Friday, May 22, 2009

Different Ways to Cut Food

  • Julienne, Batonnet, Baton, Allumette: They're all stick-shaped. Think small, big, bigger, biggest. Julienne is short and slender, as in celery sticks on a vegetable platter, the other three are increasingly longer and thicker, as in French fries.
  • Rondell: Use for carrot coins, zucchini or any vegetable with a rounded or long shape. Cut at 90 degrees.
  • Diagonal: Use for any longish vegetable you want to stir-fry, such as celery, green onion or carrot. Cut at a comfortable 45-degree angle. A mandoline makes this fast and easy.
  • Brunoise: Dice into smallest possible cubes, 1 to 2 millimetres wide. Use for root vegetables or firm fruits.
  • Lozenge: Purely ornamental, these are diamond shapes cut from a firm vegetable that's already been thin-sliced. Pretty in clear soups. Sweet potatoes and turnips are good candidates.
  • Mince: Exactly what it says -- chop as finely as possible. Eggs for egg salad are minced.
  • Shred: It may look like a chiffonade, but it's used on heavier leaves (as in shredded cabbage) or roots such as carrots or ginger. A mandoline is wonderful for shredding.
  • Chiffonade: Use for spinach, chard or romaine. De-stem leaves and stack 8 or 10 of them. Roll tightly like a cigar and slice into fine shreds. Good technique for creating a bed of greens or a garnish

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