Chop Chop Chop

Calling All Kid’s Who Cook:
Today in cooking class, we’re getting our chop, chop, chop on.

Here’s a mini-lesson using celery on how to correctly use a knife and a few different ways to chop veggies.

First get your parent’s permission, then practice what you see here today.

Just remember to be safe at all times!  Go slow and take your time.
You are not in a chopping speed race. :)

  1. When using a knife, you use BOTH hands!  One hand to hold the knife and the other to hold the food.  You gotta touch your food!
  2. The hand that holds the food must have fingers in a vertical position.  See how my index finger is straight up and down?  That prevents it from getting caught under the knife blade.

  1. Place the flat edge of the celery down on the cutting board.  The curved side needs to be on top.  This prevents it from rolling and is safer.
  2. Hold the celery down tightly with your fingers in a vertical position.  Then slowly and carefully, start chopping slices about 1/2″ thick.
  3. This size of chopped celery is considered a “large chop” or Macedoine (massa- dwahn) in French, and is good for sauteing or added to soups and stews.

  1. You can also cut long strips of celery.
  2. Don’t forget to place the flat edge of the celery down on the cutting board.  The curved side needs to be on top.  This prevents it from rolling and is safer.
  3. AND
  4. Hold the celery down tightly with your fingers in a vertical position.  Then slowly and carefully, start chopping strips about 1/2″ thick.

  1. Try to cut them all the same size
  2. They should look something like this.  This size and shape is called Julienne (julie-ann) in French.
  3. This size and shape is good for building bridges from your mashed potatoes to your chicken.

  1. Line several julienned strips up like little soldiers
  2. Then, hold the celery down tightly with your fingers in a vertical position.  Then slowly and carefully, start chopping the strips about 1/2″ thick.
  3. This size of chopped celery is considered a “medium chop” or Jardiniere (jar-deh-nair) in French, and is good for sauteing or added to soups and stews as well.

If you really want to be a smartypants, you can make smaller chop chop chops.

  1. Line several julienned strips up like little soldiers
  2. Then, hold the celery down tightly with your fingers in a vertical position.  Then slowly and carefully, start chopping the strips thinner…about 1/4″ thick.
  3. This size of chopped celery is considered “finely chopped” or Brunoise (broon-wahz) in French, and is good for salads, stir fry, or garnishes (fancy food decorations)

Like this.  About the size of a Tic-Tac. That’s English for tiny.

Here they are side by side for a comparative analysis.  Huh?

I mean so you can see the differences.

Choose to chop whatever size you like…it’s your food so go for it!

After you’ve practiced on a few stalks, use the rest of the stalks for a tasty little snack.

How about Pimento Cheese Stuffed Celery?  Uh-huh.

Or Peanut Butter Rainbows (I used candy-coated sunflower seeds but you could use M&M’s or sprinkles)

But my FAVORITE way to eat celery is dipped in salsa!  Delicious!

Any way you chop it, learning to use a knife is pretty cool!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 9:00 am and is filled under Advanced Cooking.

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