Kitchen Tips - September 2008

How to Julienne

Julienne (joo-lee-EHN) is a knife technique used to cut vegetables and fruits into very thin strips. A "perfect" julienne strip is 1/8"x1/8"x1-2", but you don't have to be that precise. Some recipes will call for matchstick-sized pieces, which helps to visualize the size.

To julienne, begin by making a flat, stable base on the item you are cutting. An example would be to cut off one side of a potato to prevent the potato from rolling. Place the potato flat-side down and cut it lengthwise into thin slices. Stack the slices one on top of the other; cut the stack lengthwise into sticks. To ensure even cooking, be sure to keep the thickness consistent.

Peeling and Seeding Tomatoes

Ripe tomatoes can be easily peeled by dropping them in boiling water. Cut an X through the skin in the bottom of the tomato before placing in the water to get it started. Remove with a slotted spoon; remove peel with your fingers. To seed tomatoes, cut in half horizontally. Gently squeeze out the juice and seeds while giving the tomato a sharp downward shake. Use your finger or small spoon to remove any remaining seeds.

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