2 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 Jalapeno, finely diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
When working with peppers as pictured, always cut from the inside out–the waxy outer surface can cause the knife to slip.
I’ve put together a few picture reels to assist you in some of the very basic knife skills. Specifically, I’ve included photos on the best way to go about dicing an onion, mincing/pasting garlic, and finely chopping herbs. I find that these are the skills that I use most in preparing meals.
Dicing an Onion – by keeping the root end intact, this method will ensure that you can quickly dice an entire onion without creating a mess. Keep in mind that the more narrow your incisions, the finer the dice.
Step 1: Slice off the top of the onion, about ½ an inch into the surface.
Step 2: Rest the onion vertically, and slice in half through the root end, peel back outer layer.
Step 3: Make vertical incisions down to the root end.
Step 4: Make horizontal incisions down to the root end.
Step 5: Dice the onion accordingly and repeat with the remaining half.
Mincing/Pasting Garlic – this method will allow you to quickly peel and mince garlic. By smashing the entire clove, you also release the flavorful juices. Adding kosher salt and making a paste comes in handy when adding garlic to a salad dressing or marinade.
Step 2: Peel away skin, and run the knife through the garlic until it is finely and evenly chopped.
Step 3: Add a few pinches of kosher salt to work as an abrasive.
Step 4: Use pressure and the flat side of your knife to work the ingredients back and forth on the board, until the mixture resembles the consistency of a paste.
Chopping Fine Herbs – this process is actually defined as a “chiffonade”. For herbs which bruise easily (basil, sage, etc), this method allows you to cleanly and delicately slice herbs without damaging their texture.
Step 1: Stack 6 -8 leaves on top of one another.
Step 2: Carefully roll up the leaves starting from the root end up to the tip.
Step 3: Use a knife to finely chop the herbs, resulting in long, thin strips.
Of course, these are just the fundamentals. Master everything here, and we’ll move on to butchering wild game in the near future.
Keep those knives sharp!