Congratulations! You have made it to week two! We know week one may have been a challenge, and we hope you took time to pat yourself on the back for the work you did.
This week, we’d like to take a look at avocadoes and knives. Both are getting a lot of use in your kitchen this month.
First, avocadoes. There are hundreds of kinds of avocadoes, but the most commonly consumed in the U.S. is the Haas avocado. It has a slightly bumpy skin that turns a dark green when fully ripened. Avocadoes are prized for their creamy, mild-tasting flesh and their versatility. From smoothies to tacos to solo with a little lemon and salt, this fruit is a powerhouse in the kitchen.
To easily open an avocado, place it bulbous-end down on a cutting board and with a paring or chef’s knife, cut down into the stem end until you feel the knife hit the pit. Keeping the knife loosely pressed against the pit, turn and cut all the way around the avocado until you return to the stem end; your cuts should meet up. Twist the halves lightly and pull them apart. Very carefully “thwack” your knife blade into the pit so that it sticks; twist the knife slightly to dislodge the pit, and pull it out. Use a large metal spoon to scoop the avocado halves away from the skin and proceed with the recipe.
For a video of the above, visit this link: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/preparation/slice-dice-avocado
Second, knives and knife skills. Few things are as useful and as dangerous in the kitchen as your knives. The three most important things to remember about them are that:
· sharper knives are actually safer (they slip and stutter less),
· the best knife is the one that feels like an extension of your hand. If a knife feels too heavy and/or unwieldy, you are more likely to injure yourself, and
· though this sounds like a no-brainer, always, always know where your fingers are in relation to the blade. When you are chopping something thick and sturdy like a butternut squash, it is easy to lose track of the fingers you can’t see; be mindful of where they are while you are gripping an ingredient or holding it steady.
While there is an assortment of knives for various uses, there are only three that you really need:
· a paring knife, best for peeling and coring,
· a serrated knife, best for slicing delicate things like tomatoes and the almond flour bread you made, and
· a chef’s knife, for chopping and dicing. Most people find that a chef’s knife between 6 and 8 inches works best for them, though there are other sizes available.
For a video primer on holding knives and the different kinds of cuts you’ll be making in the kitchen, visit this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydc_SaQ_eRQ
As you cook your way through week two, we would love to hear how it is going! Please email us with any questions, comments, or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.