauce and vinegar. Add palm sugar and coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add pork back to the pan and cook for further 2 minutes.

rice Stir-Fry

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 1 red onion, sliced
  • – 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
  • – Napa cabbage, chiffonade
  • – 1x red pepper, deseeded and sliced thinly
  • – 1x chilli, deseeded and diced
  • – Handful of sugar snaps, shredded
  • – Handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • – Handful of coriander, chopped
  • – 200g of cooked rice of your choice
  • – 1x lime, zest and juice
  • – 1tbs of sticky teriyaki sauce
  • – 1x tbsp of vegetable oil


  1. Get a wok pan on high heat, add oil and get it hot.
  2. Add red onion, sauté for a couple of minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Next, add red pepper and mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add sugar snaps and cabbage and cook just for a minute or so.
  6. Zest lime in your wok, squeeze juice it as well, followed by sticky teriyaki sauce and rice.
  7. Be fast now, not to overcook your rice.
  8. Finish with chopped chilli and coriander.

pomegranate Slaw

Ingredients – Serves 2:

  • – 1x lime zest and juice
  • – 1tsp of caster sugar
  • – 3tbsp of olive oil
  • – 1x handful of chopped coriander
  • – ¼ red cabbage, shredded
  • – ¼ white cabbage, shredded
  • – 1 carrot, grated
  • – 1x shallot, sliced
  • – 1 green chilli, sliced
  • – 1tbsp of Asian mayo (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine sugar, lime zest and juice. Whisk until well combined and sugar has melted.
  2. Start stirring in the oil, gradually, still whisking.
  3. Add white and red cabbage, pinch of salt and pepper and roughly rub the marinade in.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and correct the seasoning.
  5. We could use a tbsp. of mayonnaise or yoghurt for a creamy version of the slaw.

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