It was a typical slow-to-start school day. Suddenly there was an explosion of excitement. The burst of enthusiasm was about breakfast.
“Green eggs! I love the green eggs!”
As the egg carton creaked open my daughter caught sight of a glint of green. Some pale green eggs nestled next to brown eggs in the latest dozen from our local farmer.
The truth is eggs in the green shell taste the same as ones in brown shells. Egg shell color is determined by breed.
This Americana chicken is the green egg layer
But if you want to talk taste, then that’s more about what a chicken eats. Any guess as to what a chicken eats?
They prefer a wide variety. Of course they’ll eat some type of feed if that’s what the farmer is offering. But if they get the chance they eagerly gravitate toward grass, seeds, insects and worms. In fact, the latter goes a long way to making the eggs not only taste better, but they are healthier to eat. Eggs from these layers have more heart-healthy omega-3s.
Chickens living with Lynn Bliven at Wild Geese Farms in Franklinville, N.Y., have a healthy lifestyle – they get to be chickens running around like chickens do. When they eat feed it’s certified natural and, weather permitting, they forage the farmyard. That scurrying around scouting for food also ensures that they get proper exercise.
But let’s get back to the fun of eating eggs from the farm. Shell colors are cool, but there are other thrills. Cracking open an egg and finding a double yolk is like finding the prize in the Cracker Jack box. Eggs come in all sizes, too. If you do a lot of baking with eggs these conversions for egg size from Better Homes and Gardens may help. But given a choice between a dozen large eggs (like everyone gets) or a dozen small peewee eggs, the kids will pick the peewees every time.
Every time, except when it isn’t time.
Sadly we’ve found
That green eggs (or any other eggs) are not always around.
A Chicken’s not a machine.
And at times in the year it’ll run out of steam.
But such in the cycle and it’s good to know.
That a chicken can’t continuously just go, go, go.
But most of the time we have eggs by the dozens.
Plenty enough for aunts, uncles and cousins.
So, Sam I am not,
but a Dr. Seuss morning we’ve got.
Because it’s always a grand slam.
When we have fried green eggs and ham.
When I first arrived at CUTCO 12 years ago and had my first tour of the factory, I was blown away by how much goes into making a kitchen knife. I also didn’t realize how much science there is behind the process.
Since getting to know the factory, my favorite place to visit is our heat treating department (no offense to all those other amazing departments in the factory). It’s where the magic happens – or in this case, the real science happens.
The three-step heat treating process actually changes the grain structure of the high-carbon, stainless steel to maximize edge sharpness, edge retention, flexibility (toughness) and resistance to stain.
Here’s how it works:
1. Blades are heated to nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a very fine, very strong grain structure.
2. Blades are placed in a deep freeze at minus 120 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize hardness and the ability to resist stains and corrosion.
3. Blades are heated again, this time to 365 degrees Fahrenheit to increase flexibility and overall structural toughness.
Check out this video to see how it all works.
Our CUTCO engineers call the heat treating process probably the most important manufacturing step for making a high quality blade. Maybe that’s why I like the department so much.
But, while heat treating is vital to making a great kitchen knife there are other important factors to ensure that blades, whether stamped, laser cut or forged (CUTCO’s are stamped and laser cut), will hold a sharp edge. Along with high quality heat treating, the geometry of the blade grind and cutting angle of the edge (or cantle) along with the surface finish of the edge all play a critical role in edge design.
In upcoming blog posts we will continue to shed more light on the science behind knife-making. It’s something we care about and work to improve every day.
CUTCO’s three-step heat treating process is vital to the manufacturing process. I like to say that it’s where the magic happens!
There’s a sort of Zen feeling when you grab your kitchen knives and start chopping, slicing and dicing. It’s even a little empowering. But, don’t get too caught up in the moment without thinking about the food you’re cutting and the many ways you can use everything on the cutting board.
Chef Goss, from Chicago’s West Town Tavern, says orange peel, celery leaves and even cheese rinds shouldn’t be tossed away. In fact, there are many delicious uses for fruit and vegetable scraps.
According to her, orange, lemon and grapefruit zests are great for many things, including a Quick Orange Peel-Shallot Pickle. It’s easy to make, uses up leftover citrus rind and makes a great garnish or accompaniment to roasted pork.
And, whatever you do, don’t throw out those delicious celery leaves! They’re a big source of vitamin C, and have many uses. Chop them up with a Chef’s Knife to make a quick herb salad for a cheese plate or mince along with some lime zest to rim a glass for a Bloody Mary.
- Never peel onion skins when making stock. Skins add color to the stock. Use red for beef stock, yellow or white for chicken.
- Don’t toss onion skins either. Add them to rice pilaf, soups and stews, and remove before serving for a light onion flavor. The skins contain loads of antioxidants.
- Freeze leftover coffee and tea in ice cube trays for iced versions later in the day, or add to barbecue sauce, chocolate cake recipes or smoothies.
Quick Orange Peel-Shallot Pickle
Makes about 1 cup
1 1/2 cups julienne orange rind with pith (2.5 ounces) (1 medium orange)
¼ cup thinly sliced peeled shallot (1 large)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Toss all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate, covered at least overnight or up to 2 weeks. Rind will continue to soften and pickle as it stands. Recipe may also be made with lemon rind.
Celery-Lime Rim for Bloody Mary
½ cup finely chopped celery leaves
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Toss all ingredients together and scrape into a small plate. Wet the rim of a high ball with a lime wedge and roll the edge of the glass in the celery-lime spice mix. Fill the glass with ice and add vodka and Bloody Mary mix. Garnish with a leafy celery stalk and a lime wedge.
With only a few hundred Certified Master Chefs (CMC) in the world, it’s not too often non-culinary types like me have the chance to chat with one of these rare gems let alone be so fortunate as to work with one on a regular basis.
Call me a lucky girl.
Among the folks on CUTCO’s Culinary Advisory Board is Fritz Sonnenschmidt CMC, former dean of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. And, after years of trying to make it happen, Chef Fritz and his wife, Debbie, made the trip out here to Olean, NY, to visit CUTCO’s corporate headquarters and factory.
We’ve been working with Chef Fritz for years – decades, even. For years he’s been helping us with our sponsorship of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and, most recently, he accompanied us to the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in New York.
We love Chef Fritz and he’s one of our biggest fans! Welcome to our mutual-admiration society.
Each time I spend time with him or watch one of his demos, I pick up something new. How can I not?
Did you know you can sharpen a straight-edge knife on the rough bottom of a porcelain dish? Neither did I. Or, that for more flavorful shrimp, store it in the refrigerator in the water you poached it in before preparing it.
But this one’s my favorite: Can’t find your measuring spoons? No problem. You were born with all the measuring tools you need – your hands. A pinch with two fingers and your thumb is simply a pinch but with three fingers and your thumb, it’s a third of a teaspoon. Cup your hand and fill the small recess of your hand evenly with salt and you’ve got yourself a teaspoon. Overfill that little recess and now it’s a tablespoon. Neat!
Certainly these aren’t the only tips I managed to pick up in our years together, they’re just the ones that really made an impact on me. I haven’t tried them yet. If you do, be sure to let me know how it worked out for you.
When you ask a four-year-old where a carrot comes from and they say the store, you start to think …
Eating is a necessity. We all do it. So it might be good to know something about it. Not only how to cook, but where stuff comes from.
Quite a few years ago, when my kids were younger, I started to think such thoughts. I heard about a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm down the road. I really just wanted my children to know that carrots come out of the ground.
So, you think you’re just going down the road to the CSA, but you’re really headed for a whole new world. Actually an old world. Or at least the way it used to be when almost everyone had a garden. You arrive in the midst of a place where what’s on the dinner table is grown.
So you learn that a carrot comes out of the ground, but you also learn who planted and picked it – a farmer. And you know how it gets to your house. And you know how it’s prepared – in your kitchen with your cutlery.
There are surprises along the way.
You cultivate taste. Does a farm cultivate a sense of good taste? Maybe. But it surely develops a sense of what tastes good.
You learn science – biology and chemistry. Our farmer, at Canticle Farm, can talk with a passion about the soil, the way Carl Sagan spoke of the cosmos. In fact, you start to see that there is a universe when you look up and a universe when you look down.
You get an education in diversity. Have you seen an orange carrot? Sure. But have you seen a purple carrot? I have. No hocus pocus. Some carrots are naturally purple. More than once I’ve heard the tales of my children delighting classmates at lunch time by pulling a purple carrot out of their lunchbox. A thrill as good as any magician pulling a rabbit from a hat.
You’re taught to try something new because the CSA might grow some things you’ve never seen before. What’s this? And what part do you actually eat? What do you do with it? It’s a pretty good bet someone at the farm can answer all those questions. In fact some of those new things become favorites that you hope to find again next week.
So week by week the months go by with different seasonal fare. And season by season the years go by with different lessons to learn. It’s then you start to think … this place grows more than vegetables.
And so, the real test. The other day I randomly asked one of my children, “Where does a carrot come from?”
I got a typical teenage tone and that look that says what’s wrong with you. Contrary, yes. But then came the answer. The ground.
Have you asked a four-year old where a carrot comes from lately?
I’m almost ashamed to admit that before working for CUTCO Cutlery I didn’t pay much attention to my kitchen knives. I’d buy the least expensive kind I could and then wonder why I would have anxiety when it came time to cut something.
I can vividly remember an evening when I was trying to cut a chicken breast for stir fry and how annoyed I was that the knife wasn’t cutting it (pun intended). I thought it was me! What was I doing wrong?
This pretty much represents what I was working with.
Enter CUTCO. Shortly after getting my public relations job here, I started building my knife set (I’m the proud owner of a Homemaker +8 Set now).
And, even though I grew up just a few short miles from the factory, I didn’t own any CUTCO knives, nor did my family. So, when I used my sharp kitchen knife for the first time, it was miraculous. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I really couldn’t believe how easy it was or that I waited so long to start using high-quality kitchen knives.
Cutting chicken for stir fry is a breeze now, and I actually enjoy getting my cutting board out and chopping, slicing and dicing until my heart’s content. It’s almost therapeutic and I get to channel my inner Julia Child.
It’s also true what the experts say. Buying kitchen knives should be an investment. They’re tools you’ll be using virtually every day. Not only for the enjoyment of it, but for the necessity of it. Everyone has to eat, and everyone should have the proper tools to prepare meals.
And the icing on the cake? Using sharp knives also allows you to cut more uniform pieces, so that food cooks more evenly and tastes better!
So, whatever brand you choose – and of course we hope you choose CUTCO – investing in high-quality kitchen tools is an investment in making your life easier.
Did you have a kitchen cutlery epiphany? A moment where you shed the dull, poorly-made knife for one that was sharp and well-designed?
At CUTCO we’re meticulous when launching a new product. The quality has to meet our high standards or we won’t sell it.
For a while now customers and sale representatives have been asking us to make a Gut Hook Hunting Knife and finally, after thoughtful design and much quality testing, we’ve got one.
I know, the name is a little creepy, unless you’re a hunter, but it really describes the knife, which is designed to cleanly field dress game. I won’t get into graphic detail, but the knife helps hunters cut only what needs to be cut so they can preserve the quality of meat.
The new hunting knife has a drop point blade design with a gut hook feature, making it ideal for the job its intended for. I’ll admit, it looks a little intimidating.
Hunters rely on their equipment and we’re confident that this new outdoor knife will stand up to the rigors of the great outdoors. It’s not only because it’s designed so well, it’s also the fact that our Forever Guarantee will cover free sharpening (even the gut hook) and repairs, forever.
Here are the knife’s stats:
- It’s made in America here at our factory in Olean, N.Y.
- 4-3/8 blade and an overall length of 9-1/8”
- High carbon, stainless steel for sharpness and edge retention
- Full tang for added strength
- Blade is available with a straight edge or a Double-D® recessed edge
- Precision ground gut hook for effective field dressing
- Sure-grip handle for comfort and control, even in wet conditions
- Available with a black or orange handle
I don’t do adventures. They take a wild side I just don’t have. But Saturday, while in New York City for the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Conference, I embraced the one wild notion I had, skipped the conference sessions on my schedule and did an independent study at the Union Square Green Market.
Now, I’m not a New York novice, but I’ve never wandered the city without my husband and the gift of his freakish sense of direction. I figured, How hard can it really be? So, despite the rain and the all-too-apparent lack of a self-assured guide, I set out on my journey.
A few directional mishaps later (I left the hotel going the wrong way and missed the subway stop), I walked out of the 14th Street and Union Square station and smack into the action. And it was super.
A little perspective: I live in a small, rural town in Western New York state with plenty of farms nearby, and I belong to our local CSA (find one near you), but there’s nothing quite like visiting a market in another city, especially a city like New York. There’s something exotic about it. Kind of like an ostrich egg. And when I walked into a tent selling these cantaloupe-size beauties, I knew this was exactly where I wanted to be.
Cheese, meat, breads, eggs, flowers, fruits, veggies, greens, foliage, herbs, textiles – it was all there.
What’s even more wonderful than the rich selection of goods, though, were the people. I’m in love with watching people do their routine. I imagine what their days are like as a I weave through the crowd. I convince myself that my fellow market-goers are seasoned regulars who know the farmers and the other shoppers. They live nearby and come down with their carts and bags in tow as much for the fellowship as for the weekly grocery grab.
Speaking of groceries, the people watching made me hungry, so I stopped at the Hudson Valley Organic tent to grab a carton of mixed greens from a farmer who lives 100 miles away. A small lobster tail from Dean and Deluca I grabbed after the market and a squirt of lemon juice, and I had a lunch worth well more than the $10 I spent.
Next I was off to chat with Finger Lakes winemaker Patrice DeMay from Chauteau Renaissance in Hammondsport, NY. He makes the nearly-300-mile journey to the market every Wednesday and occasional Saturdays. That’s commitment.
A selection of champagne and wines lined Patrice’s table as did a stack of sample cups. Wine in the morning? Don’t mind if I do. First I tried the dandelion wine. Then the pear. It was terrific. Smooth, sweet, crisp – very pear like. Eleven dollars later it was mine.
What a morning! Organic greens, local pear wine and an ostrich egg sighting. It was exactly the experience I was hoping for. But, as all fun has its foil, the charm of the market wore off around the time I stopped feeling my fingers. (Did I mention it was raining and 45 degrees, and I was wandering around without gloves and an umbrella?)
Despite the chill, it was a journey worth making and I will return. In the summer. Or with gloves at the very least.
Chicken Cacciatore. It sounds so exotic, but after I got going it was really pretty easy to put together.
It was also divine intervention that I should cook this recipe for my first “What Should Kathleen Cook” post. After telling my mother that this is the recipe I chose, she told me a story about how my grandfather, who never set foot in the kitchen, decided after he retired that he’d give cooking a try and the first dish he cooked was Chicken Cacciatore! He apparently cooked while smoking his cigar and a bit of a “secret ingredient” sprinkled into the dish from the stogie.
So, this one is for Grandpa Platts.
When I first read this recipe I was concerned about having to buy chicken with the skin and would have to remove it before cooking. But I was up for the challenge! I searched Google on how to remove skin and it was easier than I thought. Using a dry paper towel, I grabbed the skin with the towel and pulled it back, lickety split. Then I used my CUTCO Trimmer (aka utility knife) to trim away the unwanted fat and tissue.
After attending a culinary conference this past weekend I learned that Chicken Cacciatore is known as Italian hunter-style chicken, so maybe that’s why I had to buy chicken with the skin intact. Hmm.
Placing the two meaty chicken breasts into my skillet, I quickly realized that the pan just might not be big enough. But, I forged ahead. I browned the chicken breasts and while they were cooking, I cut up the mushrooms and onions and minced the garlic.
After browning the chicken for about 15 minutes, I removed them and tossed the onions, mushrooms and garlic into the pan. Once those cooked down, the chicken had to go back in along with the tomato mixture. Um, yeah, I need to get the BIG pan. After all, I still need to put all that stuff in there.
So, everything was tossed into my big stock pot – not exactly what the recipe called for, but it did the trick.
My niece Katie was over for a visit and I used her as my guinea pig. So, Katie?
“It’s really good!”
Yea me! And, never fear, I left grandpa’s secret ingredient out this time.
If you live where the snow flies like we do at CUTCO, 70 miles from Buffalo, N.Y., by March you’re craving something green. That’s why I head down to my local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) location.
These people are amazing. Mark Printz, farm manager at our local CSA, Canticle Farm, and his team can get me stocked up with just-picked fresh vegetables in the dead of winter. Want to know their secret?
Great, let’s go!
Did you know carrots, like most root vegetables such as beets, potatoes and radishes, can be stored over the winter … sometimes right in the ground?
These vegetables need cool, dark conditions to keep for the long haul through the first few months of the year. In fact, bonus - the cold makes carrots taste sweeter.
People used to know this stuff, but with modern convenience the need vanished along with the memory of how-to. When is the last time you heard a home buyer say it’s a deal breaker if there’s no root cellar?
But what about getting greens when there’s white on the ground? To start, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and kale like cooler weather.
Having a high tunnel on the winter landscape can go along way toward making March feel like May for these plants.
These clear-covered tunnels (think grade-school science experiment with a magnifying glass and sunshine) warm the soil and air.
So I’m ready to pack up my reusable bag with mixed greens and carrots for salad. More carrots for stir fry later in the week, and to go with the kale and bean soup for the next night.
And we need garlic for cooking everything. This came out of the field in July, was dried, stored and it’s good to go today.
The aroma beckons and people pile into the kitchen to see what’s for dinner. Meal making can turn into a more-the-merrier kind of thing with extra cutting boards and a few sharp knives.
And it’s extra fun when you know your farmer. You’ve probably heard of the farm-to-fork movement where a harvest goes directly to consumers, cutting out the middleman. See. No middle man.
Lately everyone in the family is on an Italian Wedding Soup kick. A couple of months ago I found an easy recipe on the Food Network website, but I like to substitute spinach for curly endive.
So the calendar may say early spring, but find the right local farmer and your dinner table can sing fresh from the garden.
Back in March of 1986 I was a junior Marketing Major at the University of Buffalo with very little work experience to put on a resume. I didn’t think being a sales associate at a shoe store in the local mall or stocking shelves at a grocery store was going to give me the advantage I needed when it came time to interview for a “real job.”
So I decided to buy the local Sunday newspaper and check out the help wanted section (yes, they did actually advertise jobs in newspapers back then)! I saw a small ad that stated: flexible schedule, no experience necessary and a $7 pay rate. Since minimum wage at that time I believe was $3.35, I jumped at the chance and applied.
A week later I finished my initial three-day training seminar and became an official Vector Marketing (CUTCO) Sales Representative. Twenty-six years later (this week) little did I know what impact this would have on my life.
(That’s me in my Syracuse, N.Y., office as a Branch Manager in the late 80s. And below, getting one of my sales awards during a Year End Banquet.)
Since then I’ve been promoted 10 times, lived in seven different cities in four different states, traveled all over the world on company trips and most importantly met my wife 16 years ago who was introduced to me by my former manager whose wife had known her since grade school.
I love the fact that the product quality has remained the same since the day I started. I never have to worry about running into old customers of mine and feeling embarrassed that I sold them something that fell apart. In fact, I still have the knives from my initial sample kit and use them every day. CUTCO truly is the World’s Finest Cutlery!
I love the fact that all CUTCO knives are 100% made in the United States and guaranteed forever. I’ve been lucky enough to see this first hand the past five years after moving to Olean, N.Y., for my current role.
I love the fact that in all the roles I’ve had, such as District Manager (running my own business), Sales Promotion Manager, Rep Development Manager, etc., I’ve impacted thousands of people. The skills we learn and teach are applicable in any career choice. It’s such a great feeling to receive a letter or email from a former rep or associate from 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years ago saying thank you for making a difference in my life.
I love the fact that my best friends are people that I met in the business. Nowadays, it’s rare that someone actually enjoys the people they work with let alone keeps in contact with them after all these years.
Looking back I guess it was well worth it to be teased with such nicknames as CUTCO Kid, Knife Guy, A Cut Above.
By the way, to this day I’ve never had to work on that resume since this is the only company I’ve worked for the past 26 years!
(We’re introducing Chef Susan Goss with her first blog post at the CUTCO Cafe. A member of the CUTCO Culinary Advisory Board, Susan is the executive chef and co-owner of the West Town Tavern in Chicago.)
Spring has sprung! Here in Chicago it is an amazing 75°F and sunny, the daffodils are up and the redbud tree in my yard is getting ready to burst. According to my garden diary, last year on this day it was 30°F, stormy and dreary. Such is the caprice of Midwest weather. You just never know. Tonight, I am smoking baby back ribs on the grill and eating dinner on the patio. Last year I was eating oxtail ragout in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace. Groundhog’s shadow or no, I am confident that fireplace will be used at least a few more times before the weather really turns.
Spring heralds the beginning of the growing season: fresh tender lettuces, asparagus, radishes, early carrots, peas, strawberries and rhubarb are right around the corner. April and May in the Midwest bring some of the region’s most sought-after foods. Morels pop their elusive heads up in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Since I have no hunting skills, I am eager to plunk down a pile of cash for these delicious mushrooms. Ramps and fiddlehead ferns are also pricy and irresistible.
After a winter of hearty cabbages, Brussels sprouts and root vegetables, the incredible green flavor of asparagus is like a breath of fresh spring air. However, the weather is fickle. As soon as you dig out the shorts and t-shirts, the temperature drops and braised pork shoulder sounds delicious again.
The secret to eating seasonally when the weather is so crazy is to remain flexible. On cooler nights, lighten a warming pot pie with a salad of tender greens tossed with a racy vinaigrette. When the thermostat threatens to pass 75°F let that braised pork shoulder cool to room temperature, slice thinly and serve with a relish of roasted rhubarb and mint. An asparagus soup can be served hot or cold and garnished in different ways. Add crumbled crisp bacon and slivered sun-dried tomatoes to hot asparagus soup. Serve the same soup chilled with thinly sliced mint leaves and shaved parmesan.
These crab and asparagus melts take advantage of one of the first spring vegetables to appear and are hearty enough to serve during the proverbial cold spring shower.
Crab and Asparagus Melts
This upscale version of a tuna melt combines a few ingredients for a gratifying lunch or simple supper. The combination of crab, asparagus and sharp cheddar is light enough for warm weather and satisfying enough for the inevitable cold snap. Choose a simple white wine with good acidity such as a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, a Portuguese vinho verde or a South African chenin blanc. Serves 8.
1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
½ cup finely chopped cucumber
¼ cup finely chopped celery
1 tsp grated orange zest
4 tbsp herbed mayonnaise (recipe follows)
1½ tsp kosher salt, divided
Several grinds white pepper
12 stalks asparagus, tough ends discarded
4 good quality hamburger buns or ciabatta rolls
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the crabmeat with the cucumber, celery, orange zest, herbed Mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Toss well, refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
In a 3 quart saucepan bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. In a large bowl, combine a quart of ice cubes and a quart of water. Reserve.
When the water is boiling add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Drain the asparagus and put it immediately into the bowl of ice water. Let stand until very cold to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry.
Open the buns and arrange them, cut sides up on a baking sheet. Brush them with the oil. Bake until crispy, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Divide the crab mixture equally among the buns, making an even layer.
Cut the asparagus spears crosswise in half and arrange 3 pieces on each bun. Sprinkle the cheese over the asparagus and crab. Bake crab melts until cheese is melted and bubbly and crab is hot, about 10 minutes.
Note: This crab mixture can be piled on sturdy crackers, sprinkled with cheese and heated briefly for snacks.
Herbed Mayonnaise: I like to make my own mayonnaise but you can use store-bought as well. Place about 1½ cups of mayonnaise in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 bunch finely chopped watercress, 2 to 3 finely chopped green onions and 6 to 8 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped. Process the mixture until it is combined. For a more rustic mayonnaise, combine all ingredients in a bowl.
(Recipe adapted from West Town Tavern: Contemporary Comfort Food. Photos by Dan Dry. All rights reserved.)
If you’ve read my bio you know that I’ve never been much of a cook, and when I do cook, I usually stick to the basics. Chili, soup, sandwiches and salads. I also eat a lot of cottage cheese and apple sauce. Just ask my friends and coworkers.
If it’s simple and can be thrown together, that’s the recipe for me!
Since working for CUTCO I’ve come to learn a few things about cooking, and how to use my kitchen knives, but I still would like to hone my cooking skills and expand my culinary knowledge.
So, I’m putting myself out there. I’m branching out. I’m taking a leap of faith. I’m asking for your help!
In the next year, from time to time, I’ll ask you to suggest recipes that I’ll make and then chronicle my experience here on our CUTCO blog. Whether it’s a great experience or a complete disaster, you’ll know!
Here’s where the magic will take place. My own kitchen!
But, I have got to lay down a few ground rules – I’m no master chef, after all.
1. The recipes have to include easy-to-find ingredients. We live in a pretty rural area of New York state so my access to the exotic is quite limited.
2. The recipes have to be relatively easy to follow – I won’t choose overly difficult recipes, although I do want to stretch my culinary legs.
3. Don’t suggest recipes that require hard-to-find equipment, like sous vide. I don’t have that.
So fasten your seat belts and enjoy this wild ride of culinary discovery with me. My kitchen knives will be chopping, slicing and dicing, and my stove will be on overdrive, but I’m ready to face the challenge.
Suggest away, and if you have a specific recipe you want me follow, please provide the link. I’ll select a recipe in the next week and then, be looking for an upcoming blog post to see how I did.
Let the games begin!
Every once in a while, someone teaches you something and you have that, “I. Did. Not. Know that,” moment.
I had one of those moments last summer when CUTCO Culinary Advisory Board member Barbara Seelig Brown was doing a demonstration in our visitor’s center and mentioned that when cutting fresh herbs, you should make sure they’re dry.
The reason that stuck with me is because when I used fresh herbs, I tended to rinse them with water and use them. I didn’t think to pat them dry first.
But, what I did know from working at a cutlery factory is that you can chop, mince or chiffonade (rag cut) fresh herbs and greens like basil and flat parsley with a chef’s knife. And there are a couple of techniques you can use to get the desired effect.
First, you can stack the leaves of the herbs one on top of the other and roll them up lengthwise. Then make thin cuts from the top down toward the stem to create that rag cut. This works well with things like basil and baby spinach.
You can also gather up the greens into a pile if you want to chop or mince them. This method works great with herbs that have smaller leaves, like parsley and cilantro.
Whichever technique you choose it’s important to use a sharp knife when cutting delicate herbs so you don’t bruise them.
If you’re pressed for time, you can also use kitchen shears, like CUTCO’s Super Shears, to snip herbs directly into salads and soups.
Need more? Here’s Barbara demonstrating how to cut herbs and greens.